Supporters of Imran Khan have formed a ‘bat force’ to protect the Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician from shoe-throwers, warning that anyone attempting to harm their leader would be thrashed with cricket bats.
A shoe was hurled at 65-year-old Khan, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that missed its target and instead landed on party leader Aleem Khan’s chest, during a public rally in Gujrat city in Punjab province on March 13.
Concerned over the shoe incident, PTI party workers have formed a ‘bat force’ that will thrash the shoe-throwers with cricket bats, Express News reported on March 21.
During Mr. Khan’s visit to Gujranwala, PTI workers and members came up with several strategies counter the threat in case there is another shoe attack, the report said. The PTI workers and supporters in Gujranwala have announced that they will protect Mr. Khan with bats in hand.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan addresses a rally at Gujranwala in Pakistan’s Punjab Province on March 21, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@ImranKhanPTI
The PTI youth will guard Mr. Khan and stay close to him during the visit. “Imran Khan is our guest, nothing will even remotely harm him,” the report quoted a party worker as saying.
Mr. Khan, who led Pakistan to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, is on a visit to Gujranwala where he will be visiting nine party camps and address workers ahead of the general elections in July.
The Gujrat incident was the second such attempt to attack Mr. Khan as a man was beaten up and handed over to police for allegedly trying to throw a shoe at the PTI chief at a rally he addressed in Faisalabad just two days before.
PTI central information secretary Fawad Chaudhry has alleged that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was “responsible for all these incidents as the ruling party is instigating its workers to commit such crimes”.