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Islamabad: Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan drew a parallel between the political developments in Pakistan now and the circumstances leading to the 1971 Dhaka tragedy, warning that the present situation in the cash-strapped country could result in economic collapse.

The Dawn newspaper reported that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding chairman in a message from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail reminded the current dispensation that “countries and institutions could not survive without a stable economy”.

PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan relayed Khan’s message to the media during a press conference after the party’s legal team met the 71-year-old cricketer-turned-politician in jail on Wednesday, the day Eid was celebrated in Pakistan.

Barrister Raja told the media that Khan looked determined, though worried for the country and its people.

Raja, who narrated Khan’s message, said, “When you don’t give rights to the people, you cannot say the economy will grow.”

“In 1970, army chief Yahya Khan wanted a hung Parliament, but when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s party got a clear majority, the army held a fraud by-election in which 80 seats of Awami League were snatched as Yahya Khan wanted to become president,” he said, referring to the political developments in the then East



Pakistan.

“I want to remind the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report that we are again going to repeat the same blunders which we made in the past. In 1970, there was the London Plan and today again a government has been imposed through the London Plan,” Raja quoted Khan as saying.

Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have repeatedly said that the outcome of the February 8 general elections was rigged and that the powerful Pakistan Army favoured the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to assume power.

Though PTI-backed independent candidates won more seats in the National Assembly, a post-poll alliance between PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party allowed them to form a government under the leadership of PML-N party president Shehbaz Sharif.

Khan has also claimed that the mandate of the PTI had been stolen and “efforts were being made to take over the party”.

Since falling out with the powerful military, Khan’s party has been facing a crackdown. The party faced pressure in the form of arrests and dese­rtions in the wake of the May 9 viol­ence that broke out after Khan’s arrest last year.

Since his removal from power in a no-confidence motion in April 2022, the cricketer-turned-politician has been convicted in at least four cases.




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