- Says he ended long march to avoid bloodshed and violence
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Friday that his decision to call of the party's planned sit-in in Islamabad, originally intended to pressurise the government into calling early elections, should not be considered a sign of weakness.
PTI abruptly called off its sit-in on Thursday morning after having mobilised his party workers from different parts of the country during a chaotic 24 hours that saw violent clashes with law-enforcement agencies as his caravan made its way to the federal capital.
The government, later on Wednesday night, had even authorised deploying Pakistan Army troops to control the escalating chaos. However, the next morning, Imran gave a six-day ultimatum, and vowed to return if the early-election demand was not met.
Addressing a presser on Friday, the former PM said that he called off the sit-in once the situation turned violent, stressing that he feared bloodshed may follow.
The PTI chairman said the people were ready after seeing the "terrorism", adding that there was a prevailing sense of hatred against police officials.
"Everyone was ready to fight, some of our people were so angered by what they saw," he said.
The former PM said that after the Supreme Court issued the order of allowing the demonstration, we thought all the blockades would be removed and there would be no issue with the police.
He added that he wants to make it clear that there was no "deal", adding that he will be back if the government does not give a date for early elections.
"I did not make a deal with anyone," the former PM said, adding that the PTI would not negotiate with or accept the "imported government".
"If the government fails to call early elections within the deadline, then we will return and this time we will be prepared," he said.
The PTI chairman also shared that he has written a letter to the Supreme Court asking if or not PTI had the right to stage a peaceful protest in a democracy.
He said that he had written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to make his position "clear".
"In six days we will find out whether or not the apex court protects our fundamental rights," he added.