LAHORE: Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said that a plot was being hatched to disqualify him in the Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases to pave the way for PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return from London.
“They have made a new plan to register new cases and disqualify Imran Khan in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases,” he said addressing a massive rally at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.
Imran said the purpose to disqualify him was to strike a deal with him to nullify Nawaz’s lifetime disqualification, so that both could compete in political arena. “Under the conspiracy, Nawaz will be brought back to the country by the end of September… and a character assassination campaign will be launched to malign me.”
He announced that he will hold country-wide anti-government rallies as he claimed that the “fight for real freedom has entered the final stage”.
The former prime minister addressed a rally at the National Hockey Stadium, where the party celebrated 75 years of Pakistan’s independence — marked with fireworks and traditional songs.
In his address, the PTI chairman said that he had decided to “go to the people”, starting from Rawalpindi, followed by Karachi, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Peshawar, Mardan, Attock, Abbottabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sargodha, Jhelum, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Quetta.
“I am coming out and to the people as the fight for real independence has entered its decisive phase [...] my nation, be ready,” the PTI chairman told the people.
Khan also announced the formation of a new “Tiger Force”, claiming that it will work for “independence” as the people did before the partition.
“I am telling my nation, be ready, you have to go door-to-door and inform the people of my message about independence. Tell them that they should not be afraid of anything.”
Khan claimed that the government would try to frighten the PTI supporters, but he told them that if their “captain” was not afraid of anything, then neither should they be.
The PTI chairman, when he was in power, had established a “Tiger Force” to keep a check on hoarding of edible goods and other items during the coronavirus pandemic, when strict lockdowns were in place.
Reiterating that he only wants to look after the country’s interests, Khan said that he was not “anti-America” and wishes to have a friendly relationship with the United States. “I know America and the United Kingdom better than most of the Pakistanis [...] I know their psychology; if you beg them, they will use you,” the ex-premier said.
The PTI chairman added that he had never bowed before anyone and neither will he bow down in the future.
Khan — who was ousted from the prime minister’s office in April — has blamed the United States and the coalition government for his removal; however, the US and ruling parties have denied that there was any conspiracy involved in his removal.
Khan castigated the incumbent government, saying that Defence Minister Khawaja Asif — when he was in the opposition — claimed that the United States has “Pakistan on a ventilator”.
“I want to ask them, why is the situation like this that we are on a ventilator? For the last 30 years, two families — belonging to the PPP and PML-N — ruled Pakistan and they indebted the nation.”
At the outset of his speech, the ousted prime minister said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah freed the nation from the slavery of British and refused to leave them in the slavery of anyone else.
“He (Quaid) noted that Muslims have always lived as an independent nation [...] he also clarified that the Muslims want a sovereign state,” the PTI chairperson said. Khan added that he also wants a sovereign Pakistan and vowed to not beg to any foreign power.
The PTI chairman noted that his political opponents have been maligning him for the last 26 years, but told them that respect isn’t earned through “money” — and that despite all their attempts, the nation still supports him.
Earlier, Imran arrived at the venue to an enormous crowd of ardent supporters, eagerly awaiting what the former premier had to relay on the eve of Pakistan’s 75th Independence anniversary.
“Today you have to listen to my address patiently. I will give you a roadmap to achieve ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ [real freedom],” Imran told the crowd in his opening remarks.
Imran, while explaining his strategy to achieve real freedom, said fear is the most dangerous idol which enslaved human beings. “A slave nation can never prosper. We got an independent country by giving millions of sacrifices… respect cannot be earned through wealth… those who fear death can never achieve anything big.”
Imran said since joining politics, he had been speaking about turning Pakistan into an independent and sovereign country, maintaining that his narrative of “real freedom” was not aimed at wooing the voters.
Referring to PMLN leaders’ statements on economic crisis, Imran said the two families — Sharifs and Zardaris — are responsible for destroying the country’s economy. “They have been plundering for the last 30 years, made offshore assets worth billions of rupees and now they are asking who is responsible for this mess.”
Imran said Pakistan suffered huge human and economic losses after the former military ruler, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf bowed before the US and joined its so called war on terror.
“They [US] carried out drone strikes on Pakistan but Sharif and Zardari never raised their voice against this oppression,” he said, adding that he was not anti-American but will never compromise on national interest.
He also reiterated his allegations that US official Donald Lu threatened that Pakistan would suffer consequences if he was not removed from power through vote of no-confidence.
“I visited Russia because I wanted cheaper gas for my country. I went there to help my nation. But they (US) became upset because I didn’t listen to their orders.”
Imran said he will never let his nation to become “slave of any superpower” and will walk through difficult path to achieve freedom.
“This movement for real freedom will continue until we topple this ‘imported government’,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi while addressing the rally said he will not rest until he “takes revenge on those involved in inflicting violence” on the PTI workers during their May 25 long march.
The PMLQ leader also warned Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, saying soon he will be put behind the bars and “handed over death sentence” in the Model Town case.
Elahi said PTI Chairman Imran and army have cordial ties and added that opponents have failed to create rifts between the two.
The former ruling party is staging a “grand power show” on Friday to celebrate Pakistan’s “haqeeqi (real) freedom”.
Screens have been set-up in major cities across the country to live telecast the speech of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
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