Govt trying to ‘get rid of me’ through sedition case: Imran

PTI chief says incumbent rulers would only get relief in corruption cases after ‘removing’ him from the way

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said that his political opponents are plotting to get rid of him by filing a treason case against him “so that PML-N and PPP can hide their corruption”.

Addressing a rally in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner district on Friday, Imran said the main purpose of treason case was to remove him from the way so that incumbent rulers could easily get relief in corruption cases. “I want everyone to know that Zardari and Nawaz Sharif will prosecute me for treason and declare me a traitor. They don’t have any stakes here… their everything is outside Pakistan,” he remarked.

The statement comes the same day a meeting of the special committee of the cabinet deliberated on filing sedition charges against Imran and chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah briefed the committee regarding the PTI’s long march on May 25 and the party’s alleged plan to attack the federation. The committee also reviewed evidence regarding the march’s participants, specifically regarding PTI leader Imran and the provincial chief executives of KP and GB, to attack the federation.

Hitting out at PML-N supremo Nawaz in his speech, Imran said the former never mentioned the name of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav because “Sharif family has ties with the Indian business community”. Criticising the ‘neutrals’ – a tacit reference to establishment – Imran said they took a very good decision to stay neutral “but national security is more important than staying neutral”. On Supreme Court’s order to seek report from intelligence and law enforcement agencies on violence during PTI’s Azadi March, Imran urged the apex court to take input of civil rights organisation as well to know the “real facts”.

“We had staged a sit-in for 126 days which was peaceful. We would never want a confrontation with the security forces of our country,” he added. Imran also came down hard on the federal government for “bowing” to the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and increasing the prices of petroleum products. The ousted prime minister chided the government over record inflation and alleged that it did not care about the nation as the ruling leadership had its money stashed abroad. He called the government “slaves of the IMF and the US” for complying with the demands of the fund to restore the bailout package. Imran said the IMF had also asked his government to increase the price of petroleum products but he did not agree to their demands. “Instead of increasing the prices, we decreased petroleum prices by Rs10 to provide relief to the people,” he said, adding that the funds to provide the subsidy were diverted from elsewhere.