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My would-be killers are still in office – former Pakistani PM – RT World News

Imran Khan says the threat to his life is ‘real’ and the current Pakistani PM is ‘petrified’ about returning to power

Death threats will remain a part of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s life until he can return to power and hold his would-be killers to account, he told the Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi.

Khan told Rattansi he had survived two assassination attempts in the past week – one that landed him in a “death trap” in an Islamabad court on Saturday, and another in which state agents allegedly incite police to open fire on a crowd of Khan supporters before “come after” him to finish the job.

“The threat is real because these people are in power,” Khan said. “They are petrified that IIf I win the election, they’ll be in trouble or held responsible.

Khan accuses Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer, a senior intelligence official, of plotting his assassination during a rally last November. Khan, who was removed from office in a motion of no confidence seven months earlier, was shot in the leg and hospitalized.

Sharif denies any involvement in the attempted murder and accused Khan of spreading “False and cheap conspiracies.” Sharif also denied any collusion with the United States to remove Khan from power.

Khan has since been charged with 143 criminal offences, with the government most recently charging him with terrorism after his supporters rioted outside the Islamabad courthouse last Saturday. He sees the charges as politically motivated and aimed at preventing him from running in this year’s general election.

Although he was banned from participating in the elections, he insists that the Pakistani Election Commission had no legal reason to ban him.

“They are petrified that their elections, my party will sweep them away”, Khan told Rattansi. “In all opinion polls, my party is on course to win a two-thirds majority in Pakistan, hence their desire to get rid of me.”

“The threat is real until the elections” he added. “They fear that if the election is held and I return to power, they will be held accountable.”

Khan’s PTI party has won 29 of 37 by-elections since he was ousted, and a Gallup poll put his approval rating at 61% earlier this month, compared to 32% for Sharif. Provincial elections in the PTI strongholds of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were due to be held on April 30, but were pushed back until October this week, after the Sharif government withheld funding tied to the provincial elections.

Amid the apparent threat to his life, Khan said he was “taking precautions” and now gives speeches behind bulletproof glass. Referring to Pakistani authorities, he said that “Those who were supposed to protect me are the ones I’m most in danger from.”

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