Imran foresees chaos if detained again

ISLAMABAD, May 13: Expressing fears that he might be arrested again, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan warned on Friday there would be no-one to control the masses if he was put behind bars.

During an informal conversation with media representatives during his appearance at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on the instructions of the Supreme Court, Imran alleged the people were being pitted against the military.

Imran was asked if he could be rearrested, he replied that he feared so “because it appears from [interior minister] Rana Sanaullah’s statement that I will be arrested as soon as I leave the high court”.

“The people and the army are being brought face to face against each other,” he said. “Who will control the people, if I am arrested. I can control the people if I am out [in their midst], the PTI chief added.

Imran said that during his arrest, he was allowed to speak with his wife, Bushra Bibi, by the telephone. He added that with the permission of the court, he called Bushra Bibi from the official telephone line of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

When asked further if he met anyone during the arrest, Imran replied that he did not meet anyone except his lawyer Khawaja Harris. “Khawaja Haris gave strong arguments in the NAB court,” he said.

A foreign journalist asked Imran whether his arrest was linked to his allegations against a serving military officer, the PTI chairman replied: “Those were not allegations, but facts”.

He revealed that he feared his arrest in Islamabad, therefore, he released a video statement before leaving Lahore. He told reporters that he was hit in the head with stick during his arrest. He added that he received treatment for the injury in NAB custody.

Earlier on Thursday, Imran spoke with his lawyers at the Supreme Court after the court’s order for his release. He was informed about rioting across the country and the arrest of senior party leaders.

According to the report, Imran was shocked when he learned about the arrest of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar and others.  He told the lawyers that they should have informed him earlier so that he could apprise the court of those arrests.

The lawyers told the former prime minister that there were reports of 40 deaths during the violence but so far deaths of 21 people could be confirmed. Imran said that the apex court should have been apprised of the situation.

During the media talk, the PTI chairman was asked if he would condemn the attack on the residence of the Lahore corps commander, he replied: “What can I say when I do not know anything.”

To yet another question that the chief justice had asked his party to hold negotiations with political opponents, he said that when the government did not abide by the Constitution, what was left for the talks. “We want election and they are running away from it.”

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