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Imran acknowledges sanctioning ‘1971 tweet’, not video

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday owned a controversial tweet that compared the current political situation to the fall of Dhaka but distanced himself from an accompanying video posted on his X account, insisting that he couldn’t comment on the video as he didn’t know about its contents.

The post in question, shared on Mr Khan’s X account on May 26, included a montage with a quote attributed to Mr Khan urging the nation to “study the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report” and understand “who was the true traitor, Gen Yahya Khan or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”.

Speaking to journalists on Friday after attending a session at the accountability court at Adiala Jail, where the former premier faces a £190 million corruption charge, Mr Khan expressed regret over his past references to Mr Mujeeb, admitting he hadn’t read the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report at that time.

Mr Khan said the report had highlighted two objectives, suggesting measures that such mistakes could not be repeated and fixing responsibility for the fall of Dhaka, adding that the commission held Gen Yahya responsible for doing all this to regain power.

He said the same thing was being repeated in the country and as a result the economy was at the verge of collapse. He claimed that amendments to the accountability law introduced by the PDM government caused Rs1,100 billion loss to the national exchequer and such a loss couldn’t be afforded by a country already “on its knees”.

Citing his acquittal in the cipher case, Mr Khan said the FIA should apologise for implicating him in a false case.

Asked whether he would hold talks with political parties since the Supreme Court also suggested he do so, Mr Khan replied in the negative and said that he would prefer to negotiate with the real power holders instead of “proxies”.

A journalist questioned Mr Khan about his previous criticism of PML-N President Nawaz Sharif’s references to Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman and the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report, to which Mr Khan responded that “at that time I had not read Hamoodur Rahman Commission report. Now I have read this report”.

In response to a question about the controversial video on his X account, Mr Khan wondered how he could post a video while being in jail. He said that since he did not watch the video, he could not comment on it.

FIA questions Imran

Meanwhile, an FIA team also questioned Mr Khan on Friday in connection with the ongoing inquiry on the X post in presence of his lawyers.

Mr Khan was confronted with the X post and the video, sources said, adding that the FIA team put 16 questions to Mr Khan. Earlier, Mr Khan said he would cooperate with the FIA inquiry only in the presence of his lawyers.

Earlier, during the hearing of the £190m corruption case, Mr Khan’s counsel raised objection on Accountability Judge Mohammad Ali Warraich, who has been given additional charge of the court after the term of Judge Nasir Javed Rana was expired.

The judge issued notices to the prosecution and the law ministry and adjourned the hearing until June 11.

Omar flays FIA

Meanwhile PTI leader Omar Ayub, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, flayed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for serving him a call-up notice in Mr Khan’s controversial tweet case and called the FIA head a “blockhead” person.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly on Friday, Mr Ayub wondered whether the FIA director general was a government servant or a servant of the rulers and demanded the National Assembly summon the FIA’s director general to question his jurisdiction.

He claimed that jailed PTI leaders like Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi; Yasmin Rashid; and Aliya Hamza were subjected to human rights violations and had no basic facility in the jail.

These women leaders were sent to jail in separate cases. Bushra Bibi is facing multiple cases, while the other two PTI leaders were sent behind bars in the May 9 riots case.

Another PTI leader, Ali Muhammed Khan, gave his remarks about the jailed party founder and said the nation was being humiliated by sending its leader behind bars.