Imran ready for march on Capital

Mumtaz Alvi & Ali Raza & Asim Yasin
Sunday, Apr 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hold an open hearing to probe the alleged ‘threat letter’ and asked the Chief Election Commissioner to resign, accusing him of bias.

Speaking at Bani Gala at a news conference — the first after being ousted through a no-trust motion — the PTI chairman also asked the apex court to hold a hearing on the case of dissidents and wondered if it was not so important to be urgently decided. Otherwise, he cautioned, it would be like opening the way for everyone to win polls and then blackmail and sell himself, and this would be a negation of politics and democracy.

He emphasised the Supreme Court should do now what it should have done before because it was a big conspiracy against the country’s independence and sovereignty. He claimed that if the Supreme Court conducted an investigation, it would be known who was involved in this conspiracy. Now, he claimed the conspiracy had also been proved and again confirmed in the National Security Committee meeting.

Imran claimed that the National Security Committee had acknowledged that the letter was factual, in which Biden administration official Donald Lu had arrogantly threatened and said that if Imran Khan was removed, Pakistan would be pardoned; otherwise, it would face consequences and would be isolated. He insisted that the NSC’s Friday meeting had confirmed there was an interference and some people unknowingly had become part of the conspiracy.

“When I had said about the communication, interference and conspiracy, everybody had described it as a lie. If the apex court does not hold an open hearing, the country’s chief executive in future would not be able to take a stand and would raise his hands,” he emphasised.

Imran continued that what business the embassies had with the dissident MNAs, who were not happy with their own party and all these matters must be investigated. He claimed to have knowledge about the ‘game’ since January and termed it the biggest threat to democracy and independence of the country, cautioning if the institutions do not rise today, the future of our children would be under threat.

The PTI chairman claimed that he had come to know in January 2022 that a conspiracy was being hatched and pointed out that it was orchestrated at a time when the country's economy was getting stronger, our tax collection was the highest, production was increasing, industrial production was advancing, record $31 billion remittances were sent by overseas Pakistanis, and then an atmosphere of chaos was created by conspiring against the country.

Without naming Nawaz Sharif, Imran said that he was conspiring and holding meetings in London and his younger brother and Asif Ali Zardari were also directly involved in the conspiracy.

Imran said he had also heard that someone was saying that such messages kept coming, someone also said that such threats were made before, and then these people should be ashamed.

He recalled how Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the first to be given a threat and then Musharraf, who bowed down to the US and Condoleezza Rice had brought Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto together and she was given an NRO.

He pointed out that 60-70 per cent of those in the government were either convicted or on bail and Shehbaz Sharif and his children had cases in the NAB and FIA worth Rs40 billion. Now, he continued, officers of their choice would be appointed for desired results. He also cited the alleged torching of the LDA record to cover up their alleged corruption.

Imran said his party would observe a day of prayers on the 27th of Ramazan and would soon give a call to workers to march on the capital for a real freedom movement.

The PTI chairman said he had given instructions to his MPs and they were asked to prepare for the march on Islamabad, as he was seeing real awakening among the people, who had knowledge of what exactly had happened.

He also demanded resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner and said being the largest political party, the PTI had no trust in him and when a judge does not enjoy trust of both sides, he recuses himself. He continued that the Chief Election Commissioner always gives decisions against them and takes action on his like and dislike after seeing who is from which party.

Replying to a question, he said that ‘we should strengthen our courts and have confidence in them and people have a massive pressure to exert and they say for siding with the right and rising against the wrong.’

“We should also ask our courts for day-to-day hearing of the case of those who had betrayed their voters and their constituencies by selling their loyalties.”

Addressing the Shehbaz government, he said that his name should be included in the ECL, as he would not go abroad anyway and noted 60-70 per cent of the government members were on the ECL.

About the use of EVMs and I-voting for overseas Pakistanis, he said 30-40 recommendations had come up in the judicial hearing and, as a result, the use of EVMs was the best option for ensuring transparency in elections.

He wondered without the EVMs, how could fairness and transparency be ensured in elections and warned that the mafias wanted the old polling system to prepare fake votes and rig elections by paying ROs and polling staff. Imran also said that overseas Pakistanis were the country’s biggest asset whose remittances could rid the country of the IMF but they were now being denied the right to vote.

Meanwhile, reacting to Imran Khan's news conference, PMLN Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said that the reason for attacking the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was irrefutable evidence of illegal funding. In a twitter message here on Saturday, Maryam Nawaz said that the nation should know that the reason for the American letter drama was the expected verdict against Arif Naqvi because Imran Khan was also involved in the scam in which he had been arrested. “Because Imran has taken millions of dollars from him illegally, the reason for attacking the ECP was irrefutable evidence of illegal funding.”

In another tweet, she said that the lesson of attacking the institutions was also a tactic to increase the pressure for early elections. “Open your ears and listen! Your bullying and intimidation will now lead to your own destruction,” she said, adding he couldn't handle his government, couldn't handle his party and “listen! your game is over forever.”

In its response, the Pakistan Peoples Party said Imran Khan has not been ousted by the White House but the Bilawal House, as the party leadership and workers have had defeated dictators and Imran Khan is just a puppet. “The cowardice of the person who had encouraged Modi did not need to be threatened by anyone,” said Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi.

He said that Imran Khan's rule had become a torment for the people. He said when the poor and farmers were being killed economically, Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had stood against him and bulldozed his empire. Kundi said that after Imran Khan’s mantra against corruption, the drama of the letter had also flopped.