When will Imran Khan be able to walk again?

LAHORE – PTI’s long march lost its steam on November 3 when Imran Khan was wounded in a gun attack in the Punjab town of Wazirabad.–File photo

LAHORE – Amid the political chaos triggered by the regime change operation in Pakistan and the ensuing resistance movement launched by the ousted prime minister Imran Khan, chances are slim the South Asian nation will regain political stability anytime soon.

Those in control of power seem least interested in addressing the prevailing political uncertainty despite the fact the country is plunging into an unprecedented economic chaos and the threat of default on foreign loan repayments is looming large.

Against this backdrop, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or the Pakistan Justice Movement is currently on the roads, leading an anti-government rally to the federal capital Islamabad. PTI’s long march is aimed at forcing the rulers into calling early elections and handing over the power to a ‘genuinely elected’ government.

However, PTI’s long march or the Haqiqi Azadi March, as Khan calls it, lost its steam on November 3, when Khan was wounded in a gun attack in the Punjab town of Wazirabad. As Khan received three bullets to his right leg, he had to abandon the long march and shift to hospital immediately for surgery.

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Although Asad Umar, a senior leader and general secretary of the PTI, is currently leading his party’s long march to Islamabad, many in the Khan’s party are waiting for his recovery from the bullet wounds and return to active politics.

When will Khan be able to walk again and return to active politics? That’s the question and Khan himself addressed this question during a recent interview to an international broadcaster.

“Health-wise, when are you hoping to walk again?” the interview asked.
Khan answered, “Well, Mark, I had three bullets taken out from my right leg. The one that’s bothering me is the one that has cracked my shin bone. And so I really can’t put weight on my leg until that heals, which is about four weeks.”

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Touching another hot topic in the Pakistani politics, the interviewer asked Khan, “You accused the United States of colluding with Pakistan’s elite to topple you, but recently you said, ‘Well, no. I didn’t really mean that. And this is behind me.’ Is this because you had no evidence for what you say or even some of your foes are saying that you invented what they describe as a conspiracy theory?”

Responding to the interviewer, Khan said, “Well, Mark. No. 1. There’s a secret cypher, a conversation between our ambassador in Washington and the US Undersecretary of State Donald Lu. Now according to that cypher, Donald Lu is telling our ambassador that unless you remove Imran Khan as the prime minister, there will be consequence for Pakistan. And remove him in a vote of no-confidence. The next day vote of no-confidence is tabled and suddenly the government, which by the way was performing best economically in 17 years, …was toppled.

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“Now, what I actually said was ‘that’s behind me’. I should not, just because my government was toppled by the US, let that get in the way of what is in the interest of people of Pakistan. And the interest of the people of Pakistan is to have a good relationship with all countries, but specially the US, which is a Super Power.

“So that’s what exactly I said. I never backtracked on this because the cypher exists. It was put in front of the cabinet. It was put in front of the National Security Council. It is now with the chief justice where we wanted him to hold an independent inquiry. So, there was no question of backtracking on that. It was a question of moving on,” Khan concluded.

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