Former Prime Minister Imran Khan refuses to tender apology over May 9 riots

Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Imran Khan has refused to apologise for the unprecedented May 9 riots, a day after the military ruled out dialogue with his party unless they tendered a public apology over the unprecedented violence.
Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Imran Khan
Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Imran Khan

Islamabad |Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Imran Khan has refused to apologise for the unprecedented May 9 riots, a day after the military ruled out dialogue with his party unless they tendered a public apology over the unprecedented violence.

Khan, who spoke to the media after the court proceedings in the 190 million pounds Al Qadir corruption case at Adiala jail on Wednesday, also said that he was ready to face an inquiry into the sit-in that his Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf party staged in 2014, Dawn newspaper reported.

When asked whether he would apologise for the May 9 violent protest, 71-year-old cricketer-turned-politician replied no, saying he was under detention at the time and was unaware of those protests, the report added.

“I condemned the May 9 incidents in front of (former) chief justice Umar Ata Bandial,” he added.

The ex-premier mentioned that he became aware of the protests when he appeared before the then-chief justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial.

Khan has been incarcerated since August last year after he was booked in several cases ranging from corruption to violating the Official Secrets Act.

The PTI founder was responding to a question related to Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Tuesday's press conference wherein he demanded "those involved in the May 9 violent protests to apologise" and shun politics of “anarchy” before holding any dialogue.

The chief military spokesperson had also ruled out any dialogue with those who attacked military installations.

He had also said that the May 9 accused and perpetrators would have to be punished as per the Constitution and law.

Referring to the DG ISPR statement linking dialogue with the apology, the ousted premier said: “If you don't want to talk, then don't, I am asking for holding dialogues for the sake of Pakistan.” Khan said neither he was interested in striking any “deal” nor wanted to go abroad and flee the country.

The mayhem on May 9 last year was led by supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party who were triggered into action by the arrest of their leader in a case of alleged corruption.

Khan's party workers vandalised a dozen military installations, including the Jinnah House (Lahore Corps Commander House), Mianwali Airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad after the cricketer-turned-politician was arrested in a corruption case.

The Army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi was also attacked by the mob for the first time.

Following the May 9 violence last year, Khan and hundreds of his party colleagues are being tried under multiple cases, including one under the stringent Official Secrets Act in connection with the violent protests.

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