LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan did not appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) conducting the probe into the Jinnah House attack case on Tuesday. Instead, he requested that the investigation be conducted at his Zaman Park residence, citing concerns for his safety.
Imran Khan’s lawyers, Ali Ijaz Buttar and Naeem Haider Panjhuta, responded to the summons issued to him by expressing their client’s apprehension of being assaulted during public appearances or the interrogation process. They also mentioned his court appearance scheduled for that day, suggesting that he either be allowed to participate in the investigation via video link from his home or submit a questionnaire containing specific questions. Alternatively, they offered his availability in person at Zaman Park.
In a separate video address, PTI Chairman Imran Khan claimed that many individuals who had previously left the party were now working towards causing further divisions. He alleged that party leaders and supporters had been subjected to torture and imprisonment for their affiliation with PTI. Mr. Khan mentioned the mistreatment of Ejaz Chaudhry and Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, highlighting that the party’s leadership was either imprisoned or in hiding. He criticized the pressure being exerted on the party, stating that the government was attempting to separate ticket holders from PTI. He also accused the authorities of attacking and demolishing the homes of those in hiding.
Mr. Khan also commented on the superior judiciary, claiming that there was considerable pressure on it. He alleged that judges were receiving threats and phone calls from unknown sources. Furthermore, he stated that PTI workers were being threatened, including the potential abduction of women from their homes, which he condemned. He asserted that the government was resorting to extreme measures and engaging in political oppression that surpassed even the regimes of martial law.
Turning to the country’s economic situation, Mr. Khan criticized the incumbent government for the ongoing economic difficulties. He took to Twitter to express his concerns, stating that the current administration, which he labeled as “fascist,” was suppressing the opposition. He pointed out the large discrepancy between the official and open market exchange rates, suggesting hoarding of dollars in the economy, which undermined investor confidence. He emphasized the lack of domestic and foreign investment, predicting a severe contraction in the Gross National Product (GDP) and further damage to the economy as a result.