ISLAMABAD - Rejecting reports of likely breakthrough between the government and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has ruled out any chance of calling off the Azadi March on August 14.
"No force can stop the (Azadi) march, whatever you read in the newspapers is baseless," Imran said while addressing a press conference at his Bani Gala residence Friday. He also ruled out possibility of putting off the long march on the promise of opening of election results of some constituencies.
"We will hold rally and sit-in here in Islamabad at any cost. We will give our demands within the ambit of Constitution. I will personally sit here and the sit-in will continue till the fulfilment of our demands," Khan said.
Flanked by senior party leadership including Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, he said PTI would demand strengthening of democracy, and ending monarchy and dictatorship in the country. Khan stressed that whatever security threats he would be facing he would hold the Azadi March and warned that if the army intervened, it would be only because of the actions of Nawaz Sharif and Punjab government. "Our protest will be peaceful... Sharifs are panicked," he said. The government will invite intervention of army by stopping the way of peaceful march. Khan also welcomed the decision of Lahore High Court to release all confiscated motorbikes.
The PTI chairman said it was unfair that government was claiming mandate after the rigged elections and questioned what is difference between the rulers and Husseni Mubarak of Egypt and Colonel Gaddafi of Libya who also claimed having their peoples’ mandate.
Khan said rigging was proved in all 14 constituencies that were opened for verification and all other petitions were disposed of by election tribunals without making a decision. “Our aim is to hold march to rectify the electoral system of Pakistan and to bring to book those who rigged elections. Why the government did not offer to open election results of four constituencies in the last twelve months before," he reminded.
Before issuing 46-page white paper against PML-N government, he said that Nawaz Sharif warned Punjab Police in February last not to indulge in illegal actions and now what was Punjab Police doing by breaking into houses of PTI workers. "There will be a war on August 14 between two ideologies, on one side will be monarchs whose children are waiting to replace them and on other side will be democrats."
Reading out the white paper, Khan alleged: “A son of Nawaz Sharif has foreign property worth about Rs40 billion in the name of Flagship Investment while another is living in Rs80 million flat. Sharifs got gift of 30 million dollars in the Khudad Mills case.”
He questioned as to why 70 cases against Sharifs were pending with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He went on: “PM Nawaz made 14 foreign tours costing Rs680 million. Govt ad in today's papers claiming to have achieved highest progress during the last year was wrong.”
The PTI chief alleged that during the one-year PML-N tenure, the country faced worse economic crunch than the five year PPP regime.
“Inflation stands 9.8 per cent that was 5.8 percent during last five years and the country witnessed lowest 13 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) during the last year and exports too decreased.”
He said Sharifs’ family and friends were enjoying major portfolios while the government did not appoint heads of 80 per cent state enterprises.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar's son gave Rs500 million loan (Qarz-e-Hasna) to his father, Khan said showing his surprise. Terming the Metro Bus project a futile one, Khan said the project supervisor was Hanif Abbasi who is facing Ephedrine trial. He alleged that a relative of Sharif family was doing business with the Turkish company that would provide Metro buses.
To a question about PML-N’s handling of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s call, Khan said the Punjab government was maltreating the matter. He said no FIR has been lodged against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Model Town killings so far.
He said: “I will tell my workers that police have no right to stop peaceful protest. Police have been used as Nawaz Sharif’s henchmen, and Nawaz has been Pakistan as his personal state.”