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Imran Khan defends protests in cantt areas, disowns vandalism



Lahore Corps Commander House (or Jinnah House), which was set afire by supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan during a protest against his arrest, in Lahore, on May 9, 2023. — Reuters
  • PTI chairman reiterates non-involvement in May 9 incidents. 
  • Khan rejects allegations, says protesters were acting on their own.
  • Ex-PM says “everything that happened that day was conspiracy.”

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan defended his supporters’ protests inside the cantonment areas when he appeared before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing the May 9 violent incidents on Friday.

Sources said that the former premier was interrogated by a six-member panel comprising a DIG, SSP and four SPs for an hour at the DIG Investigation headquarters for his alleged role in the attacks on the Corps Commander House (Jinnah House) and other military installations in the city.

“We will ask you only professional questions,” JIT members reportedly told Khan.

When asked whether the May 9 events were planned or just a coincidence, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief said it was a conspiracy against him and his party.

“I have got nothing to do with it, it was planned elsewhere,” he said.

He was also asked why the PTI supporters protested inside cantonment areas, to which he said, “people were bound to go there because I was arrested by a commander.”

“There is evidence that you provoked them and gave orders,” JIT asked.

The PTI chairman, according to the sources, rejected the allegation and maintained that protesters were acting on their own and went to those places voluntarily.

“Everything that happened that day was a conspiracy,” the PTI chief said, according to the sources aware of the details.

The JIT also showed various videos and pictures to the PTI chief related to the May 9 mayhem.

The sources said that Imran Khan denied knowing any of the protestors in those visuals and said, “they are not my people”.

Khan also warned the JIT members of consequences for actions taken against his party, sources said Saturday.

“I will make a comeback and you will have to answer for all your actions,” he said to the JIT members in a threatening tone.

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