Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has accused the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) led government of trying to dismantle his party by using the “reaction” to the May 9 riots, which he termed as a public response to the Army’s interference in his case. The former prime minister mentioned that government attempts are being made to ban his party after some perspective 2023 time demonstration by his party supporters. He added that the entire democratic system is being dismantled to keep him out of politics, and this is happening because of fear that the PTI will win the upcoming elections. Khan spoke to CNN about this issue.
The Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah, had said on May 13 that there was no other option but to ban the PTI after three days of violent protests that killed ten people and injured several others. The protests erupted following Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9 in the £190 million Al-Qadir Trust case. The authorities subsequently arrested thousands of PTI workers. During the protests, violent miscreants attacked civil and military installations, including the Corps Commander’s House (Jinnah House) in Lahore Cantt and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir labelled May 9 as a “Black Day” and decided to try the rioters under the Army Act in military and anti-terrorism courts. Furthermore, Maryam Nawaz, the Senior Vice President of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), urged the government to treat the PTI as a terrorist organisation and ban the party.
Imran Khan also mentioned that the government had disrespected the Supreme Court’s order to hold the general elections in Punjab on May 14, accusing the ruling alliance of PDM of violating the Constitution and the verdict of the apex court. He expressed that he did not have any issues with the Army and criticized the past 60 years of governance, saying that half had been ruled by the Army and the other half by the two families, Bhuttos and Sharifs. Khan expressed his concerns regarding the ongoing crackdown against his party’s leadership, saying that there is no rule of law in the country and his party’s entire leadership is in jail.
Ending his interview, Khan stated it’s not possible to win by taking on the Pakistan Army. Even if he won, it would be a pyrrhic victory, as the country would lose. He also expressed his confusion about the purpose of his government’s downfall.