March 22, 2023

Khan tells Al Jazeera an arrest warrant is a politically motivated try and ‘take away him’ from upcoming elections.

Tensions have flared in Pakistan’s japanese metropolis of Lahore after police arrived exterior the house of former Prime Minister Imran Khan to arrest him for failing to seem in court docket on Monday over corruption expenses.

Police on Tuesday fired tear gasoline and water cannon as a whole bunch of supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) celebration gathered exterior his residence. Police stated they might arrest him by the tip of Tuesday.

Talking to Al Jazeera from his house, Khan stated the arrest try was “completely unlawful” and politically motivated.

,[The government] wish to take away me from the electoral contest as a result of they’re petrified by the recognition of my celebration,” he stated.

Right here is the interview, which has been condensed and edited for readability.

Al Jazeera: Why would not you adjust to the arrest warrant and let the rule of legislation take its course?

Khan: In response to the legislation, I’ve protected bail till the 18th [of March], So 4 days earlier, the police have arrived with an arrest warrant, which is completely unlawful. So we’re ready for tomorrow morning the place my legal professionals will seem in court docket and problem this warrant of arrest.

Al Jazeera: You have got launched a video asking your supporters to come back out and combat for his or her freedom. Are you not nervous that your message asking folks to “combat” may lead to violence?

Khan: “Struggle for his or her freedom” means combat for his or her basic rights, which suggests protesting peacefully in what you consider… The structure and the legislation of the land, what provides you the suitable to protest.

In France, persons are protesting for pensions. In England, persons are protesting due to inflation and pay rises. So protesting is a part of the democratic course of. By no means in my 26 years in politics have I ever requested my [supporters] ever to be violent.

Al Jazeera: The arrest warrant pertains to allegations you acquire state items and hid belongings whereas in workplace as prime minister. How do you reply to that?

Khan: That is a completely fabricated allegation. There are 80 circumstances towards me and in the previous couple of months each different day there’s a recent case towards me. There’s a case of homicide, there’s a case of sedition, there’s a case of blasphemy, a case of terrorism.

We now have requested to go to the Supreme Court docket to ask them to membership all of the circumstances collectively … and maintain them in a safe place as a result of once I attended my two court docket appearances, there was no safety. The federal government itself has stated that my life is beneath risk, subsequently, all we ask is for them to membership all of the circumstances collectively.

Al Jazeera: The federal government is saying the police will arrest you by the tip of Tuesday. If that occurs, what is going to it imply to your celebration and for the provincial and nationwide elections?

Khan: I’m mentally ready. There’s a big [police] power exterior [as if] Pakistan’s “largest terrorist” was holed up inside.

The rationale they wish to arrest me shouldn’t be as a result of they’re nervous concerning the rule of legislation, however as a result of the most important criminals at the moment are sitting within the authorities. They wish to take away me from the electoral contest as a result of they’re petrified by the recognition of my celebration.

In response to all opinion polls, we might sweep these upcoming elections and that’s the reason they need me faraway from the scene. The tried homicide [when Khan was shot in November] was due to that and now placing me in jail is precisely following the identical script.

Al Jazeera: The true criminals are in Parliament, you say, however you’re the solely Pakistani prime minister to have been faraway from energy by a no-confidence vote. What makes you suppose this isn’t the tip of your political profession?

Khan: Usually when somebody is faraway from energy it means they must be prepared for political wilderness for fairly a while. In our previous, governments have been faraway from energy, however at all times on corruption circumstances or very poor financial performances coupled with corruption circumstances … our authorities was not eliminated both due to corruption or due to lack of financial efficiency.

It was eliminated by a conspiracy, and that’s the reason there was such a public backlash.

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