- Says the nation rejected Imran Khan's politics of vandalism
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Friday that former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had accepted defeat by revealing that he and his party were not prepared for the “Azadi March,” Aaj News reported.
“Imran Khan and his supporters were not prepared for the march because the only preparation they had done was to assemble arms and batons to use against unarmed policemen,” she said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.
“They were preparing for a violent march,” she said, adding that Imran Khan came to Islamabad with an intention to create anarchy in the country.
“The only reason he returned to Bani Gala was that he accepted his defeat and as against the claims of assembling 2 million people, he couldn't even mobilise 35,000,” the minister said.
Marriyum claimed that by the time Imran Khan’s caravan entered Islamabad, only 15 to 20 vehicles and not more than 2,000 people were accompanying him.
“This was why you spent hours on your way to D-Chowk, begging people to join your long march.”
"People have realised your evil intentions and, therefore, rejected you politics of vandalism."
The Information Minister said that PTI supporters were led astray because of Khan's false narrative.
Marriyum's press talk comes less than an hour after the PTI Chairman stressed that his decision to call of the party's 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.
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.
He clarified that there was no "deal" behind his decision, 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.