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Imran Khan: I’m like Mandela and Gandhi – it’s only a matter of time until they jail me again

Exclusive: Former Pakistan prime minister tells Maroosha Muzaffar that like great leaders of the past, he entered politics ‘for a mission’ – and that his party will be unstoppable if the next election goes ahead as planned

Monday 03 July 2023 17:51 BST
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<p>Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a news conference at his home, in Lahore, Pakistan, 18 May 2023 </p>

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a news conference at his home, in Lahore, Pakistan, 18 May 2023

Imran Khan insists he and his party are still capable of returning to power in Pakistan’s next elections despite the mounting criminal charges against them – comparing himself to embattled leaders from history like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.

The former prime minister was speaking to The Independent about the political crisis that has gripped Pakistan since his dramatic arrest from within the premises of the Islamabad High Court, which saw his supporters launch massive protests across the country that included unprecedented displays of anger against facilities associated with the country’s all-powerful military.

The government and military have responded with a crackdown against Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party that has seen thousands of its workers arrested and Khan’s own residence besieged by police, while some of his most senior aides and former ministers have quit the party under pressure from the authorities, facing the threat of arrests and jail time.

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