Imran again unveils plan for big rallies

ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday once again announced countrywide protest rallies on July 2 (next Saturday) with the main power show to be held in the capital against inflation and recent amendments in the accountability law.

Addressing the people through a live broadcast, he said that the main “big rally” would be held in Parade Ground of Islamabad for the “people” of the twin cities while protest rallies would be held in other cities including Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Faisalabad.

Khan gave the protest call hours after he approached the Supreme Court to challenge the coalition government’s recent amendments to accountability law that governs the NAB saying that the move will increase white-collar crimes in the country.

“I want to say the entire nation that they (the government) will try to frighten you but do not be afraid of them as it is the time to take a stand,” Khan said while addressing his supporters.

“I want your full participation (in the protest rallies) not because of me but for the sake of yourself, the country and for the future of your children,” he said.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan challenged the incumbent government’s NAB Ordinance amendments in the Supreme Court and asked for the changes to be “struck off from statute book”.

In the petition, the PTI chief named the Federation of Pakistan through its secretary Law and Justice Division and the NAB through its chairman as respondents in the case.

The Chairman PTI in his address alleged that PTI workers were subjected to such severe torture during May 25 protest march, which never happened during any democratic regime. “They want to suppress the people through force,” he said, adding that peaceful protest was their democratic rights. He urged his supporters to “break this idol of fear” as this would make you slave. He added that if they remained silent: inflation and corruption in the country would keep on increasing.

Accusing that the incumbent government wanted to turn Pakistan into a ‘banana republic’, he warned that the amendments in NAB laws would drive the country towards destruction because Rs1,100 billion of public money allegedly looted by the corrupt mafia has been pardoned under the amendments.

He said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government was ill-prepared to improve the national economy, as they did not have any plan to control inflation. This is because they are only focused on getting NRO-II (National Reconciliation Ordinance) just like they had been given NRO-I by the military ruler Pervez Musharraf, he added.

He cautioned that making accountability law “weak and ineffectual” was a severe breach of the Constitution and underscored that the people of Pakistan had the right to hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions.

PTI chief moves SC against NAB amended laws

He said that the PTI has challenged the amendments in the SC and expressed optimism that the judiciary would not let this ‘cruelty’ happen to Pakistan.

The PTI chairman said the government officials annihilated the justice system of the country to protect their loot, adding that nobody could now question the assets of the corrupt people parked abroad.

He said that after new amendments, the details of the assets in the name of other family members could not be questioned. He also said that the law would become effective from 1999, which would exonerate many people who were part of the coalition government.

The corrupt rulers have overturned the anti-graft law adopted globally in which people will need to inform the authorities regarding the transactions to their accounts, the ex-premier said. The new NAB law will increase white-collar crimes, he added.

Imran Khan cautioned that the government’s new tax measures would have negative impact on the economy. He said that imposition of super tax would trigger storm of inflation, as financial burden on the industries would increase manufacturing costs, resultantly industries would start sacking their employees and several firms would face closure.

“Farmers will bear brunt of expensive diesel and loadshedding, while the salaried segment of the society is already worried by the inflation,” he added.

Khan said the PTI government wanted to broaden the tax base instead of increasing the tax rate, claiming that they were going to introduce new reforms in April, the month he was ousted from power.

Khan compared that the corporate tax in India and Bangladesh was only 25 percent, adding that its hiked rate would slow down industrial growth in Pakistan.

He stated that Pakistan achieved highest exports during PTI government, as the textile industries in Faisalabad had been facing a shortage of employees after a massive rise in demand and export orders.

However, he added that the factories of the textile city were now facing closure and unemployment was increasing due to flawed policies of “corrupt government.”

The PTI government took the GDP to 6 percent despite challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, he said and asked the people to compare the performance of the incumbent and PTI governments.

 

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