- PTI chief says public will soon pour out on streets to protest corruption
In an apparent reference to nationwide protests by Sri Lankan public and storming of the presidential palace, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said that Pakistan was near a similar moment.
“In just over 3 months, the Zardari-Sharifs' mafia has brought the country to its knees politically and economically simply to save their illegally accumulated wealth amassed over 30 years of plundering Pakistan,” he tweeted.
“My question is how long will state institutions continue to allow this?”
“I can say with certainty after my interaction with our nation and their response to my call for Haqeeqi Azadi that people of Pakistan have had enough and will not allow these mafias to continue their loot and plunder. We are not far from Sri Lanka moment when our public pours out into streets," the PTI chairman said.
On Friday, Khan urged his workers and supporters to come out on streets and protest after Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari scrapped 10 votes of PML-Q during the Punjab CM election and turned the tables in favour of Hamza Shehbaz.
PML-Q’s PTI-backed candidate Pervez Elahi garnered 186 votes but lost the Punjab chief minister's seat to Hamza after Mazari nullified 10 votes on account of a letter received from PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat. Hamza received 179 votes.
In the letter, Shujaat wrote “As party head of Pakistan Muslim League, I have issued directions to all my provincial members to cast their votes in favour of Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz Sharif.”
Subsequently, Khan called a nationwide protest. “I am in shock at what happened in the Punjab Assembly,” he said.
The PTI chairman said that the people will never accept this; “the people, especially the youth, should hold peaceful protests for their rights”. He also said that until the culprits face justice there was no future for Pakistan.
Earlier this month, thousands of protesters stormed Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's home and office and the prime minister's official residence, as demonstrations over their inability to overcome a devastating economic crisis erupted into violence.
The soldiers and police were unable to hold back a crowd of chanting protesters demanding Rajapaksa's resignation and blaming him for the country's worst economic crisis in seven decades.
The protest forced Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down.