Imran announces anti-govt march to begin next month

ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Saturday announced that his party would hold a long march towards Islamabad in the last week of May to protest against the ruling coalition that has been “imposed through a foreign conspiracy.”

In a video message released by PTI, the former prime minister Khan, without giving an exact date of the protest march, said that he was giving this call not just to his party workers but to “the entire country.”

Earlier this week, Khan in a statement had appealed to his supporters and workers to prepare themselves for the protest march, for the ‘real freedom’, which would be converted into a sit-in until the government announces early elections.

In his video message, the cricketer-turned-politician said that the PTI’s core committee has taken the decision to hold the march.

“We are giving this call to entire Pakistanis because our country has been insulted through a foreign conspiracy and Pakistan’s most corrupt people have been imposed upon us.”

He said that 60 percent of the cabinet members are on bail while Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is being labelled as ‘crime minister’. They are facing corruption cases worth Rs 40 billion being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he also said. “This is an insult to the country,” he said, adding, “We want to give a message to all Pakistanis to prepare themselves.”

PTI chief asked his workers to start the process of preparations for the march on Chand Raat on the eve of Eid ul Fitr. “I want to tell the youth that you have to come out on Chand Raat with flags and let the world know that Pakistanis are a lively nation,” he added.

The former prime minister claimed that he had faith in himself that this long march would be the largest gathering in the history of Pakistan. “There will be an ocean of people,” he said. This huge gathering would let everyone know that from now on, no country would ever impose corrupt people on this nation, and Pakistanis would make their own decisions, he contended.

Before and after his ouster from power through a vote of no-confidence, in the second week of April, former minister Khan claims that his government was dislodged through US-led foreign conspiracy. He cites a controversial diplomatic cable, sent by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington to foreign office, as an alleged prime evidence for his ouster and labels it as a “threat letter.”

He also claims to gather two million people in Islamabad to force the government to hold early elections and to give a message to the US that Pakistan is a ‘free country.’

Khan writes to president, CJP:

Separately, Khan on Saturday wrote letters to President Dr Arif Alvi and Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, seeking from them a public inquiry and the formation of a judicial commission respectively on the diplomatic cable to expose all those who were involved in this “regime change conspiracy.”

“The nation looks to the   Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) to do justice and protect the people of Pakistan from such foreign conspiracies, I call upon you to live up to this trust,” said the one letter addressed to the CJP.

The other letter, addressed to the president says that “right now, silence from the SCP and the Presidency are creating a sense of betrayal and helplessness among the people of Pakistan.”


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