March cut short after witnessing protesters’ anger: Imran

Bureau report
Sunday, May 29, 2022

By News Desk

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Saturday that his party would move the Supreme Court to seek clearance on holding public rallies after the government crackdown and clashes across the country.

Imran Khan told a presser at Peshawar after a core committee meeting that the institutions were silent spectators to the destruction the country was heading for. He said the institutions were duty-bound to act and save the country from the disastrous situation. It was not his sole responsibility to save the country.

Imran Khan said that he had cut the long march short after witnessing anger among the people. He said the people were already angry after tear-gas, adding that their hatred for the institutions would further grow if he did not withdraw.

PTI leaders Dr Yasmin Rashid, Hamaad Azhar, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid and other leaders were present.

He said the government had used tear-gas against peaceful PTI workers, they were baton-charged and injured. “We will raise the use of violence against our party's peaceful protesters before the international human rights organsations. We are filing a petition in the Supreme Court Monday,” the PTI leader said.

He accused the government of resorting to violence on the PTI workers during the Azadi March. He said besides approaching the courts, the PTI would also lodge cases against Lahore DIG (Operations) Sohail Chaudhry and Islamabad IGP Dr Akbar Nasir Khan.

Imran Khan said they mentioned the names of the police officers and would register cases against them and share their names and faces on social media. He said the country was heading towards destruction and it was the responsibility of the entire nation to prevent it.

The PTI chairman alleged that the courts had always granted favour and benefits to the Sharif family in the cases against them. He also accused the government of its alleged poor economic performance, the country’s economic growth had started a decline after they took over. He blamed the government for raising prices of petroleum products that would lead to rise in prices of daily-use items.

He alleged that hate for the law enforcement agencies, including police, Rangers and institutions, was rising among the people.

He again offered to talk to the government if it was willing to hold free and fair elections. He claimed to have learnt from the Azadi March and "in future they will come with a strategy to counter violence of the government." He claimed to have directed his party leaders to start preparations for the next long march and mobilise party workers.

The PTI chief said that the peaceful protesters were brutally tortured. “The PMLN leaders are in the habit of using force against their opponents. Had the PMLN leaders been punished for the Model Town massacre, they would not have dared to torture the peaceful protesters.”

Imran Khan said the PMLN leaders had always been the beneficiary of the courts. “The courts have always been lenient to the Sharifs which had also been admitted by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto,” he added.

He said it was decided at the core committe meeting to challenge the recent decisions of the government to end the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis and make amendments to the NAB Ordinance.

As usual, a select group of journalists was invited to the press conference, and according to the party leadership in Peshawar, they were helpless, saying it’s Shahbaz Gill who was authorised to select the media people for the press conference of his leader.