ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan will start his indefinite campaign against what he terms illegal, imposed and imported government and for early election date from Friday. He announced to launch the comprehensive campaign from his native city of Mianwali in Punjab.
He appealed the people in a video message to participate in his campaign “Ghulami Namanzoor” (Slavery not acceptable) in maximum number and make it unprecedented successful.
Imran Khan said that he would be kicking off his campaign for “true freedom” from Friday (May 6) by staging a rally in Mianwali. He said that he would be coming to Mianwali before Maghrib prayers. He stated that this campaign was part of the movement to rid the country of the “imported government”.
“I am starting with the people that got me elected to the National Assembly for the first time,” he said, calling on citizens to participate in the rally.
Meanwhile, in a TV interview, he claimed that his opponents have hired companies that are “preparing material” for his character assassination. During the interview, he was about marketing companies being used in politics and fifth-generation warfare.
His remarks also come as PTI-linked social media accounts have warned supporters of the dangers of “deepfakes”, videos which use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to create life-like but fake videos of people.
“I had to face mafias, the biggest of which is the Sharif mafia […] they always attack on a personal level because are indulging in corruption for the past 35 years. When someone [points out] their corruption, they attack a person’s character,” Imran said.
He said that his ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith was also targeted in the past and a campaign was run against her accusing her of being part of the “Jewish lobby”. He said that a false case was also filed against her accusing her of exporting antique tiles from the country. Continuing after a short commercial break, the former premier said that the Sharifs had made preparations to launch a character assassination drive against him after Eid.
“Now that Eid is over, you will see they are fully prepared for my character assassination. They have hired companies that are readying the material,” the former premier said.
He added that 60 per cent of the federal cabinet was out on bail. “The father (Shehbaz) is on bail and so is the son (Hamza). Maryam is also out on bail and Nawaz Sharif has been convicted [while] his sons have fled abroad. So what [other] defence will they have?”
He said that in a democracy, they were required to give an answer for the allegations levelled against them. “You can’t come up in any democracy if you are out on bail; you can’t get any position.”
The PTI chairman claimed that instead of giving an answer for the billions of rupees they had stolen, the Sharifs would now focus on his character assassination. “What was Jemima’s crime? She was my wife […] now they have found Farah [Khan]. Farah’s crime is that she is a close associate of Bushra begum (his wife),” he said.
He went on to say that the Sharifs had also made further preparations and “made tapes” similar to the ones of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and late Judge Arshad Malik. “This is mafia style. I only want the nation to understand that if you want to smear anyone’s name, there are companies that can help you to achieve this.”
He added that the PTI had announced its long march to Islamabad by the end of May due to which the Sharifs wanted to lower his respect in the eyes of the public and assassinate his character. “But they have been doing this before too. This is not something new.”
Imran Khan presides meeting
Imran Khan presided over a meeting of the party leadership to review the anti-government movement. During the meeting held on the first day of Eid, the former prime minister said that credible evidence of conspiracy to change regime in Pakistan has been received and the decisive movement against puppets will be brought to a logical conclusion.
The “Ghulami Na-Manzoor March” [Slavery unacceptable March] will be the prelude to real freedom, he said. The meeting of the core group of PTI discussed overall political situation of the country and various aspects of the nationwide mass contact campaign also came under discussion.
The core group expressed satisfaction over the massive outpouring of people across the country on the call of the PTI chairman on the occasion of Eid night, while the schedule of upcoming rallies of the PTI Chairman in different cities including Mianwali, Jhelum, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Chakwal was also discussed in detail.
On the occasion, Imran Khan said, “We will not back down in any way and the nation beyond political divisions is supporting the agenda of safeguarding national independence and sovereignty with full unity, adding that the ” Ghulami Na-Manzoor March” at the end of May will be a prelude to real freedom for Pakistanis.
Addressing the meeting, the former PM said that the local Mir Jafars played the role of facilitators in tying Pakistan s independence and sovereignty to the shackles of permanent slavery.
