Former PM Imran Khan’s security beefed up after “assassination plot” claims

TNN Bureau. Updated: 5/16/2022 4:44:07 PM Business and Economy

The Pakistan government on Monday beefed up security for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, two days after he claimed that there was a plot to assassinate him, according to a media report.

Khan claimed on Saturday that a “conspiracy” to assassinate him was being hatched in Pakistan and abroad, warning that if anything happens to him, the people will come to know about the perpetrators through a video message he has recently recorded and placed in a safe place.

“A conspiracy is afoot to take my life. I got full knowledge of this conspiracy a few days ago. The conspiracy is being hatched here and abroad against me in closed rooms. I have recorded a video about this conspiracy, naming all those involved in it. If something happens to me then the people will come to know who were behind this conspiracy,” Khan had said during a rally in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held two threat assessment meetings with Interior Ministry officials on Monday, following which it was decided to upgrade Khan’s security, the Geo TV reported.

At Khan’s residence in Bani Gala, 94 security officers will be deployed, of which, 22 men will be from the Islamabad police and 72 from the Frontier Constabulary, the report said, quoting the spokesperson of the interior ministry.

In addition, 26 officers from the security service and nine military personnel will also be made available, it said.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police has deployed 26 cops and Gilgit-Baltistan has also sent six men for the former prime minister’s protective detail, the report stated.

A chief security officer will be provided to Khan, the spokesperson of the interior ministry said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz has also directed the provincial governments to ensure the former premier has adequate security when he is holding political rallies across the country, the report said.

When Imran Khan is on the move, four police vehicles will accompany him with 23 police personnel, as well as a vehicle with five Rangers personnel.

The interior ministry spokesperson added that if there is a specific threat to the former prime minister more security will be made available, the Geo TV report added.

Khan, the 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician, was voted out of power last month through a no-confidence motion.

After his ouster, Khan has held several public rallies in different cities, labelling the new government headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz as “traitors and corrupt rulers” allegedly imposed at the behest of the US.

He has blamed the US for conspiring against his government – an allegation the US and the incumbent government here have refuted.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday had vowed that if Khan showed proof of the alleged “assassination plot,” the Pakistan government would offer him more security cover than what is being currently provided to Prime Minister.

Khan has already announced a long march in Islamabad. He said the date of the march would be made public after May 20.

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