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Pakistan

At PTI's Karachi rally, Imran Khan calls for holding elections

  • Former premier says nation cannot allow a 'foreign conspiracy of regime change' to succeed
Published April 16, 2022 Updated April 17, 2022
Imran Khan commences address

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan urged the citizens to demand a general election, adding that the nation cannot allow a "foreign conspiracy of regime change" to succeed in the country.

At the beginning of his address at a rally in Karachi's Bagh-e-Jinnah, Khan said: "I am here to talk about some very serious things because the problem is that your future and your children's future is at stake."

Khan said that the conspiracy against his government was an attempt to keep "Pakistanis as slaves."

He asked the crowd if they can differentiate whether the plan to overthrow his government was a “conspiracy or an interference?”

"Raise your hands and tell me if it was an interference or a conspiracy," Khan asked the massive gathering in Karachi.

Khan claimed that this was a conspiracy against Pakistan at an international level.

PTI's chairman reiterated that he was not against any country, but said that he will "never compromise on Pakistan's sovereignty and integrity".

"I am not anti-India, anti-Europe, or anti-US. I'm with the humanity of the world. I'm not against any nation.

"A prime minister is a father-figure to the nation. I can never sacrifice my people for some other country."

Khan claimed that he came to know three to four months ago that some journalists had started having meetings in the US embassy. "A journalist told me that a lot of money is being spent on us. Thus, the conspiracy had been in the works for a while, and then our US ambassador meets Donald Lu."

Talking about the Supreme Court (SC), he said: "The idea of ​​opening courts at midnight will remain in my heart for the rest of my life."

Khan said that his government accepted the SC's decision regarding the no-confidence motion against him. However, he asked why the top court had not bothered to investigate the threat letter against his government.

"Respected judges, when politicians were selling their mandates, should you not have taken suo motu action against it," he asked, adding: "Does the constitution of Pakistan allow it?"

Khan said he stands by his decision to say "absolutely not" to the US at the idea of providing them with military bases in Pakistan.

"The 220m people are my responsibility. I will never sacrifice my people for another country."

Talking about the alleged plot to remove his government, he said that "we cannot allow this conspiracy to succeed".

"If we allowed it to succeed, our children and future generations will not forgive us," he told the charged crowd.

Khan criticised Shehbaz Sharif, his successor in the top office, by saying that it is an insult for the country that a person out on bail is the prime minister of Pakistan.

"His son, also out on bail, is the chief minister. Think carefully about what is happening in our country. They make thieves our leaders because they can be easily used. They get ready to do everything to protect their money."

The former premier said that he was facing life threats. He, however, went on to say that the freedom of this nation was more important than his life.

Before Khan's speech, different PTI leaders addressed the crowd.

PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in his address, criticised the current government's policies.

"I remember last year, the Israeli army attacked Al-Aqsa and Muslims were martyred. What did Imran Khan say? He told me to go to the UN and raise voice for the oppressed Palestinians. I did not tweet like Shehbaz Sharif but fought case for the Palestinians and gained ceasefire," he said.

PTI's central secretary general Asad Umar said that during PTI's government whenever he asked Khan for something for Karachi, "never did I hear no."

"The reason is that he (Khan) is Pakistan's only leader who does not belong to anyone city, region, language or religion. He is the leader of every Pakistani.

"It's my faith that in this month of Ramazan, under Imran Khan's leadership, the dream of Quaid-e-Azam will be fulfilled by Imran Khan."

PTI's Karachi rally is the second time Khan has addressed the public since his ouster as prime minister of Pakistan through a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

Earlier, footage shared by PTI leaders showed a large number of people had turned up at the rally’s site.

A day ago, Khan also asked his supporters to bring the Pakistani flag to the rally, adding that the "fight now was for the country's sovereignty and real democracy".

Earlier this week, Khan announced to kick off a campaign against the current government, which he claims has come to power through a "foreign conspiracy."

Foreign power: DG ISPR ‘confirms’ interference, claims Fawad

PTI has planned several public processions throughout the country to peddle its narrative of "regime change" and mobilise the masses for early elections.

The former ruling party has also announced a similar gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore on Saturday, April 23.

Earlier on Monday, the PTI chairman urged people to come out in numbers to support his movement against the “puppet regime”.

He said that early election was the only way forward to “let the people decide, through fair and free elections, who they want as their prime minister”.

Security arrangements

Supporters of Imran Khan and PTI make their way to the rally at Karachi's Bagh-i-Jinnah, utilising the Green Line bus service. Video courtesy: Usama Fayyaz

Meanwhile, security arrangements have been made to ensure the gathering remains peaceful.

Several supporters were also seen utilising the Green Line bus service to make their way to the rally.

The rally in Karachi follows protests held across several cities in the country including in Sindh's provincial capital. Reports indicated rallies were held in Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Kohat along with several other cities in Pakistan. Video footage was shared by PTI's official Twitter page throughout the day, with accounts in the UK and UAE also sharing glimpses of rallies in London, Sharjah, respectively.

Comments

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Overseas Pakistani Apr 17, 2022 04:41am
Pakistan is on crossroads yet again… and such is division in the society that blame game continues unabated. PTI has pitted itself against other parties as it believes that they have panacea of all evils afflicting the Pakistani society. PTI dharnas during Nawaz Sharif were funded from overseas… does anybody talk about it. What if the money was being directed to create further divisions… it is request to Pakistani awam…. know your facts before rendering any decision. Pakistan needs you.
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