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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has urged the ‘neutrals’ to correct their path, saying their current course would destroy the country.

“Harassment is not a solution; free and fair elections is the only way to address the problems that we were facing right now,” the former Prime on a video link here on Tuesday.

He said that he has managed to keep their political workers and supporters calm and compelled them to register their protests within the law, “but if the current course of terrorising the people continues then the situation would get out of their (neutrals’) control”.

Khan came hard on the ‘imposed government’ for harassing and arresting his party workers and his supporters on social media. He alleged that terror was being spread so that they distance themselves from the party. He recalled the ‘atrocities’ committed on them during the PTI ‘jail bahro’ movement and a police raid on his residence at Zaman Park, and ‘plans’ to assassinate him on numerous occasions. “The imported government and its handlers had abducted several social media activists to silence their voices. Restrictions were being imposed on the media to silence the opposing voices. The legal community was not allowed to function for the implementation of the rule of the law in the country,” he added.

“The government’s brutal actions against us are against the law and this only happens where the law of jungle prevails. For this reason, the people started pouring into Zaman Park after they lost their confidence in the system,” he said.

He noted that countless ‘fake’ cases were being registered against him and his party leadership. “The ‘neutrals’ were behind this and such acts would only invite hatred against them. A large number of people turned up at the PTI public gathering on March 25 to send a clear message to the neutrals. Could they not see the people were turning against them; they should open their eyes,” he added.

He noted that the PTI does not believe in violence and only wants to follow a democratic path and thus it seeks elections in the country; “in contrast, the ‘unknown’ people and the incumbent government have adopted a path of violence to derail the elections,” he said.

He urged the nation to raise its voice against injustice, but all should remain within the law. He stressed that every Pakistani citizen had to take a stand for the rule of the law; otherwise, the situation would further deteriorate and provision of justice would become a distant dream and human rights violations would further increase.

He also asked the lawyers’ community to play their role by standing behind the judiciary, as it was facing a threat; all efforts were being made to create a division among the judges. He invited lawyers to participate in a ‘Lawyers’ Convention’ being held here on Wednesday (today), as it was high time for the legal community to put their differences behind for the implementation of the rule of the law in the country.

He also lamented the government for suppressing freedom of speech by blocking his party’s coverage on private channels and harassing people on social media for voicing their opinions. He asked the journalists why they were silent on this, as freedom of expression was a basic fundamental right of everyone.

The PTI chief castigated the incumbent government for poorly managing the distribution of ‘atta’ (wheat flour) among the needy people; saying it has made them beggars and it was playing with their self-respect; “eight people have lost their lives while trying to get a bag of ‘atta’”. He recalled that in his tenure, the poor people were given monetary relief in a dignified manner during the Covid-19 pandemic days.

“In 11 months, this government has destroyed the country; it is facing unprecedented inflation and unemployment is on the rise. An agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not in a sight. With or without the IMF agreement, the people would not get relief, as Pakistan is trapped in an economic mess. The coalition government has no roadmap to address the country’s economic woes,” he said, warning that in the coming days, the situation would get worse.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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