Lahore | Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan claimed on Monday that the country's powerful military establishment has planned to keep him in jail for the next 10 years under sedition charges.
In a series of tweets in the early hours of Monday, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief said: "So now the complete London plan is out. Using pretext of violence while I was inside the jail, they have assumed the role of judge, jury and executioner. The plan now is to humiliate me by putting Bushra begum (Khan's wife) in jail, and using some sedition law to keep me inside for next ten years." The tweets came after Khan held a meeting of PTI leaders at his Lahore residence.
The 70-year-old leader, who has been on bail in more than 100 cases, further said: "To ensure that there is no public reaction, they have done two things -- first deliberate terror is unleashed not just on PTI workers but on common citizens as well. Second, the media is totally controlled and muzzled." He said never has the sanctity of chadar and chaar dewaari been violated the way it is being done by these "criminals".
"This is a deliberate attempt to instill so much fear in people that when they come to arrest me tomorrow, people won't come out. And tomorrow they will again suspend internet services and ban social media (which is only partially open). Meanwhile, as we speak, houses are being broken in and shamelessly police are manhandling the women of the houses," he said.
Giving his message to the people of Pakistan, Khan said: "My message to the people of Pakistan; I will fight for Haqeeqi Azaadi till the last drop of my blood because for me death is preferable than to be enslaved by these assortments of crooks.
"I urge all my people to remember that we have pledged LA Illah ha illalah, that we bow to no one except the One (Allah). If we bow to the idol of fear there will only be humiliation and dismemberment for our future generations. Countries where there is injustice and law of jungle prevails, don't survive for long." Khan returned to his Lahore home on Saturday after having locked himself in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises for hours due to the fear of re-arrest despite being granted bail on Friday.
The IHC granted bail to Khan, barring authorities from arresting him in all the cases registered against him beyond May 9, and asked him to approach the Lahore High Court for further relief on May 15.
Khan further said the JUI-F "drama" that is being done outside the Supreme Court is only for one purpose -- to overawe the chief justice of Pakistan so that he does not give a verdict according to the Constitution.
"Pakistan has already seen such brazen attack on the Supreme Court when in 1997 PMLN goons physically attacked it and had one of the most respected Chief Justices Sajjad Ali Shah removed," he said.
Khan's arrest by the Pakistan Rangers at the IHC premises last Tuesday triggered an unrest in Pakistan that continued till Friday and led to several deaths and dozens of military and state installations being destroyed by the protesters.
For the first time in the country's history, the protesters stormed the army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and also torched the corps commander's house in Lahore.
Police put the death toll in violent clashes to 10 while Khan's party claims 40 of its workers lost their lives in the firing by security personnel.