Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan responded to being placed on the no-fly list by criticizing the leaders of the ruling coalition and stating that he has no intention of traveling overseas. Khan, along with his wife and other leaders of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was reportedly barred from leaving the country. Khan expressed gratitude for being added to the Exit Control List (ECL) since he neither possesses properties nor businesses abroad. He further mentioned that if he were to go on a holiday, he would choose the northern mountains of Pakistan as his preferred destination.
I want to thank the government for putting my name on the ECL as I have no plans to travel abroad, because I neither have any properties or businesses abroad nor even a bank account outside the country.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 26, 2023
If and when I do get an opportunity for a holiday, it will be in our…
The ECL is maintained by the interior ministry and is used to restrict individuals from leaving the country due to pending court cases or other reasons.
The Pakistan government added the names of 80 individuals, including Imran Khan and his wife, to the no-fly list. This decision comes as top leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), such as Nawaz Sharif, face accusations of accumulating significant wealth abroad. Sharif had previously been sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment in a corruption case related to the Panama Papers scandal. During the trial, the National Accountability Bureau presented witnesses to demonstrate the alleged improper money trail used to purchase properties in London.
Imran Khan and other PTI leaders are currently facing cases related to violence that erupted following Khan's arrest on May 9 in a corruption case. The PTI chief's arrest led to protests, during which military installations, including the Army headquarters, were vandalized. Several individuals were killed in the clashes, and Khan's party members were subsequently arrested. The Defence Minister of Pakistan expressed that the government was considering a potential ban on the PTI party due to the violent actions carried out by its supporters.
Recent reports suggested that Imran Khan may seek political asylum in the United States. A minister from the Pakistan Peoples Party claimed that Khan would soon apply for political asylum in America. The PTI party has faced significant repercussions from the government and military after the violent protests that followed Khan's arrest.
According to the reports by The News, in response to the situation, Asad Umar, a close aide of Imran Khan, resigned from his positions within the party, citing the ongoing circumstances. Additionally, several PTI leaders and lawmakers publicly condemned the attacks on state installations and announced their departure from the party.
The federal government is contemplating a ban on the PTI party following evidence of orchestrated attacks on public properties and military installations by its supporters. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif expressed that those involved in attacks on military installations would be tried in military courts, while those charged with attacks on civilian targets would face prosecution under civilian laws.
Imran Khan was removed from power through a no-confidence vote in April of the previous year. He alleged that his removal was part of a conspiracy orchestrated by the United States due to his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.