DAGGAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday alleged that the ruling alliance's move to register a treason case against him and other party leaders was aimed at removing him from their way to continue their corrupt rule.
According to official sources, top federal government officials deliberated over going ahead with filing treason charges against Khan and the chief ministers of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, respectively, over PTI's May 25 Azadi March during a special committee meeting of the cabinet.
"Can Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif file treason cases against me? All of their properties are in foreign countries," the PTI chairman said, claiming that Zardari had sought the United States' help against the Pakistan Army.
"And can Nawaz Sharif — who has bought four properties worth billions in London — decide whether I am a traitor?" Khan said, adding: "The only reason the government is against me is that they know once I am out of the way, it makes it easier for them to siphon the country's money to foreign countries."
The PTI chairman claimed the coalition government — which he maintains was formed with the help of a US-backed conspiracy — knows that the people were still backing him, therefore, they have now decided to file a sedition case. He said India and Israel were also a part of the conspiracy hatched by the US for the ouster of his government after he didn't bow to their pressure.
"A conspiracy was hatched against the PTI government as it was pursuing an independent policy in the best interest of the country. The Sharifs and Zardari joined the foreign orchestrated conspiracy to oust our government in an effort to protect their offshore wealth," he told a public gathering in Daggar, the headquarters of Buner district.
He added that he has "neither broken the law", "nor have any of his actions been against the law". He stressed that his 126-day sit-in in Islamabad was "peaceful". "I never want to break the law and do not want to spread anarchy [...] we never wanted to get into clashes with the army, Rangers, or police," the ousted premier said.
Khan also took the government to task for the back-to-back increase in the price of electricity and petroleum products, saying it has "dropped an atom bomb of inflation on the nation". The ousted prime minister said during his 3.5 years in government, the petrol prices were hiked by Rs56, but during the present government's "60 days in power", it has gone by Rs60.
The PTI chairman said his government increased electricity per unit by Rs6 and the present government has hiked it by Rs10 in just two months. Khan said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had pressurised the PTI government as well to increase the price of power and petroleum products, but there was a difference between him and the present government — "all their" leaders reside out of the country.
Khan said that the present government leaders do not have "any stake" in Pakistan adding that it was the reason why they were accepting the demands of the international money lender.
"What do they care? They are the US and the IMF's slaves. They take dictation from abroad and take all the decisions in line with foreign directives," the PTI chairman added. Khan said there was an atmosphere of jubilation all over India after the removal of the PTI government through the no-trust move. "The Indians were so happy over the change of government in Pakistan as if Shehbaz Singh, not Shehbaz Sharif, became the prime minister of the country," he said.
He said the Sharifs had business interests in India and the Indian prime minister had attended a wedding in their family. Accusing the Sharifs of having a soft corner for India, Imran said that even then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif didn't invite the Hurriyat leaders for talks during his visit to New Delhi.
Imran Khan requested the Supreme Court to include members of the civil society in the committee to investigate the events occurring during the Azadi March called by him. "We are democrats and never thought of taking the law into our own hands but the peaceful protest is our fundamental right," he went on to add. The PTI chief also came down hard on the government for increasing the prices of petroleum products.
"The imported government has announced Rs60 raise in oil prices under the IMF pressure. We had not bowed to the IMF pressure and provided relief to the people," he said, adding the price-hike and prolonged loadshedding had made life miserable.
Imran Khan said the country was facing a serious economic crisis as the "imported" government had no vision. "We had put the country on the right track due to prudent and robust policies. We had given incentives to the farmers and there was a record production of wheat, etc," he added.
Imran Khan said they would not accept the "imported" government and protests would continue against its ouster. He said he would announce the next march against the government, but they had been advised to wait for a while for launching the next phase of the long march. The PTI chief criticised the government for using force against the peaceful protesters. "They used brutal force against our workers like that of General Dyer," he added.
He urged the people not to be afraid of the government's coercive tactics. "They want to create an atmosphere of fear. But you have to bury the fear factor for the greater cause of making the country really independent," he added.
Imran Khan recalled that over 400 drone attacks were carried out in tribal areas but Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari had not protested against these illegal acts. The PTI chief claimed that the ruling clique was mulling rigging the next general elections in league with the Election Commission of Pakistan. "But the people will foil their designs. And the slogans of corrupt and traitors will follow them wherever they go," he added.
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