Reports have surfaced in Pakistan that the PTI is enlisting help from foreign ambassadors in Islamabad to get Imran Khan out of jail, with one TV channel claiming that Khan could be coaxed into leaving the country.
If the PTI chairman leaves Pakistan, it would offer a level playing field to all the political parties because PMLN’s Nawaz Sharif is facing legal hurdles in his return to the country, Geo News claimed.
The claims about Khan’s possible exile came shortly after reports emerged that the PTI had approached ambassadors in Islamabad on Khan’s incarceration.
Former Balochistan governor Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch confirmed on Friday that the PTI had reached out to foreign envoys in Islamabad.
Speaking on Aaj News show Rubaroo, Baloch said the move was a violation of the party’s own slogans about ‘haqeeqi azadi’.
He also questioned how the Pakistani state could be pressured into releasing Khan by foreign governments.
Baloch, however, confirmed that there was a high risk of Khan being tried in military courts.
The former governor was responding to the reports that PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi had held a breakfast meeting with US Ambassador Donald Blome at the residence of the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
The meeting was also attended by High Commissioner of United Kingdom to Pakistan Jane Marriott, Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan Leslie Scanlon, EU Ambassador to Pakistan Riina Kionka, Norwegian Ambassador to Pakistan Per Albert Iisaas and Indonesian Ambassador Adam Tugio, reported English daily The Nation.
Senator Ali Zafar also accompanied Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the meeting, the daily said citing sources.
The discussion focused on the shabby conditions Khan faced in Attock jail where he is being held since his arrest on August 5.
A new case registered against Khan over the leak of a diplomatic cypher was also discussed at the meeting, it said.
The report did not specifiy if the meeting discussed Khan’s possible exile but Geo News reported that the government had reiterated its offer to the PTI chief. It did not say when the first offer was made.
It said the offer is part of a strategy that would allow all the political parties including PMLN, PPP and PTI to enjoy a level playing field. Top leaders from the three parties will not participate in the elections, the TV said.