Pakistan’s Punjab government has approved the registration of more cases against jailed former prime minister Imran Khan and his party men for inciting hate against the state institutions, especially the powerful Pakistan Army.

The 71-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician has been in jail since August last year after being convicted in some of the nearly 200 cases slapped on him since his ouster in April 2022.

“The Punjab Cabinet of Maryam Nawaz has approved legal action against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) founder leader Imran Khan and his other party leaders for building a hate narrative against the state institutions,” Punjab Information Minister Azma Bokhari told a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Friday evening.

The minister said Khan is trying to become Mujeebur Rehman (of Bangladesh). Mujeebur Rehman had successfully led the Bangladeshi independence movement against Pakistan. He became the first prime minister of Bangladesh in 1971.

Bokhari said those who meet Khan in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi also follow him in spreading hate against the institutions.

Earlier this month, in an article in The Telegraph newspaper, Khan alleged that the military establishment, under the direct guidance of Gen Asim Munir, the chief of army staff, has tried every tactic to decimate his party’s presence from the political environment of Pakistan but failed.

The oppression, torture and denial of our election symbol have been extensively documented, but nothing has worked for the military and the powerless civilian leadership acting as its puppets. Pakistan’s general elections on February 8 2024, showed the utter failure of their design.

“With no single electoral symbol in a country where the vast majority of voters are guided by a party symbol, the people came out and voted overwhelmingly for candidates supported by my party, the PTI, despite standing as ‘independents’ with a host of diverse symbols,” he wrote.

Khan further said this democratic revenge by the people of Pakistan against the agenda of the military establishment not only was a national defiance by the people but also a complete rejection of the official state narrative of May 9 2023, when PTI supporters were falsely accused – as a pretext for a crackdown – of attacking military installations.

“Instead of accepting the people’s mandate, the military establishment went into a fit of rage and electoral results were manipulated to bring into power the losers. The constitutional functioning of state institutions must be restored, the military establishment has done all they could against me. All that is left for them is to now murder me,” Khan stated.

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