LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday referred to his long march as a sea of people, saying he had been witnessing a revolution for the last six months, and wondered if it would take place through the ballot box or through bloodshed.
“The sea of people along our march on the GT Road... For 6 months, I have been witnessing a revolution taking over the country. “Only question is, will it be a soft one through the ballot box, or a destructive one through bloodshed,” he said in a tweet with images of the march, posted on his twitter account.
Imran Khan’s statement comes at a time when former PTI leader Faisal Vawda has already faced party’s action for having said that he feared violence as a result of long march. He again expressed his apprehensions on Monday. Ali Amin Gandapur is also in the news for his reported audiotape of talk with someone who assured him that some stuff (arms) was ready. Gandapur has also promised tit-for-tat response to the government if it used law enforcers to thwart the march.
In another tweet, he said, “Today the public reception and passion at Emanabad. Because of such passion all along the GT Road, we are moving at around 12 kilometres an hour. So those waiting to receive us please adjust accordingly. Tomorrow we will be going through Gujranwala city”.
Imran Khan addressed the participants in the long march in Kamoke, Mor Emanabad and Qila Chand Bypass on Monday. He said thieves and bandits were imposed on people. “It is a government of thieves and the rulers are facing corruption cases. They have also failed in stabilising the country’s economy and solving governance issues,” he added.
Addressing the party workers and supporters in Kamoke, Imran Khan once again criticised the establishment and said they should “not side with the thieves for God’s sake”. The PTI chairman added that those who stand with thieves would be equally responsible. “When Musharraf removed the two families [Sharifs and Bhuttos] for corruption, the whole nation stood with the establishment. But now, you have dry-cleaned them and imposed them on us again,” he said. The former PM said there was only one difference between society of animals and humans. “In society of animals, the powerful can do whatever they want, and the weak have no one to protect them.
“But in a human society, there is justice,” Imran claimed, adding that this was exactly the “revolution” Pakistan was seeing right now. He said the establishment never opposes the public, adding that when together, the military and the public strengthen the country.
Referring to the death of senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif, he prayed to Allah to save him from the death of a coward, and instead give him a death like that of Arshad Sharif.
About Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, the former prime minister alleged that the ECP’s chief was acting like a ‘servant’ of the Sharif family. He announced filing a Rs10 billion defamation suit against the chief election commissioner for nominating him in Toshakhana and foreign funding reference. “You [CEC] have raised questions on my dignity and honesty; that’s why, I am filing defamation case,” Imran Khan was quoted as saying. He said, “I will deposit the damages received from Sikandar Raja in the hospital accounts.”
Imran Khan claimed, “The imported government is trying to stop the coverage of PTI long march.”
He questioned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif what he had done for Pakistani people. He said people of Pakistan were not animals; they are humans. “I’m asking you politely; listen to the voice of people of Pakistan. Look where they are standing,” he said. “We do not want interference from anywhere,” he said adding that “our goal is only elections”. Speaking in Emanabad, Imran Khan said that it would take 8 to 9 days to reach Islamabad.
However, earlier, the PTI chairman had said the march would enter the federal capital on Nov 4. “Our convoys will leave from all over Pakistan for Islamabad. People are joining us from Sindh, Balochistan, and Gilgit-Baltistan,” Khan said. He also took a jibe at PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif and said the “fugitive is waiting for the environment of the country to be suitable for his return.”
“But I must tell the facilitator and handlers of Nawaz. This is the Pakistani nation. We are not sheep,” Khan said. “If you forcefully try to support thieves, the nation will turn against you.” Khan also addressed his workers while stopping at Chan Da Qila and said that he would be continuing his journey towards Gujranwala on Tuesday. “As soon as we pass through a city, Pakistanis will see that revolution is coming in the country. The entire nation is a witness that a peaceful revolution is taking place in Pakistan,” Khan said.
He told the attendees that in order to ensure the supremacy of law in the country, he needed support of the public. “We will only get true freedom once we can have a government of people’s choice,” he said, adding that as long as “thieves” continue to be imposed on people after seeking NROs, nothing could change.”This nation will never accept these thieves,” Khan said and added that once he would reach Gujranwala, he would spend an entire day with the pehalwans there. “Freedom is not served on a plate. You have to sacrifice for that,” he said, adding that whenever the country would need a sacrifice, he would be the first one to render it. As the marchers moved forward, Khan once again addressed them and said that he was not a mental slave to anyone.
Speaking about how he respected Pakistani culture, Khan said that whenever he goes abroad, he makes sure to wear shalwar-kameez instead of a suit because he doesn’t want to be a slave to the West.
“I am not a mental slave to anyone. The Americans have made them [coalition government leaders] slaves so that they could not make any decisions on their own.” He reiterated that real freedom implied freedom from external masters. The PTI chairman also said that he wants the Pakistani passport to be respected all over the world.
Reacting over ex-PM Imran Khan’s statements, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Monday Imran Khan, the foreign-funded “fitna”, had confessed to planning a bloody revolution. She said it was evident that from now onwards, election and power couldn’t be obtained by hurling abuses and brandishing guns. “Imran’s planned ‘bloodshed on the ballot’ is proof of bringing revolution through guns,” she added.
She said there has been no revolution over the last six months, but the people have seen corruption of Imran Khan including the foreign funding, Toshakhana robberies, Bushra Bibi’s diamond grabbing, compromise on country’s interests for grabbing land, and lethal campaigns against the martyrs.
She said Imran should have offered an extension to the army chief in March when he was in power to achieve the objective of elections. The minister said ‘container’ Khan would not get an election date and return to power through abuse and guns.
Also, PMLN Senator Muhammad Zubair said on Monday that Ali Amin Gandapur’s leaked audio had exposed PTI’s hidden agenda of long march. Talking to a private news channel, he said the PTI chief was misguiding the youth, while the PMLN believed in the rule of law and true democratic norms.
He said that Imran Khan should sit with the government unconditionally on matters of national interest instead of dictating government. The general elections would be held after the current assembly’s constitutional term would come to a conclusion, he said.
Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri said Imran Khan was hiding his poor performance and misdeeds behind his so-called long march. Addressing a press conference at Pakistan People’s Party Secretariat in Lahore, she said: “The PTI chairman is confused, and that is why he takes U-turns again and again.” She said it was for the first time that people were witnessing long march in phases.
Imran Khan had a misconception that he could oust a government through force, adding that the government could only be ousted through constitutional and democratic process, she added. She said alleged audio leak of Ali Ameen Gandapur had exposed ill intentions of Imran Khan. Shazia said Imran had never talked about his four-year performance, but believed in spreading negative propaganda.