Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan has said that whether he is in jail or not, his party will “sweep” the elections.
Speaking during a conversation with American media group National Public Radio (NPR), the former prime minister said he does not know if he will end up getting disqualified or not, but that it also “doesn’t matter” because he believes his party has a popularity wave “unprecedented” in Pakistan’s history.
Former cricket player Khan served as prime minister from 2018 until 2022, when he was removed by a vote of the parliament. Since then, he has continued to push for an early election by holding protests across the country.
Shehbaz Sharif, who took over as prime minister after him, rejected his demand and declared that the election would go off as planned later this year.
Elections are an unsettling prospect for the government, which is what is occurring. They are scared that we will win the election. Since I survived an assassination attempt and am extremely fortunate to still be alive, they are trying everything to remove me from the picture, including assassination, said Khan, who survived an assassination attempt on a long march last year.
In answer to the question of whether he is certain that an election will be held at the scheduled time, Khan said it was his main concern because, according to the country’s constitution, polls had to be held within 90 days after the dissolution of its two provincial governments.
When asked what would happen if his party, the PTI, regained power, Khan made reference to the charges made by the opposition that he repressed the press and other critics when he had that position in the past.
“Steve, my 3 1/2 years were the most liberal 3 1/2 years in our history. I mean, the – we never interfered with the judiciary, which was always the case in the past. We never interfered with the media. The only time there were problems with the media was not because of us, because of the army, because of the army establishment,” Khan responded.
He went on to say that currently, within five months, not just him but also all his senior leadership have cases against them. “They’re running from one court to the other,” he said.
When asked about his “attitude” towards the persons he currently accuses of pursuing him, the former premier was pressed by the interviewer.
At this point, Khan stated his “firm belief” that the difference between rich and poor countries is not a dearth of resources but rather the rule of law because he has traveled the world as a professional international sportsman.
“Countries that have rule of law prosper, countries that don’t have rule of law become banana republics. So our fight in Pakistan is to bring the powerful elite under the law,” he said.
The rule of law means anyone who breaks the law, you actually – they are held accountable, Khan said.