PTI will now take to the streets with preparations & planning: Imran Khan
Says since our govt was not removed due to corruption, people took to the streets instead of distributing sweets
PESHAWAR ( Web News )
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday said that all previous governments in Pakistan were removed because of corruption with the exception of the PTI-led one.
Speaking during a lawyers’ convention in Peshawar, Imran Khan said: “Since our government was not removed due to corruption, people took to the streets instead of distributing sweets.” He said that the current political milieu of the country was posing a real challenge for the judiciary as well as the lawyers in the country.
“I, therefore, want the lawyer’s community to support me as they and the judiciary as a whole play an important role in saving the country,” he said. During the speech, Imran Khan once again criticised the incumbent government and blamed it for conspiring with the United States to oust him.
The PTI chairman then went on to explain how US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu threatened the Pakistani ambassador to the US and detailed how, according to him, the PTI-led government was removed from power by the then opposition. “They [the then opposition] comprised bootlickers, that’s why the US wanted to bring them back to power.”
Praising this government’s performance, the ex-PM claimed that Pakistan performed better in the last two years in the economic sector as compared to the past. “The country grew economically by 5.6% in 2021 and 6% in 2022,” said Imran Khan, adding that the country achieved record tax collection targets during his tenure.
“India — which is a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) country — bought oil from Russia at lower prices and has reduced the petroleum prices in its country while our government increased the prices.”
Imran Khan said that Pakistan has been ruled by the military but two political families — Sharifs and Zardaris — monopolised the political area and remained in power for the last 62 years. “I ruled for three-and-a-half years and they started having issues with my government just because Pakistan wanted to maintain cordial relations with other countries but refused to fight their wars,” he said.
He then criticised the former government for allowing the United States to allow drone attacks in Pakistan. “We had no relation will 9/11. I will not give Pakistan’s bases to America,” said the former PM, adding that Pakistan neither wanted bad relations with any country nor did it want to become their slave.
Talking about the Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) incident, Imran Khan said that the current government was “cursed by Allah to the point that people, even when they were present at a holy place, couldn’t stop themselves from chanting slogans against these corrupt leaders.”
“What was our [PTI’s] fault if ordinary people chanted slogans against these people in Madinah?” the former premier questioned.
Imran Khan lambasted the PML-N and said that the Supreme Court had rightly called the Sharif family a “Sicilian Mafia”. “I have never seen anyone more filthy than this family,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif killed a record number of people between 1997-1998 in police encounters. “If these people stay in the government, the rule of law in the country will be destroyed,” said the PTI chairman.
Referring to the government’s decision to launch a crackdown against PTI workers during the “Azadi March” last week, Imran Khan said that the party has approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “Tomorrow, we will submit our case in the SC for a hearing,” he said. “I did not want chaos in the country. PTI will now take to the streets with preparations and planning,” he concluded.
Imran Khan said that if the Supreme Court does not provide his party “protection” from police action for the next round of their protest, he would opt for a different strategy wherein his supporters would be “prepared” to deal with the situation. The former prime minister said: “If they (SC) don’t give us protection, today I stand here in front of you and say that I will have another strategy.”
Under this strategy, Imran Khan said the PTI would make a plan for dealing with the obstacles. “[That] time round we weren’t prepared […] we were stuck unprepared. This time we will be prepared,” he said, declaring that this was a jihad for him. “I will not accept this imported government at any cost.”
During his speech, Imran Khan came down hard on the ruling coalition, reiterating that they were brought in through a “foreign conspiracy”. He also lambasted the government for the crackdown on the participants of the much hyped but short-lived Azadi March held on May 25.
“We have asked for a ruling from the SC over whether or not we have the democratic right to stage a peaceful protest? If this is a democracy […] under what basis were we stopped? How can they stop the chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan?” he asked.
He asserted that his party did not have a “history of violence”, pointing to the PTI’s 126-day sit-in in Islamabad in 2014. He said that he called of the sit-in on May 25 in an effort to avoid bloodshed.
Imran Khan said the brutality of the police had angered the people, adding that he feared that it would lead to violence and chaos. He said that it would also have developed hatred against the police as well as the army as Rangers had also fired tear gas shells. “I did not want my country to be divided and for our enemies to benefit,” he said.
Imran Khan asked the apex court to give a ruling providing an explanation why obstacles were placed to stop the PTI from holding the long march. He also questioned whether the SC would still allow such “undemocratic” moves when the PTI announces the date for its next march. “This kind of brutality doesn’t even happen in dictatorships,” he said.
During his speech, Imran Khan said that Pakistan was currently witnessing a “defining moment”, and called on the legal fraternity and the judiciary to play their role in saving the country. “I want you all to think of this as a jihad. This is a fight for our haqeeqi azadi (true freedom),” he said. He went on to say that future generations would not be forgiving if they did not raise their voice.
Imran also lamented that the law only applied to the country’s poor, pointing out how the indictment of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Sharif was being delayed.