PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday that conspiracies were being hatched to kick him out of the political arena by pitting him against the military and judiciary.
“The three stooges, including Fazlur Rahman, know they cannot defeat me in elections. That’s why they are hatching conspiracies to get me disqualified,” the former prime minister claimed while addressing a public rally in Peshawar.
He said his statements were being twisted to create differences between him and the state institutions. “I have stated that the army chief should be selected on merit and I still stand by my statement as there was nothing wrong in it. What I have further stated was that the two dacoits, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, should not select the future army chief,” the former prime minister explained.
He said he had stated it because Nawaz Sharif was a criminal, alleging that the former prime minister was convicted by a court on corruption charges of billions of rupees and then escaped from the country.
“The people of Peshawar should tell me if a person convicted by the court in corruption of billions of rupees should have the right to select the army chief,” he asked the participants of the public rally.
Imran is contesting by-elections for the National Assembly from Peshawar and facing a tough competition from an elderly Pakhtun nationalist leader, Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, commonly known as Haji Bilour.
Ghulam Bilour is a senior leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) and is a joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). It was widely felt that the PTI leadership in KP had not owned the election campaign of their party chairman.
Imran Khan said he had never intended to threaten a judge, but the way his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill was treated during the investigations, it hurt him, saying they were putting pressure on him “so Gill could give a statement against me and disqualify me for the election.”
The PTI chief said his political opponents were having their propaganda wings and they always twisted his statements for their political gains in the country. “They have even tried to prove me a terrorist in the court, but I will continue to fight them,” the PTI leader vowed.
He said he wanted Pakistanis to be respected worldwide due to their character, but complained that certain elements got together and toppled his government. “How can the world respect you when you are being ruled by the present corrupt rulers. I have been in the public for seven months as my aim is to prepare the nation for a meaningful revolution,” he told his followers.
The former prime minister once again repeated his erstwhile story, saying there was an international conspiracy that ousted him from power. “The undersecretary of the United States had clearly warned our ambassador in the US to replace the PTI government or face the consequences. And the threat came when the no-confidence motion was not even tabled in the parliament. And then they purchased corrupt parliamentarians by using their ill-gotten money,” said the PTI leader.
The former prime minister claimed his government was better than the present regime, adding that Pakistan experienced the worst economic crisis, leading to record unemployment. “Our government was delivering far better than these corrupt elements. Prices of essential items were lower than the existing rates,” he said. “The nation wants to know who was the traitor and who brought these corrupt people in power and dislodged our elected government,” Imran Khan asked.
He said Maryam Nawaz Sharif had initially denied owning any overseas property, but the very next day her brother attributed the property to her. “This precious property was in fact owned by Nawaz Sharif. I will never ever accept them as ruler of the country,” he said.
Imran Khan said they didn’t want animosity with any country, including the United States. “We are with you in peace, not in war. We don’t want our soil to be used by any country against any other country,” said the PTI leader.
He said he had nothing to do with the United States and wanted to have good cordial relations with all the world powers, including the US. “What I want and expect that the United States should not treat us as their slaves. I am even in favour of talks with India if they give rights to the Kashmiri people,” he said.
He said Pakistan was presently passing through a difficult situation as the devastating floods had caused widespread damage in the country, particularly in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In the public rally, videos of Sharif family, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and JUIF leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman were played in which they were seen criticising the military leadership in the past.
Imran Khan accused his political rivals of undermining the military, saying he had always tried to strengthen the state institutions, including the army. In one such video clip, Shehbaz Sharif was seen seeking people’s support to help them improve Pakistan’s economic growth. “How can this man ask people to help them when his billions of rupees are lying in offshore banks,” Imran Khan asked.
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