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Friday, July 1, 2022
EditorialLife threat to Imran Khan

Life threat to Imran Khan

Though most of the time our country has been fed controversial theories, former premier Imran Khan’s statement that a plot has been manufactured to kill him by foreign hands with the help of local handlers is not a mere conspiracy theory but a serious talk, which should be taken seriously by the state institutions. In his speech at a Sialkot rally, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman spoke at length about the conspiracy and added that he knows about the plot makers and their facilitators which he has recorded in a video. He also calls the conspirators the lot, which betrayed the country. Well, as the country’s history has been fraught with the murders of leaders from Liaquat Ali Khan to Benazir Bhutto, Imran Khan’s talk can be real. But he is doing a disservice by concealing the names of the conspirators to himself, instead of sharing them with the state security institutions. This is the second time when Imran Khan has talked about the threat posed to his life. Earlier, in the last days of his government in April last, he briefly spoke on the threats hurled at his life, but he stopped short of divulging the names of the people behind the threat.

If the threat is real, the PTI should reconsider the schedule for rallies in different cities and the long march on Islamabad. Since the ouster of his government, Imran Khan has been hitting packed, charged rallies every other day in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In rallies, any eventuality can occur. We remember the bloodshed at a welcome rally arranged for former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in October 2008, when she returned to Pakistan after ending her years-long exile. In December of the same year, she was killed in Rawalpindi. Several security loopholes were cited behind her murder. The government says that it has provided prime minister-level security to Imran Khan. The government should, however, meet the demand of the PTI regarding the provision of VIP security and the protocol of Imran Khan. In this regard, the PTI Chairman Secretariat has written to the government, the Civil Aviation Authority and ASF seeking permission for Imran Khan to use the VIP lounge at the airport. The letter states PTI chairman Imran Khan is facing security threats, so he should be allowed to use China Gate for entry and exit at Islamabad airport. The letter also requested the Airport Security Force to make special arrangements for the security of the former prime minister. The government should take every possible step for the security of the former prime minister and other leaders of political parties. They face threats from the resurgent groups, such as the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, and Baloch separatist groups, which have stepped up terror activities in the areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh. On Sunday, a suicide bombing in the Miranshah area claimed the life of three troopers. Earlier, a motorcycle blast rocked the Karachi downtown market on Friday. Our security forces are giving a befitting response to terrorist groups, but the fight against terrorism also involves public cooperation as well. In the given circumstances, and after Imran Khan’s statement regarding threats to his life, the government should start a channel of communication with all political parties to devise a security mechanism for political leaders. The country, already reeling under grave economic strains, may not afford an eventuality in the shape of attacks on political leaders.

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