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People want Imran Khan to be kept in jail for five years for Pakistan's progress: Minister Ahsan Iqbal

Chaudhry said that it was clear that the government itself believed that it could only rule by the stick and had no standing among the people of Pakistan.
Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 10:03 IST

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Lahore: A Pakistani minister has claimed that the people in the country believe keeping Imran Khan imprisoned for five years till 2029 is necessary for economic stability.

Federal Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed concern that the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder's release could lead to renewed protests and unrest, which the country cannot afford.

“People come to us and tell us if Pakistan has to progress then Imran Khan will have to be kept in jail for five years,” Iqbal, the Secretary-General of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (N), said while talking to reporters on Saturday.

Khan has been in jail since August last year in different cases.

Iqbal said that Khan was an “angry man”.

He said the people felt it was necessary to keep him behind bars for the country's economic stability.

Iqbal said it was a decisive moment for both Pakistan and the PTI.

He argued that meaningful dialogue with the PTI cannot occur while the party simultaneously engage in campaigns against state institutions.

"If Imran Khan wants to hold dialogue with the government he will have to show seriousness,” he said and added Pakistan at the moment needed continuity of the government policies.

Fawad Chaudhry, a former Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the previous govt led by Khan, said that Iqbal has revealed his government’s political and economic strategy, which is keeping Khan in jail.

Chaudhry said that it was clear that the government itself believed that it could only rule by the stick and had no standing among the people of Pakistan.

Iqbal responded to Chaudhry’s statement on X, saying that it was not the government’s strategy but the voice of the people.

He added that Khan had ruled the country for four years but had nothing but soup kitchens to show for it.

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Published 16 June 2024, 10:03 IST

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