PESHAWAR: Explaining his position as why he abruptly called off his Azadi March on May 26, former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that he scuttled his protest in order to avoid bloodshed while outrightly denying any deal behind it.
Addressing a press Conference in Peshawar on Friday, the former prime minister hit hard at the incumbent rulers saying they turned their peaceful protest into a violent one. He rued that the police got off lawyers from buses in Lahore and subjected them to torture.
“The rulers have used the Punjab police to perpetrate violence on the PTI workers. Which police use force against their own people, against their women and children?” Imran asked.
The PTI chief said that the government spread propaganda against his party that they were going to spread anarchy.
“How come people who were coming out of their homes with their families, their women and children were supposed to spread anarchy,” the ex-PM said while denouncing rulers who perpetrated violence dubbing them followers of Yazid.
“I am the person who gave a 126-day long sit-in in 2014. Sitting in another protest isn’t hard for me. But when we reached the venue of the sit-in in Islamabad, we sensed that situation was not right. It smacked of bloodshed. People were ready to fight. Our people suffered torture at the hands of police and reached the D-Chowk. They were incensed and highly charged. I assure you that people could have clashed with police and indulged in bloodshed that day,” Imran explained.
The PTI leader lamented that the government had appointed Gullu Butts in police. It’s not the mistake of police, police force is being used by the rulers, he added.
“No one should think that scuttling march shows our weakness. We took the decision in order to avoid clash. We did not enter into any kind of deal. I simply did not want that a gulf will be created between the people and the institutions,” he added.
He, however, made it clear that if anyone was under the impression that his party would sit silently and accept the ‘imported government’, then he was living in fool’s paradise.
“We are giving six days to the government for the announcement of election date. If the government does not dissolve assemblies within a week, we will launch our march again. And this time, we will be fully prepared,” the PTI chief warned.
Imran lamented that despite clear directions by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the rulers created hurdles in the ways of PTI marchers. He saluted his supporters who participated in the march for showing courage.
Imran khan denounced the amendment made to election laws on Thursday to reverse legislation his government had enacted earlier on the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and granting voting rights to overseas Pakistanis.
He said depriving overseas Pakistanis was an unconstitutional move.
He repeated his claims about the prime minister and his cabinet members saying “as far as I know in Western democracy, no one can even think that whoever has the case is the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister. Now if the nation cannot protest against it then what to do?”
Imran Khan said that the PTI had filed a petition before the Supreme Court against police brutality and the court instructed the government to stop police action and remove barricades, but the orders were not followed by the government.