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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, while taking up his anti-government protest to the next level Monday warned the authorities against taking any steps to stop his party’s upcoming Azadi March.

Addressing an oath-taking ceremony of PTI workers and supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the PTI chief urged them to prepare for the upcoming long march and he will see them there but did not announce a specific date.

Regarding the upcoming PTI’s long march, Khan said that he has not told his team regarding his planning. He claimed that the rulers would never succeed in foiling the plan of the PTI’s long march.

He lamented that the PTI Rawalpindi team did not come out as per the expectations during the workers’ convention.

Since April 10, 2022, when Imran Khan was ousted from power through a vote of no-confidence, he is repeatedly issuing warnings to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led coalition government ahead of his long march to the capital, while the government is mulling plans to thwart his protest.

The PTI has been repeatedly holding anti-government public rallies across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces, the two political power centres for PTI since Khan’s ouster. The PTI chief has for the past many months is announcing unveiling the date for the latest long march but as yet he has not given a confirmed date.

But now, the PTI chairman said that he is planning the nitty-gritty of the upcoming march and that he wanted his organisational set-up to gear up and knock on every door for participating in the protest.

The PTI chief said that he would announce the date for the march later on, but warned Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that even if they “hang themselves upside down”, they won’t be able to stop the march.

“I am readying the nation for the march. This will be a defining moment in Pakistan’s history,” he said, adding that he will be monitoring the progress of the march himself.

Moving on, the former PM said that he has known Sanaullah and PM Shehbaz for the past 40 years. “The more cowardly a person is, the crueler he is. The brave does not do cruel things; he has confidence in himself.”

While lambasting the PDM government, especially PM Shehbaz Sharif and the interior minister, the PTI chief said that the present ruling parties marched four times during his tenure as the PM, but he never stopped them, rather facilitated them in the best possible way.

Criticizing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Imran Khan said that she wanted to march on Islamabad, but ran out of stocks of “qeema nans” midway. He further slammed Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari saying Bilawal also marched on Islamabad and reached D-Chowk where the PTI government placed no restriction against his long march, but his legs started to shiver “kanpien tang neylagein”.

The former PM said that his phones were being tapped and his house workers were being bribed to turn against him. He alleged that people supporting him were being harassed. “They only want us to accept them in government, but the nation will never accept them in power. That is why I am planning for a long march. We know what we are planning, but they don’t,” he added.

In a swipe at PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Khan said that he addressed a “heartfelt” press conference from London where he described his trials.”But the nation is asking you a question: where is the stolen money?” the PTI chief, while slamming the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, asked.

Imran Khan said that he will now meet the workers in the long march. “I am preparing the nation for the long march which will be the biggest long march in history. We will hold peaceful protest within the limits of the Constitution and law.”

He also criticised the amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law and said that the rulers modified the NAB laws to protect themselves from facing accountability in corruption cases. The amended laws were benefiting Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and others, he added.

He claimed that they are trying to convince the PTI for accepting the rule of the “thieves”. The PTI chief said that the current governance system has endangered the future of the young generations of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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