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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has announced that his party would start its election campaign in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) from Saturday (March 4) and urged the party workers to arrange corner meetings in all districts.

“After the Supreme Court’s decision, we ended the ‘jail bharo’ (volunteer arrest) movement and we were starting the election campaign on Saturday,” the former Prime Minister said while addressing the nation through a video link here on Wednesday.

He disclosed that on Saturday, he would address the corner meetings and give a roadmap that would address the country’s prevailing problems. He continued that he would tell the nation how to get out of the quagmire Pakistan was stuck in; “the coalition government has no solution to the country’s issues or a roadmap”. He advised the party workers to fasten their belts and start preparations for the upcoming elections. “The PTI would not let the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) run away from the elections,” he added.

Hailing the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Khan congratulated the nation and said that it has upheld the supremacy of the Constitution through its historical judgment. “We have embarked on the path that would make Pakistan a great nation; the country would have been a developed country if such kind of justice had existed before. The nation’s development and prosperity was interlinked with justice, as was cased in the developed countries,” he added.

“A neutral and upright judiciary never suited the PML-N because it could not protect their interest or give decisions as per their wish,” he said, adding that ‘mafias’ (referring to the incumbent rulers) in Pakistan have deprived the people of their human rights.

Khan assured the judiciary of his party’s complete support, adding that he wanted Pakistan to work as per the Constitution. He said that nobody would pressurize the judiciary now, as the youth were active on social media.

Talking about the presence of the ‘mafia’ in the country, the PTI said that this group violated all the laws in the country because they wanted to grab power and close their corruption cases worth Rs 1100 billion through legislation; “these rulers came to power through an ‘auction’ and not elections”. He lambasted the ‘mafia’ for violating fundamental human rights, saying that his government was ousted through a conspiracy. “They (the incumbent rulers) tried their best to remain in power without seeking public opinion,” he added.

Talking about the Federal Law Minister’s statement on the verdict, he said that his (Minister) opinion was shameful; “the PML-N does not like honest judges”. He maintained that there would be no excuse for not holding the elections after the verdict.

He maintained that his life was still under threat, adding that he could be attacked again and might be killed. “Cases were being registered against me on daily basis and he was being asked to appear before the courts despite serious threats to my life,” he said.

Mentioning the arrests of the PTI leaders, he said that he would not forget the inhuman treatment meted out to Shahbaz Gill and Azam Swati and there was a painful story of Arshad Sharif’s death. He accused Nawaz Sharif of hatching a plan to murder him (Khan) and Arshad Sharif in London.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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