PTI chief Imran Khan has accused the interior minister of trying to “cover up and preempt the horror stories” about to break in the media.
“If there were any doubts about women being mistreated in jails, this press conference from this certified criminal should remove all such doubts,” he said in a tweet on Sunday in reaction to the interior minister’s Saturday night press conference. “He is so obviously trying to cover up and preempt the horror stories about to break in the media.”
Khan claimed that women had never been so mistreated and harassed by the state as they have been by the ruling alliance when they were exercising their right to “protest peacefully”.
In a hurriedly called press conference late Saturday night, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed that the intelligence agencies had intercepted a telephonic conversation about a staged police attack on one of the PTI leaders, killing its occupants, and then put the blame on law enforcement agencies for the act.
The intended purpose of the orchestrated event was to generate controversy surrounding the legal actions taken after May 9 riots, Sanaullah alleged.
Most of PTI chief’s top aides were arrested shortly after protesters stormed and set ablaze a number of military installations across the country. Many have been released and shortly after announced their resignations from Khan’s party. Dozens of other mid-tier leaders have also left.
Khan claimed that they were being made to resign under duress in a bid to weaken him and dismantle his party. He distanced his party from the attacks on military installations during the unrest that followed his arrest and reiterated a call for an investigation to determine who was involved.
PTI members have said they were leaving of their own free will. Many of them cited concerns for their family and health.
A general election is scheduled to be held in November, and polls show Khan remains the country’s most popular leader.