MIANWALI: Former prime minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Friday that he would give a call for the long march on Islamabad any day after May 20.
"The sea of people coming to Islamabad will be the biggest public gathering in the history of the capital," he claimed during a public gathering in Mianwali, the first power show out of the six rallies scheduled to be held in major cities of the country.
"I am announcing our real freedom movement from Mianwali today... I am preparing my nation... when I will give you a call to come to Islamabad, you will come," he told the charged crowd. The ousted premier said when no one voted for him, only the people of Mianwali elected and sent him to the National Assembly. "I will never forget this and will never forget you."
Imran went on to say that the "murderer" of 18 people Rana Sanaullah and cherry blossom — a term he uses for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — will not be able to stop the people from coming to Islamabad. "The US conspired with local Mir Jaffars and removed the government which saved Pakistan from bankruptcy... these people had been looting the country for the past 30 years.... I say to him that he is a slave, we're not," he added.
The PTI chief said, "We're the followers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and we don't bow to any superpower. My entire nation stands on one point today that we will be friends with everyone but will not be slaves of anyone."
Reiterating his earlier stance about the alleged US "conspiracy" for the removal of his government, the former prime minister said that the US told our ambassador that if Imran Khan was not removed from power, there will be consequences and if he was removed, then all would be forgiven. "We don't need any forgiveness of the US. A great nation will never accept these thieves who are ruling us," he added.
He criticised the FIR registered against PTI leaders for the unruly incident in Madina, saying that wherever the members of the government go in the world, they will hear words such as "traitors" and "thieves".
While talking about his former aide who met with an accident on M-2, Imran said, "This mafia attacked Shahbaz Gill yesterday... Rana Sanaullah committed 18 murders and Shehbaz Sharif has killed many more during police encounters... if something happens to anyone from the PTI, we will hold you and your handlers responsible."
The PTI chief also questioned if the courts could be opened at 12 midnight then why can't these thieves be disqualified. "My last message to the nation is that this is a decisive moment. Will you follow God's command of truth and justice or will you stand by the thieves," he asked.
Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said he does not want to come to power until he gets a truly overwhelming majority in the parliament after the general election. "When you form a government with a better majority, you can change the law. I have learned in three and a half years that I do not want to come to power until I get a truly overwhelming majority. Our hands were tied and we could not legislate in the Senate,” he said during a podcast.
Replying to questions and expressing his views on diverse issues during the podcast, he conceded that his coalition government could not make legislation because of not having the required majority and reiterated to form the next government only after getting a clear majority in elections.He also promised not to award tickets to those who come to power for financial gains and benefit from the system, which sided with the powerful. “There are people sitting in our institutions who support the corrupt. We will not award tickets to such people even if we lose the election,” he asserted. The PTI chief noted, “Our system has been evolved in such a way that money matters and even in Senate elections when Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son was caught giving away money, he got off scot-free,” he added.
Imran said that he would take the oath before awarding tickets to candidates that they would not run their businesses. "If they want to do business, then it is better not to come to power. If you want to come to power only to make money, then never hope that I will get your illegalities legitimised,” he remarked.
He claimed to have learned it in July last year that the PMLN had planned to topple his government and said what they did now was their old plan. He claimed a foreign conspiracy was executed with the support of local Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq to bring down an elected government. "The US wanted me to cancel my visit to Russia, not to trade with it and to limit our relations with China. They also asked for bases to keep an eye on Afghanistan and they felt that when I was in power they would not be able to use Pakistan like tissue paper. They also overthrew the government of former Iran Prime Minister Mosaddegh in the same way," he added.
However, he noted that he was happy to say that he had never seen the Pakistani nation coming together in this way. "The nation took to the streets, record public meetings were held, people were angrier at the imposition of corrupt people than the overthrow of the government through intervention. Courts have not yet taken any action against those who sold themselves,” he added. He said some people had taken control of the mainstream media but the common people were becoming more and more aware through social media. "My experience of 26 years says that when I will call for a real freedom march on Islamabad, a record number people will take to the streets,” he added.
To a question about his relationship with the establishment, Imran Khan said it was said that the situation worsened as he wanted to make General Faiz Hameed the next Army Chief. He said he had never thought of bringing his favourite army chief. “I wanted to strengthen the army. I can't even think of anything else but merit on the matter of the Army Chief. I never took any decision without merit. I wanted the police to be strong. I wanted to see the judiciary strong. I never interfered in the affairs of the army or the judiciary,” he claimed.
Imran Khan said the problem of Nawaz Sharif was that he wanted to control the army and turn it into the Punjab Police, whereas he (Imran) had no dispute with the army because he never intervened, nor did he ever think that he should bring his favourite army chief. However, he noted that his only problem was that the last summer when he found out that there was a danger of civil war in Afghanistan, he was afraid that when the Americans would leave, if there was a civil war in Afghanistan, its effects would be felt in Pakistan. “The effects were still there, many of our soldiers were martyred after Afghanistan became independent. I wanted our ISI chief to be there in our most difficult time in winter,” he conceded.
The PTI chairman said, “Secondly, I came to know from July last year that the PMLN has completed a plan to overthrow my government. What they have done now is that they had been planning for a long time. That is why I did not want our intelligence chief to change until this winter, because the intelligence chief is the eyes and ears of the government. When the most difficult time comes, you do not change your intelligence chief, but an impression was created that I wanted to appoint General Faiz the Army Chief, it was never in my mind”.
To a question about PTI leaders Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan, he said both had a big role in the party. “They joined the party after the 2011 meeting, but it is a pity that they did not pursue my goal and today they stand with people against whom I raised my voice,” he added. He said that Aleem Khan had expected him to legalise his land. “Aleem Khan wanted me to legalise the purchase of 300 acres of land in the Ravi. From there, our relations started souring. His name also appeared in the Pandora Papers. I think he expected me to come to the government and do what Nawaz Sharif and Zardari have been doing,” he noted.
About Jahangir Tareen, Imran said that his problem was a sugar crisis on which a commission was formed. “Jahangir Tareen stood with those who are the biggest robbers in the country,” he added. "The FIA had seized Rs16 billion in the name of Shehbaz Sharif’s servants but the NAB and the judiciary are independent institutions. So, we could not do anything and that is why we could not punish him in our three and a half years of government,” he added. He noted sometimes Shehbaz Sharif had back pain, sometimes the court bench would break and the justice system could not punish him. “Nations face their downfall when small thieves are caught while the big ones are set free,” he lamented.
Imran also pointed out that 95pc of the cases in the NAB were before his government had come to power but in the three and a half years they could not catch them. “We have to try to put public pressure on the institutions to catch these criminals but they have been give an NRO II,” he maintained. He said there were cartels of cement, sugar and oil marketing companies and 800 stay orders were granted to eight competing companies for 11 years and Rs250 billion were stuck. “If you bring any system of the world and put the Sharifs and Zardari on top of it, then the system will become corrupt. If you somehow make Nawaz Sharif the Prime Minister of the UK, then in 10 years the UK would be in debt and seeking loan from Pakistan,” he claimed.
He said that our institutions said they were neutral but Allah has not allowed anyone to become neutral and if you are neutral, then you are supporting falsehood. Referring to the Election Commission of Pakistan, he alleged that there was a no more biased person than the present Chief Election Commissioner in the history of Pakistan.
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