MIANWALI/ISLAMABAD - Imran Khan has said that ‘Go Nawaz Go’ was not an unconstitutional or illegal slogan, warning the ruling party (PML-N) against using violence on the sloganeers.

Addressing a mammoth public gathering in Mianwali on Thursday, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman questioned why Sharif family was so upset over ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogan, which was a mere political chant.

He announced that his party will hold a rally in Larkana on November 21, and thanked people of Mianwali for turning out in large numbers, saying, “I have not seen such a huge gathering in Mianwali.”

The PTI chief urged the people not to bow before cruelty and injustice. “I have come with a message for you not to bow before cruelty and injustice, for a society submitting itself to injustice gets destroyed,” Khan said to the participants.

Imran lamented that farmers were not getting proper return for their crops, and he urged them to rise up against the injustice. “We have to raise our farmers first. They are facing economic victimization... Electricity bills have broken their back.”

The PTI chief said that it was not the job of MNAs and MPAs to get development funds. “Funds should be given under local government system... We will bring the best local government system. We will bring a system which will deliver justice to people at their doorstep.”

Speaking about education, Imran Khan said they were already bringing a uniform education system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they would extend it to whole of the country after forming government at centre. Mianwali, he said, will be made an educational city and claimed that a time will come when people would turn to Mianwali for acquiring higher education.

“The nation has decided that it was time to establish a Naya Pakistan and no one can stop it,” he contended. He reiterated that he would not end his sit-in unless Nawaz Sharif stepped down. “There is no doubt that PML-N came into power through rigging. PTI has caught them... I have come here to celebrate the awakening of our nation. God willing, we are going to make a new Pakistan.”

Slamming the prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif for her veiled threat against PTI supporters, Imran said it is everyone’s democratic right to chant political slogans as he warned PML-N against using violence against ‘Go Nawaz Go’ sloganeers.

“It is our democratic right to chant slogans against the government. However, it is undemocratic to beat up people who are protesting,” the PTI chief said while referring to the Wazirabad incident on October 1 when a PML-N MPA beat up people as they chanted the viral slogan. “I won’t mind if people chant Go Imran Go,” Imran said, claiming he does not understand why the chant bothers the PML-N leadership.

“It is democracy, not monarchy,” he said, referring to Maryam Nawaz message, in which she posted: “Seems PML-N workers have had enough of PTI vandalism. A tit for tat response & PTI won’t find a place to hide. Saw trailer in Wazirabad today... PMLN’s policy of restraint & civility must NOT be misinterpreted as its weakness. Don’t mess with lions!”

Imran dared Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to mobilise 30 per cent of the people present there in the PTI public meeting. “If you are able to gather 30 per cent of these people then we will consider that you (PM Nawaz) did not rig elections.” Reiterating that he will not end his ongoing sit-in, the PTI chief asked the premier not to resign right now so he can ‘awaken’ the rest of the nation.

Imran thanked the people of his hometown, Mianwali for their constant support and for paving his way into the National Assembly for the first time in 2002. “When no one supported me, you did,” he said, adding, “I could never forget what the people of Mianwali have done for me.” He apologised for not giving them proper attention but added, “I am fighting your case across Pakistan.”

Senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his address said that preparation for local government elections were being made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He said Imran had raised his voice against the VIP culture. “The wind of change is blowing.” He said that PPP and MQM started self accountability due to sit-ins of PTI. Qureshi said that rulers were concerned about capitalists, not farmers.

Earlier the same day, while talking to media representatives in Bani Gala before leaving for Mianwali, PTI chief Imran Khan said, “VIP culture is being eliminated gradually.” He said the government was forced into reducing the price of petrol and not increasing electricity rates due to the pressure created by the sit-ins. “This is better than winning any election.”