pakistan
Monday Oct 17 2022
By
Web Desk

Long march won't be delayed past October: Imran Khan warns govt

By
Web Desk

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference in Islamabad after his landslide victory in Sundays by-elections, on October 17, 2022. — YouTube/GeoNews
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference in Islamabad after his landslide victory in Sunday's by-elections, on October 17, 2022. — YouTube/GeoNews

  • Giving them more time before launching long march.
  • Dialogue with the ruling elite out of question.
  • Demands re-election in Karachi, Daska.


ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan said Monday that his party's anti-government "Azadi March" would not be delayed past October as they have completed their preparations.

In a press conference, the PTI chairman said: "My march will be held in October if the government does not announce the date for the next general election."

The PTI chief warned the government that multitudes of people would take to the streets responding to his call to the nation for the anti-government march.

Khan said he was still cutting the government some slack so that they could decide on it. "I am actually giving them some more time before embarking on our long march protest."

"[Interior Minister] Rana Sanaullah won't even know what hit him, such is my preparation," Khan warned the top minister, who recently claimed the government's preparation was 10 times more as compared to May 25.

He said dialogue was out of the question with the ruling elite. "There's no negotiation with criminals. You can hold reconciliation talks with Baloch or Sindhi nationalists, but not with the felons like them," Khan added.

Khan's press conference came after his party won Sunday's by-election by a major margin. The PTI chief won six of the eight National Assembly seats up for grabs and his party added two more to their seat count in the Punjab Assembly.

But not completely satisfied with the results, Khan alleged that the elections were held in the constituencies where PTI was weak and the ruling coalition fielded joint candidates to ensure his party's defeat.

He said that the government did not wish to hold elections and used floods as an excuse. "They said that there were floods. But in the constituencies where elections were held, floods did not have an effect there."

Khan claimed that he lost Karachi's Malir by-polls to a PPP candidate — Abdul Hakeem Baloch — as it was rigged.

“Sindh’s election commissioner was on the provincial government’s payroll. We reject [Malir's] by-election and demand re-election. The PPP swung the polls to their advantage through indiscriminate rigging," Khan alleged.

He said the nation had rejected this legislature as well as this government and wanted new polls across the country.

Khan condemned the law enforcement agencies for booking the ageing PTI leader Azam Swati in a "baseless case" and then allegedly subjecting him to grievous bodily harm in police custody. "They beat up the 75-year-old in front of his grandchildren."

Chiding the government for allegedly torturing PTI leader and former federal minister, he said that what the authorities did to him was "utterly shameless". 

"Doesn't the Constitution provide the people of Pakistan the right to their self-esteem? These rulers were afraid of elections," Khan said adding, it was time to move forward.

 "We will approach the international human rights bodies against these violations."


Khan announces decisions of party's senior leadership pertaining to torture:

  • PTI to call special session of KP, Punjab assemblies on torture of its leaders, journalists;
  • PTI senators to file petition against torture of its leaders;
  • Party to write letters to int'l oragnisations — human rights committee in Geneva, UN special rapporteur on torture, EU special representative on human rights, int'l parliamentary union;
  • Long march anytime soon.


CEC PML-N's 'inside' man

Khan said that they can win elections without the support of umpires.

Berating Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, the PTI chair said: “I have not seen a more dishonest election commissioner than Sikandar Sultan Raja in this country.”

“Sikandar Sultan is PML-N’s man inside the election commission,” Khan alleged and added that this election was held by the ECP in cahoots with the government.

“Raja did not allow electronic voting machines (EVM),” he said, adding that If there were EVMs, they could not have rigged the elections.

Khan also disclosed they had moved Supreme Judicial Commission and their case was being heard.

The PTI leader also demanded re-election in Daska.

“I have been saying this for the last three years that they (the government) were actually trying to get away with an amnesty for their wrong deeds under the NRO,” Khan said adding that Gen Musharraf dealt a blow to the country by offering them NROs.

He said the PML-N was imposed on the country when it was on an upward trajectory. “Ironically, in this country, a small-time thief always gets caught but the big-time one remains at large,” Khan said.

The US issue

Saying that he was accused of isolating the country, Khan dared his accusers to read his reply to the tweet of former US president Donald Trump immediately after his "illegal" ouster.

“Americans respect nationalists,” Khan said.

He alleged that the government spent hundreds of millions of rupees on their US visits. “Bilawal was touring the whole world, while Sindh was sinking.”

He said it was old propaganda against Pakistan that was still being actively pursued and they were pushing the country to the brink of default. “I had said they left the country in the lurch of default twice before.”

According to Khan, he and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin had conveyed the message to the establishment that the economy would become hard to handle [in the hands of the PML-N-led government].

“They are not giving any consideration to the country.”