ISLAMABAD - Spreading a wave of unrest within the government circles, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, on the fourth day of his sit-in, stunned many by announcing that his march on Tuesday (today) would move into the Red Zone of the capital and proceed towards the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s House.
Pacifying charged supporters who were disappointed with him after his other day’s announcement that they would not move towards Red Zone, Imran Khan said, “We will move towards Red Zone peacefully and I will be the one to lead you.” He said his family members would be with him.
In the Red Zone area, besides the Diplomatic Enclave, important government installations including Parliament House, PM House, Presidency, Supreme Court building, Pakistan Television (PTV), Radio Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue are situated.
Khan took promise from his followers that their march towards the Red Zone would be peaceful and they would not confront with the police, as he also asked the police to remain peaceful in the same manner. “You are going to become part of the history so don’t indulge in any kind of vandalism,” he told his followers. “There should be no chaos tomorrow,” he asserted.
The PTI chairman said that the police would have to decide either to fire upon Imran Khan or not and then added, “The police of Pakistan would not fire on Imran Khan.” He warned the police whosoever took weapon into his hand would not find any space to escape.”
Khan invited people from all walks of life throughout Pakistan – including teachers, doctors, youth, lawyers, students, labourers, farmers and minorities – to come and join their march towards Parliament and PM House and change the history of Pakistan.
On Monday night, PTI followers had started a strong criticism on their party chief through social media after his announcement of not moving towards PM House for two days and starting civil disobedience movement as they thought Khan had backtracked from his demand of PM resignation.
PTI chief warned PM Nawaz Sharif that they would jam the wheel of his government. As the crowd kept on raising slogan asking Khan ‘to go ahead’, Imran said he knew about the feelings of his followers. “Your enthusiasm shows that you might not control your rage and you might have confronted with the police yesterday too,” he said. Killing of both police personnel and his followers would be equally regretful for him, he held. He said a party that attacked Supreme Court in the past was now asking to save democracy.
“And you have heard today that we are resigning from the National Assembly and three provincial assemblies except KPK,” PTI chief said, adding that they needed some time to decide about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as they had a coalition government there.
The Nation learnt on Monday that Imran Khan has delayed decision about resignations of PTI MPs in KPK Assembly because more than a dozen of PTI MPAs out of 46 are reluctant to resign and they had even contacted other opposition parties in provincial assembly to help them resist the move.
According to the sources, after lengthy deliberations PTI core committee, which took major decision on resignations of its sitting MPs from National Assembly and three provincial assemblies, put off the decision about fate of its government in KPK. This was largely because of strong opposition by Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and some other members. Khattak said the decision should be delayed till the time he secures resignations of all the party MPs members.
Agencies add: Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that his party’s MPs will resign from National Assembly and the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.
The resignations are to be submitted to the relevant speakers tomorrow morning, he said.
Shah Mehmood said that PTI members of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Assembly will not resign. He said that decision about KPK will be taken only after consulting the allies in the KPK Assembly.
Qureshi said the decision was made after all other options were exhausted by the party in their protests against alleged rigging in the May 2013 general elections.