ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday urged people of Pakistan to give utmost respect to the armed forces which, he said, was the institution to keep Pakistan intact.
Addressing the party workers and supporters live on social media on Wednesday night, Imran Khan said that if the armed forces were weak, Pakistan could have been in taters if the armed forces were not able to foil enemy conspiracies.
Replying to a question regarding the role of state institutions in the upcoming elections, the deposed premier said that the entire institutions are not corrupt but some elements in them indulge in ‘bad practices’.
“These are also humans [in institutions]… if one or two individuals do something wrong, the entire institution is not responsible,” he added. “If one person makes a mistake, this does not mean that the whole institution is at fault.”
Talking about the chief election commissioner, he said that all his judgements are “anti-PTI”. “The day [foreign funding] cases of all three parties are heard simultaneously, it will be clear that only PTI has a proper system of funding,” he added.
Imran Khan said that if former prime minister Nawaz Sharif comes back and gets another ‘NRO’, he will not accept it and bring people out on streets.
“It will discredit judicial system as no one would believe in it… everyone will say the wealthy can get away with anything in Pakistan,” he added.
He said that in third world countries, they only catch small thieves and not the big ones but in the first world, there is no such thing. “You cannot imagine prime ministers making factories there… rule of law is the biggest issue in Pakistan,” he added.
Imran Khan said that there are big mafias in Pakistan and his government was bringing them under the rule of law.
To a question about dissenting PTI members, Imran Khan said that they thought when PTI would come into power, the government will make their businesses grow [in a wrongful way] but we did not.
“That’s why we faced issues because we stopped them. If sugar prices suddenly increased by Rs26 per kilogram then we tried to stop it … these people have exposed themselves,” he added.
Earlier, PTI’s official social media team was instructed to make preparations for the party chairman’s address.
The party leaders also held an important meeting of the political committee in which overall political situation was discussed. The participants were briefed on the preparations for the upcoming public rally to be held on April 21 at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore.
Special instructions were given to officials to reach the venue on time with their caravans.
On the occasion, ex-PM Imran said the country had no choice but to give the people a chance for their future through transparent elections.
“People protect the sovereignty and democracy of a country,” he said. “If change of government is accepted through conspiracy, no future head of government will dare to face external pressure.”
Imran maintained that the whole nation is united and mobilised for its freedom and sovereignty. Sources said the PTI chief will announce a future strategy on the historic site of Minar-e-Pakistan.
Govt advises Imran to address Lahore
rally virtually amid ‘severe threat alerts’
Lahore Additional Deputy Commissioner Atiyab Sultan on Wednesday wrote to PTI leaders recommending that former prime minister Imran Khan address the party’s Lahore rally, scheduled for Thursday, virtually in light of “severe threat alerts”.
Days after the ouster of the PTI government, the former ruling party kicked off a nationwide protest campaign from Peshawar on April 13, followed by a rally in Karachi on April 16. Both rallies saw a large number of people come out in support of Khan, who addressed these gatherings in person.
His next rally is due to be held tomorrow (April 21) at the Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore.
In a notification issued by the Deputy Commissioner’s Office today, Sultan wrote: “In light of severe threat alerts received from security agencies and as per latest intelligence assessment made at the district and provincial levels, it is recommended that ex-prime minister Imran Khan should address the public gathering virtually by video conference and LED display instead of making a physical appearance at Greater Iqbal Park, Lahore on 21-04-2022.”
The letter, which is addressed to PTI Punjab president Shafqat Mahmood, PTI Lahore president Sheikh Imtiaz Mahmood, PTI Punjab general secretary Zubair Niazi and the organiser of the rally, Ali Warraich, requested them to take timely action to “avoid any untoward incident”.
Responding to the letter, PTI Additional Secretary Information Hassan Khawar told DawnNewsTV the party would not be discouraged through such tactics by the government.
“The government should not be worried by the PTI’s campaign,” Khawar said.
He said the PTI chairman would participate in the Lahore rally and the party would continue its campaign to connect with the people.