Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who faces over 100 cases across the country, has accused the state government of trying to dismantle his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, by "forced divorces".
Imran Khan said the government, on the pretext of May 9 violence and arson, is trying to dismantle the party by "forced divorces" and by trying PTI members in military courts.
"This is not dismantling PTI but our democracy, our freedom," Khan said.
The statement assumes significance as some of his aides and other top leaders have quit the party, condemning the violence unleashed by Imran Khan's supporters following his dramatic arrest on May 9.
For the first time in Pakistan's history, the protesters stormed the army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and also torched a corps commander's house in Lahore. The PTI later condemned the violent protests. But, Fawad Chaudhry, Dr Shireen Mazari, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Amir Kayani, Jai Prakash, Aftab Siddiqui and Sanjay Gangwani, among many others, left Imran Khan's party.
Now the government crackdown against the PTI is in full force and many more party leaders are likely to part ways with Imran Khan. According to Khan, over 10,000 PTI workers and supporters are in jail and are facing custodial torture. But he remains defiant.
In a tweet on Thursday, the PTI chief said, "Last year on the 25th of May commenced our descent into fascism. While three long marches by PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] during the 3.5 years of PTI government were allowed without any hindrance, we faced the full force of state terror. Houses broken in the middle of the night and PTI office bearers and workers kidnapped. And then whoever got to Islamabad faced tear gas, rubber bullets and police brutality."
He said, "Some of us thought it was one off but that was just the beginning. Today the largest and the only Federal party is facing the full fury of state power without any accountability. Over 10,000 PTI workers and supporters in jail including senior leadership and some facing custodial torture."
Imran Khan ended his tweet with a warning to the government. He said, "The attempts to enslave us will fail as we have a politically aware young population who, despite media being muzzled, gets its information from social media."