Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan says country’s democracy at ‘an all-time low’


Imran Khan has claimed democracy in Pakistan is at “an all-time low” in an exclusive interview with Sky News.

The former prime minister said – in his first interview since being bailed – that the government is “petrified of elections” and they fear being “wiped out” by his party at the polls.

He continued: “So they have decided that the only way they will allow elections is if I am inside jail or killed.

“There have been two attempts on me,” he added. Mr Khan said his house was raided when he was away.

Mr Khan condemned “all violence” when asked about alleged violence by protesters.

“Democracy is at an all-time low. The only hope we have is the judiciary.”

It comes after he was arrested earlier this week on corruption charges, then released on bail on Friday following a ruling from Pakistan’s High Court.

His detention sparked countrywide violence that left at least 10 people dead and dozens injured.

On Friday, he said: “The first time they showed me an arrest warrant was inside the jail. It happens in the law of the jungle, the military abducted me. Where were the police? Where is the law? It’s the law of the jungle. It seems there is martial law declared here.”

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif criticised his release on Friday, saying there was a “genuine corruption case” against Mr Khan, “but the judiciary has become a stone wall protecting him”.

Mr Khan, 70, a popular opposition leader, was prime minister between 2018 and 2022.

Read more:
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Former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is arrested in Islamabad – video
Pakistan’s information minister defends arrest of Imran Khan

Pakistan’s information minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb, defended the former professional cricketer’s arrest.

She told Sky News: “A person who has defied court, who does not abide by the law, who avoid courts and who thinks he’s untouchable and cannot be questioned, has to be treated the way every citizen is treated.”

She rejected claims that there were political motives behind the arrest, as Mr Khan surfs a wave of popularity following an assassination attempt.

“If we wanted to arrest him or silence him because of his popularity, we would not have waited 14 months,” she said.

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