Imran Khan intends to hold six rallies
PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan has announced to hold six public rallies in different cities after Eidul Fitr, in a bid to mobilise the public and strengthen his stance of ousting his government through “foreign conspiracy”
The former premier has time and again claimed that a “foreign conspiracy” was hatched to topple his government over his refusal to have Pakistan’s foreign policy be influenced by abroad. Since his ouster, he has held public rallies in three major cities of the country.
His first anti-government roadshow on April 13 in the centre of his party’s political power, Peshawar, saw a big turnout where Imran announced his plan to continue protesting against the newly-installed government until fresh elections were held.
He termed the newly formed set up an “imported government” and lashed out at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, saying the “decisive moment” had come for the people to decide if they wanted “slavery or liberty”.
In his second power show on April 16 at the packed-to-capacity Bagh-e-Jinnah, Karachi, the former premier called the PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif as the mastermind of the “international conspiracy” and predicted his return to the country.
He said it would be a test of the judicial system that had opened its doors at midnight for his ouster. His third address at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore on April 21 was no less than the previous power shows where a large number of people converged to listen to the speech of their leader.
During his address, he indicated that his next stop would be in the federal capital as he urged his supporters and party workers to “wait for my call.”
Now, the PTI chief plans to hold the first power show in his hometown of Mianwali on May 6. The second rally will be organised in Jhelum on May 10 while the third in Attock on May 12.
Imran plans to address the fourth public gathering in Sialkot on May 14. The fifth rally of the PTI will be held in Faisalabad on May 15 and the last in Chakwal on May 19.
‘US regime-change conspiracy’
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Monday claimed that US defence analyst Dr Rebecca Grant’s remarks in a Fox News show removed “all doubts” regarding his allegation that he was ousted from the prime minister’s office last month through a US-sponsored “foreign conspiracy” due to his pursuance of an independent foreign policy for Pakistan.
His remarks came after Dr Grant was asked in a Fox News programme what the US message to Pakistan should be. To this, she said: “Pakistan needs to support Ukraine, stop looking for deals with Russia right now, limit their involvement with China, and stop the anti-American policies that are part of the reason that Imran Khan, the prime minister, got voted out of office a couple of weeks ago.
“So, it’s time to cool it on the anti-American, pro-Russia policies in Pakistan. Now is not the time.”
It is pertinent to note that Dr Grant is a contributor for Fox News and provides analysis on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as national and military-related topics. She is also the president of an independent research firm named IRIS that specialises in defence and aerospace. According to IRIS website, she has previously worked for US government’s think tank RAND Corporation and on the staff of the secretary of the US Air Force and its chief of staff.
Soon after the video made rounds on social media, Imran, in a series of tweets, claimed vindication for his stance, saying it should “remove all doubts” about why a democratically elected prime minister and his government were ousted.
He asked US President Joe Biden’s administration whether it believed it had increased or decreased “anti-American” sentiment in Pakistan by indulging in what he termed as a “regime-change conspiracy”.
“My question for the Biden Administration: By indulging in a regime-change conspiracy to remove a democratically elected PM of a country of over 220 [million] people to bring in a puppet PM, do you think you have lessened or increased anti-American sentiment in Pakistan?” he questioned.
“Clearly the US wants an obedient puppet as PM who will not allow Pak choice of neutrality in a European war; a PM who will be obedient to US demands; who will not sign agreements with Russia & who will downgrade our strategic [relationship] with China,” Imran, who was ousted from government after losing a no-confidence vote on April 9, said.
If a Pakistani prime minister asserted the country’s sovereignty and formulated an independent foreign policy, he would be removed and a “subservient, crooked PM like [Shehbaz] Sharif will be brought in”, the former premier claimed.
Terming the video clip a reaffirmation of “US regime-change conspiracy”, Imran said it was the chief justice of Pakistan’s duty to form a commission to hold public hearings to determine who was involved in it.
Separately, in a video message, Imran said he had presented the “cable” to the nation and sent it to the chief justice, the National Assembly speaker and the president. He had made the nation aware that the government was removed through a “very big foreign conspiracy”, he added.
“We told everyone that it is clear in the cable that a foreign conspiracy was hatched abroad against Pakistan’s democracy and government. Our country’s Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs were involved in it.” However, prominent journalists, incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the then-opposition did not believe the PTI, he lamented.