Monday, March 13, 2023
LAHORE: As part of his ongoing election campaign, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has announced staging a “historic” public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Sunday (March 19).
He made the announcement while addressing participants of the election rally near Data Darbar from inside his bullet-proof vehicle in Lahore on Monday (today).
Earlier today, the former prime minister — who was ousted from power via a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly in April last year — brought out an election rally despite security and arrest threats in the Punjab capital city.
The former ruling party had announced to kick off its election drive today after cancelling it twice in the last week following the imposition of Section 144 in the city.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PTI chairman has been seeking exemptions from court appearances on the pretext of security. An Islamabad police team, earlier today, flew by helicopter to Lahore to arrest Khan in judge threatening case.
The police will visit Zaman Park in the next 24 hours to arrest Imran Khan, sources said Monday, after his non-bailable arrest warrants were issued in a case of threatening a female judge belonging to a court in the federal capital.
Khan was booked in a case for threatening judicial magistrate Zeba Chaudhry and police officers at a rally in F-9 Park on August 20, to “terrorise” police officials and the judiciary.
While addressing the rally, the former premier said, “I will hold a jalsa at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday [March 19] at 2pm. We all have to struggle together.”
Referring to the Toshakhana record made public by the government a day earlier, Khan bereted the leadership of the ruling alliance, saying that it has exposed them.
As per official documents, former president Asif Ali Zardari retained various items including one BMW 760 Li (Security version, model No.2008) — assessed value Rs57,828,705 — and one Toyota Lexus LX 470 (Security version) — valued at Rs.50,000,000 by depositing a total around Rs16.1m.
Likewise, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif retained one Rolex Watch Oyster Perpetual N Series 0835D018 (over Rs1.18m), one pair of cufflinks with a pen (Rs0.025m) and four commemorative coins of the Central bank of Kuwait (Rs0.015m) by depositing Rs0.243m in Toshakhana.
Moreover, the name of incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former premiers Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Yousaf Raza Gillani; ex-finance minister Sartaj Aziz; former president Pervez Musharraf; incumbent Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others are included in the list.
Talking about the Toshakhana case, Imran Khan said that he was subjected to severe criticism and character assassination by the leadership of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), however, the "record has exposed them".
A “gang of thieves” has been imposed on the country, he added.
Urging the people to join the party’s movement, he said that the nation would have to come out for “real independence” and “accountability of the thieves”.
A day earlier, the deposed premier got the go-ahead for the election rally following a meeting with the local administration. The city administration allowed the PTI after the party leadership's promise of adhering to the government’s directives. They submitted an affidavit, assuring the city’s administration of its full cooperation with them, the police and the security officials.
The former ruling party also assured the authority that it would comply with the concerned law about the usage of the sound system. Speeches against the state institutions and judiciary will not be allowed in the rally, agreed the PTI.
The PTI would be responsible if public property is damaged during the rally, read the affidavit.