Former Pak PM Imran Khan forms committee to lead party if arrested

Former Pak PM Imran Khan forms committee to lead party if arrested

The former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan left after appearing at the high court in Lahore on March 17, 2023. PHOTO AFP LAHORE, Pakistan - Former prime minister Imran Khan, has formed a committee to lead his party if he is arrested, he told a court that he had issued arrest warrants for him.

The former cricket legend has led country-wide protests after his ouster from power last year, and has had a number of cases registered against him. The police tried to arrest him on Tuesday, leading to intense clashes with his party workers.

The 70-year-old told an interview in his Lahore home that he has made a committee which will obviously take decisions if I'm inside jail. He said there were 94 cases against him.

Khan, who was shot and wounded while campaigning in November, says the threat to his life is greater than before and claims that his political opponents and military want to block him from standing in elections later this year.

The military and government did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's government has denied being behind the cases. The military, which has an outsized role in Pakistan, has ruled the country for nearly half of its 75-year history, and has said it remains neutral towards politics.

Khan said there was no reason he should be arrested because he had bail on all his cases. If convicted in a case, Khan could face disqualification from contesting the November elections.

The establishment is feeling threatened right now. He said that's the issue.

Hundreds of people were injured in the clashes caused by the police attempt to arrest Khan.

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He said that his life is even more at risk than it was then, and he was concerned about the reaction to his arrest or any attempt to assassinate him. I feel that there would be a very strong reaction, and it would be a reaction all over Pakistan. The former prime minister has sparked widespread support among Pakistanis amid decades of high inflation and a crippling economic slowdown as the country implements painful fiscal reforms to avert default. Thousands of people have rallied behind him every time he has called for demonstrations.

I just think that those who are trying to do this just can't comprehend the situation. I don't think the mind is thinking of killing me or putting me in jail. I don't think they understand where Pakistan is located right now. Khan said the military had had a role in pushing him out of power after relations soured with the previous army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who retired in November. He said that General Asim Munir, the new chief, was following the same policy.

The military has denied his claims before.

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Throughout our 70 -- 75 year history, you know, the military has a role. That role has to be balanced now. Now you have to have that balance because that previous balance is not workable anymore, he said.