Imran announces plan to quit all assemblies

Mumtaz Alvi
Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

By News desk

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and ex-premier Imran Khan Saturday surprised many by announcing that his party had decided they would not remain a part of the corrupt political system, and quit all the assemblies.

Delivering his speech at a public meeting while sitting in a chair on the Murree Road, Imran told a big gathering of his party supporters that he had already talked to his chief ministers and would hold meetings with the PTI parliamentary parties to quit the assemblies.

“Instead of destruction and ransacking, we have decided to quit the assemblies and come out of the corrupt system, wherein the powerful and billionaires get their cases written off and the poor rot in jail. I ask those who give them NROs, don’t they have fear of Allah, as they keep on doing such a great injustice,” he added.

Independent observers declared that Imran’s six-month-long protest movement to topple the federal government had come to an end. He was supposed to bring enough people out to force the establishment to topple the government but could not do so. Now he is now planning to dissolve two assemblies where he is in power.They said it was an option that he always had. But he didn’t exercise it because he thought with popular support he could achieve his target without this move. That popular movement has failed, they concluded.

He said when the elections would be held, the PTI would defeat “the thieves and dacoits”. He claimed the entire nation wanted elections, as otherwise, the country would further plunge into a quagmire. But, he continued, a convicted person, sitting abroad, was afraid of elections, and would not care even if the country turned bankrupt, as he, Zardari had billions of rupees and properties abroad; the issue is of the nation that is going down with factories being shut, unemployment increasing, remittances and exports falling, inflation increasing, agriculture sector suffering and prices of electricity, diesel and other items doubled in seven months.

“If I ask my nation to go to Islamabad, then no matter how much police force was there, the sea of people cannot be stopped. But my politics has always been within the Constitution and the law,” he added.

Khan’s PTI is in power in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. He said instead of going to Islamabad and creating havoc, the PTI had decided to walk out of the assemblies. However, he added he would announce the exact date in next few days after consultations.

Former prime minister Imran Khan, during his party’s power show in Rehmanabad, said Pakistan is standing at a “defining point”. He admitted that it was difficult for him to travel with an injured leg. When he was setting out from Lahore, the PTI chief said, everyone had advised him not to do so due to his injured leg as well as the threats to his life.

Khan said he had seen death closely after the attack on him. “When I fell down, I knew Allah saved me,” the former premier said. The PTI chairman added that the coalition government had been constantly trying to “humiliate” him time and again because he called them thieves.

Circling back to his comments on the cypher, the PTI chairman questioned whether Dr Asad Majeed Khan’s — Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States — cypher was not kept before the National Security Committee. “Now they say that the cypher was a drama, it was nothing. Did the cypher not mention that ‘if you don’t remove Khan then the country will face problems? Did the National Security Committee not ask to démarche from the US,” Khan asked. The former pm said to say THAT the cypher was a drama WAs an “insult to the country, not him”.

The PTI chief asked his supporters to identify the crime that toppled his government with a foreign conspiracy. “In the last three years, my only failure was that I could not bring the powerful under the law,” he lamented, recalling that he tried hard but the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was under the establishment.

Khan told the charged crowd that NAB officials used to tell him that cases were ready but they were waiting for the order from higher-ups. “I would catch the thieves, but instead of putting them behind bars, they [establishment] would sign deals with them,” he regretted.

The former premier said he was told to focus on the economy and forget accountability as those who had power did not consider corruption a bad thing. Imran Khan said the reason why Pakistan was in trouble today was not because of lack of resources, but due to rule of law’s absence.

“In our country, there is a rule of power not law. A society, where there’s no justice, cannot progress. The first thing in the state of Madina was justice and rule of law,” the former PM said.

The PTI chief said the nation had two options today. “On the one side, there’s a path of blessings, and on the other is destruction and slavery,” he added.

Circling back to his criticism of the ruling coalition’s leaders, the former premier said: “In all poor countries, people like [Asif Ali] Zardari and [Nawaz] Sharif transfer money out of the country and the system does not hold them accountable”

Khan boasted that several prime ministers in Pakistan came and went, but “for whom has the nation stepped out the way they did for him.”

The PTI chairman also spoke about the assassination attempt on him. “The three people who tried to kill me are still instated at high positions,” he alleged. “When I was shot at and fell down, bullets passed above my head. I knew Allah saved me. Twelve people were shot at the container on which I stood. Faisal Javed, Ahmad Chattha, and others were also shot. One of my guards was hit by six bullets, but he survived,” Khan said sharing that all those who were shot “survived” by Allah’s grace.

Imran Khan pointed out that they had held 60-65 public meetings during these seven months and could have created a Sri Lanka-like situation, but instead peacefully returned. He said he cancelled sit-in on May 25 despite trampling of their fundamental rights; otherwise, things would have gone out of everybody’s control.

The country, he said, would not move forward, unless and until all the institutions, including the judiciary and the military establishment will not fulfil their responsibilities. He said he was again telling the powerful institutions that the country was moving towards default. “Today, those who don’t criticise you are the country’s enemies. I want the country’s defence further strengthened; the country and its army belong to me and I am proud of my army, which is the strongest army in the Muslim world,” he said.

“Those people and the one who had a big increase in his assets and trampled people’s rights, the history is looking at him, as to what he did for the country.

“The slave nation has no future. None presents freedom in a plate; one has to fight and snatch it. When people will get rid of thana, kutchehry and patwari, then the qabza groups will fizzle out automatically,” he added. Imran said their movement would continue for real freedom.

He regretted that the country’s institutions did not learn from their mistakes and what happened in East Pakistan, he knew what happened and the impression in Dhaka people was that justice was not done to them, and on the basis of power, then largest political party was subjected to use of power, and it led to break up of the country. He then tried to draw a parallel between those times and what was happening to his party, which he claimed to be the only federal party.

He PTI chairman referred to the ouster of his government due to plans made behind closed doors. He said first they were declared thieves and then given an NRO, and then again meetings were held with them and they were brought to power. If this injustice is acceptable to the nation, then there is no difference between goats, sheep, cows and buffaloes and the nation.

At the end of his lengthy speech, PTI Senator Faisal Javed took oath from the audience, including Imran Khan to always abide by the Constitution and support Imran in his struggle for real freedom and they would not bow before anyone but Allah and be ready to offer any sacrifice for the purpose of real freedom.