“Efforts to disqualify me from politics”: Imran Khan

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Imran Khan said there is absolutely no case that can disqualify him from participating in elections.

Islamabad:

Pakistan’s chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan claimed that the federal government is determined to drive him out of politics, The News International reported.

He said they were doing their best to disqualify him ahead of the general election.

Referring to cases registered against him across the country, Khan said fervent “attempts are being made to disqualify me from politics,” in an interview with the UK broadcast on Thursday.

Khan said that “they are doing their best” to disqualify him ahead of the country’s general election, adding that “new cases are registered against him every other day”.

However, he claimed, “There is absolutely no case that can disqualify me.” In particular, Khan’s government was overthrown by a no-confidence vote in April last year.

Also, he was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Toshakhana reference on 21 October 2022.

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In August 2022, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, sent a reference to the ECP under Articles 62A, 63A and 223 requesting that the PTI chief be disqualified in light of the Toshakhana scam, reported The News International.

The 28-page reference identified 52 gift items from Toshakhana received by Khan, in violation of law and regulations, taken away at nominal prices and most of the gifts were sold in the market, including some precious watches.

The estimated value of the gifts has been estimated at over Rs 140 million. The gifts were received between August 2018 and December 2021.

Meanwhile, on October 11, the FIA ​​booked the PTI chairman in the banned financing case as the agency ramped up its investigation into the matter.

In the FIR, the federal agency alleged that the Abraaj Group transferred $2.1 million to the PTI account at a bank’s branch on Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad, The News International reported.

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On August 22, 2022, the ECP announced in a unanimous ruling that the PTI has received prohibited funding. The case was previously referred to as the “Foreign Financing” case, but later the Election Commission accepted the PTI’s plea to refer to it as the “Prohibited Financing” case.

The committee found that donations had been made from America, Australia, Canada and the UAE.

The PTI received money from 34 individuals and 351 companies, including corporations, the ECP ruling said.

In addition, the federal government had pushed the Supreme Court (SC) to initiate contempt proceedings against Imran Khan for violating his May 25 orders, The News International reported.

The ECP also conducted contempt proceedings against Khan and other PTI leaders. The election watchdog issued arrest warrants for Khan, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry and others for failing to appear before the committee on January 10.

Speaking of the deepening crisis, Imran Khan said the only way Pakistan can gain economic stability is through free and fair elections, The News International reported.

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“The damage is done. It will only get worse – the longer this government stays,” he added.

The PTI leader feared that Pakistan could face a Sri Lanka-like situation.

He believed that a government backed by a popular mandate could lead the country out of the economic crisis.

Khan said he “doesn’t feel safe,” adding that he would use bulletproof screens during the rallies to prevent further attacks, The News International reported.

In November last year, Khan was wounded after a man opened fire on him in Wazirabad near the party’s shelter camp, causing panic among nearby participants in the November 3 long march.

“There is no hiding,” he said, vowing to run for election before the upcoming general election.

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