- Former premier says will never accept the new govt, terms fresh elections only way forward
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday that his supporters and party workers should wait for his call to come to Islamabad, adding that he will never accept the new government.
At the beginning of his address at a rally held at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan, Khan said: "I am here to tell you that I will never accept this imported government.
"Now you know what a selected government is. It is placed atop after being selected from abroad and is afraid of elections," Khan said.
Khan said that he was ousted because his government followed an independent foreign policy.
"Our government was removed at a time when the economy was growing. All of this happened at a time when the coronavirus was wreaking havoc," he said.
Talking about the issue regarding the sale of Toshakhana gifts, Khan said that he repaired the road leading to the house from the money he earned by selling these gifts.
He defended the Toshakhana scandal against him by saying that "everything was declared and on record."
"During their time, when presents came, they could buy them back by giving just 15pc. We came and increased the minimum price to 50pc," he said.
"The wall I had to erect ... I did not take money from the government, and these people are today doing this propaganda. I'm challenging that never in Pakistan's history a prime minister has ever spent as less on himself as I did."
Khan said the government has also announced to form a commission to investigate the foreign conspiracy against his regime.
Addressing prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, Khan said that his party will not accept any commission under this government and demanded an investigation by the Supreme Court.
PTI chairman criticised prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and his family for the corruption cases against them.
He urged the judiciary to offer protection to officers in charge of pursuing corruption cases.
"These people — where they're sitting — tell me, which govt officer will take action against them when they know they will be subjected to revenge. I ask the courts, 'is it not your job to protect these officers?'"
Khan said that he is asked what happens after the Minar-e-Pakistan address. "Open your ears and listen carefully, the real party has just started," he said.
Earlier, the former premier's security had been beefed up in view of severe threat alerts to him.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had asked the interior ministry to provide effective and foolproof security for the former premier.
Following the premier's directives, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah sent emergency letters to the home secretaries of all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well as the chief commissioner and inspector general of Islamabad Police to ensure strict security of Khan.
The ministry said no negligence or lapse in the security of the PTI chairman during his rallies and public gatherings will be tolerated.
On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Lahore had written a letter to the PTI leadership regarding security threats ahead of the party's public rally.
The commissioner, citing threat alerts received from security agencies, recommended that the ex-prime minister address the public gathering virtually by video conference instead of making a physical appearance at Greater Iqbal Park.
PTI accuses govt of blocking routes
Meanwhile, PTI leaders have accused the government of blocking routes leading to Minar-e-Pakistan in an attempt to hinder the party's power show in Lahore.
PTI's Lahore rally is the third time Khan will address the public since his ouster as prime minister of Pakistan through a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.
PTI has planned several public processions throughout the country as it looks to mobilise the masses for early elections.