Imran Khan said on Friday that he would remain “quiet” because he did not want to “damage” the country and its institutions, a day after the ISI chief said he had made a “beneficial offer” to former prime minister of Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed. Bajwa in return for supporting his government during the political turmoil in March this year.
Addressing his party’s supporters at Lahore’s famous Liberty Chowk after starting a march towards Islamabad demanding early elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief said that it was not meant to be the politics or personal interests of his march but to get the real freedom and ensure all the decisions. in Pakistan and not in London or Washington.
“My only goal is to liberate my country and make Pakistan a free country,” Khan said, standing on a container.
Khan dismissed the allegations by ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum in an unprecedented press conference on Thursday, saying it was biased and “talked about Iman Khan” and he did not utter a single word against the “thieves” in the government.
“DG ISI, listen carefully, what I know, I am silent for my institution and the country. I don’t want to destroy my country,” the PTI chief said as the crowd cheered.
“Our criticism is for constructive purposes and for your improvement. I can say more but not to say that it will hurt the institution,” he said.
Lt Gen Anjum on Thursday said army chief General Bajwa was given a “beneficial offer” by the then government amid political unrest in March. General Bajwa is due to retire next month after an extension of 3 years.
The unprecedented press conference by the spy chief came as the army battled different versions of the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya and indirectly accused the army of mitam. – the country is at war. Sharif was shot dead at a checkpoint an hour from Nairobi on Sunday night, causing a storm in the country.
Kenyan police later said it was a case of “false identification” during a search of a similar car involved in a child abduction case.
Addressing his supporters, Khan said that, unlike Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, “he is not a defector who will sit quietly here or criticize the military in London.” .
“I will not leave this country, I will live and die in this country,” the PTI chief said.
“If the officials and promoters of the thieves in this imported government think that we (the government) should accept them, then listen that this country will sacrifice everything but these thieves will never accept it,” he said.
Khan also promised that the march would be peaceful. “Our journey is according to the law, we will not break the law. We will not enter the Red Zone (high security) but only in the areas designated by the Supreme Court for demonstrations,” he said.
He also said that the Supreme Court failed to protect the constitutional rights of his supporters during the May 25 protest, but he hoped that “this time our rights will be protected”.
Khan, 70, plans to arrive in Islamabad on November 4 and has sought official permission from the government to allow his party to hold protests. His party called the protest as ‘Diabe Haqiqi Azadi’ or protest for the freedom of the country.
It is not clear whether he will return after the rally or turn it into a sit-in in the pattern of his 2014 protest when his followers sat in for 126 days. in front of the parliament building.
The government rejected the march and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the country refused to accept “foreign” activists and rejected the “bloody march”.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah during a press conference attended by officials of the Federal Investigation Agency in Islamabad, said that he was trying to “threaten” the government and institutions. Khan to “get an election date” but failed in this regard.
The minister said that after the PTI chief’s strategy failed, he has now embarked on a long march.
“He gave many speeches and used the word ‘neutral’. But when all that failed, he had no choice but to try something else,” Sanaullah said.
He warned that “strict measures will be taken if they try to break the law and create order and security in the capital.” prevent them from exercising their democratic rights.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said Khan considers himself “above the law and the constitution” while accusing the PTI chief of feeding people lies.
Rehman said Imran was a “fascist” who considered himself a “king”. “That’s why it drives people to violence,” he added.
PTI Secretary General Asad Umar told the media in Lahore that the protest will be peaceful. He said that the party decided to dedicate the march to kill journalist Sharif.
The country has been fighting over different versions of the killing of journalist Sharif in Kenya and indirect accusations against the armed forces.
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said the PTI’s long march had only one agenda — fresh elections.
PTI leaders told Dawn News that the people of Pakistan wanted fresh elections. “Hundreds and thousands of people came out. This is the struggle for true freedom,” he said.
He told the “managers” of the current government that they are facing a “flood of people” that no one can resist.
“Listen carefully to their managers. This is a flood of people and no one can resist it,” he said while addressing the protesters as his march reached Ichhra in Lahore.
During a brief stop at Ichhra in Lahore, Khan delivered another fiery speech, this time targeting the government.
“They steal money, go abroad, come back after getting NRO and then come back [to power] again,” Khan said from his seat as Shah Mahmood Qureshi stood behind him.
“What do they think of us? But we are bher bakriyan (fools)? Those who stole billions from our country and lived in a palace in London became prime ministers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has ordered TV channels not to broadcast TV programs and other content, especially when covering PTI leaders’ speeches and marches.
Pemra said while monitoring the broadcast on Friday, it was noted during a speech that “a statement against the institution was published live” which violates the code of conduct and the court order.
It directed television stations not to “broadcast content that [is] equal to defamation/defamation of the institution (either implicitly or unintentionally) and recalling the editorial board, its directors (news and programs), the board and the editors newspaper in the field to follow these instructions.
Legal action, leading to license suspension and cancellation, will be initiated in case of non-compliance, Pemra warned.
Khan demanded early elections and threatened a protest march to Islamabad to press his demands if the government did not give an election date. The National Assembly’s term will end in August 2023 and new elections should be held within 60 days.
Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, spoke of the ‘threatening letter’ from the US and said it was part of a conspiracy by it is outside to remove him because he is unacceptable. pursue an independent foreign policy. The United States categorically denies these allegations.
(Other than the headline, this story was not published by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)