- Says he will march towards Islamabad on Wednesday
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday that there "was no room for staying neutral" in the current political situation, a statement that comes after the government said that it will not allow the PTI's long march on Wednesday.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced that the government will not allow the PTI to hold its march, saying that its proposed demonstration has nothing to do with the democratic norms as the party wants to spread anarchy in the country.
Following the government's announcement, the PTI chairman said that what took place on Monday night in Punjab was "shameful". He was referring to raids conducted at several PTI workers and leaders' houses in Punjab late Monday night.
Khan said that during the PTI government's tenure, the then opposition was allowed to stage protests and long marches several times.
"We never stopped them, instead we said we will help them in their demonstration," Imran said.
The PTI chairman said that he wants to ask the judiciary if it had given permission for harassment of people at their houses amid the recent developments.
The PTI leader also urged the judiciary to intervene, saying that the nation is looking up to it for action, telling them that this was their "trial".
"If the judiciary has given permission for all this, then the credibility of Pakistan's judiciary will cease to exist."
Addressing the country's bar associations, he asked why they were not condemning the government's actions. "The bar associations that are not issuing condemnations, the nation is looking at you. Are you standing with the government?"
He further said that staying "neutral" was no longer an option, adding that God has not given "us permission to walk in the middle".
"You need to understand that the public is looking at you, and you will also be judged. You will be equally responsible if the country goes towards destruction."
He said that he would lead a rally from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad on Wednesday, saying that for him this was no longer about politics but was a "jihad".
The former PM called on his supporters to "leave fear behind" as the government was trying to intimidate PTI.