‘They won’t allow Imran to be released at this moment,’ says Sheikh Rashid



ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Thursday claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan is unlikely to come out of imprisonment soon.

“They won’t allow PTI founder to be released at this moment,” Rashid said while speaking to the media at a district and sessions court in Islamabad.

The former federal minister’s remarks come as Khan, who has been serving various sentences and has been behind bars since August last year, might have a chance to be free if a district and sessions court rules in his favour in response to his plea seeking suspension of his sentence in iddat case today.

The former premier — who has previously secured relief in £190 million reference, cipher and Toshakhana cases — was handed down a seven-year sentence along with his wife Bushra Bibi in the said case after a trial court deemed their nikah fraudulent in February this year.

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has said that it will try to keep the PTI founder behind bars.

“Imran Khan’s main agenda is to destabilise the country and spread chaos and anarchy in the country that’s why the government will certainly try to keep him behind bars as long as possible,” the PM’s adviser said while programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ on Tuesday.

“Persistently he [Khan] has only one agenda — spread anarchy and mischief in the country, hence for the betterment of the country he [Imran Khan] should be kept behind bars,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the issue of the former PM’s release has also become a contentious issue amongst the PTI ranks as 21 of its lawmakers have hinted at forming a forward bloc over the party’s top leadership’s failure to secure his release along with other leaders.

“More than 27 PTI lawmakers held consultations after Shehryar Afridi’s statement about his resignation. Meanwhile, Shandana Gulzar Khan, Sher Afzal Marwat and several lawmakers also protested over the incompetence of the party’s top leadership,” the sources added.

Furthermore, expressing his views on the prevailing political landscape, Rashid claimed that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif will also change his narrative by the end of July.

The politico’s remarks come as earlier this weekthat the three-time former prime minister had in fact decided to play an active role in national politics.

Nawaz, the sources added, would hold more meetings with the party’s leaders and workers besides playing an active role in strengthening the prevailing political system.

Additionally, the AML chief also stressed that a middle ground needs to be carved out by negotiation with the army to send “this corrupt government” packing.