Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) Imran Khan addressing a press conference at PTI secretariat. — Photo by INP

ISLAMABAD: Encouraged perhaps by the people’s response to the four-day sit-in by Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran in Islamabad, Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan has threatened to launch a ‘tsunami march’ if a ‘neutral’ caretaker prime minister is not appointed before elections.

“The PTI will take out a huge tsunami march if a neutral umpire (caretaker prime minister) is not appointed. We will protest to save democratic process from a total disaster,” the cricketer-turned-politician said at a news conference on Saturday.

The PTI, he said, would go for its own protest plan, when required, stating that the party workers had already been told to remain prepared for his call.

Referring to the long march led by Dr Tahirul Qadri, Mr Khan said it was the first step towards a ‘true change’ and the next elections would herald a major change in Pakistan. “The status quo forces are now claiming that the long march has failed. Actually this was the first step towards change as thousands of people came out on roads to bring about a change,” he said.

Mr Khan, who had refused to join the TMQ’s sit-in at the last moment, on the one hand termed Dr Qadri’s march a positive step but on the other called it ‘unconstitutional’, saying the PTI did not participate in the long march because it always resisted ‘unconstitutional moves’.

He said the nation had already endured the PPP government for five years and now when polls were just a few weeks away the PPP would not be allowed to become ‘a political martyr’.

The declaration signed by the government with Dr Qadri, he said, had no legal or constitutional status and it was not binding on the rulers.

Responding to a question, Mr Khan did not rule out possibility of electoral alliance with Dr Qadri. However, he said that Dr Qadri was yet to decide about participation in elections.

Mr Khan said both the TMQ and PTI had similar demands and views regarding change, but their approaches were different. The PTI, he said, wanted change only through the ballot.

The PTI chief reiterated his demand that President Asif Ali Zardari immediately resign as under him holding of free, fair and transparent election was almost impossible.

He criticised the comments of PML-N president Nawaz Sharif that in case of President Zardari’s resignation, the PPP would elect a new president. After his resignation, Mr Khan said, Senate Chairman Nayyar Bokhari would become the acting president of the country.

The PTI chief also claimed that so far his party had not been consulted on the issue of the nomination of the caretaker prime minister.

It may be mentioned that PML-N’s Chaudhry Nisar had claimed that the PTI had even suggested its own names for the caretaker prime minister. Mr Khan said the federal and Punjab governments were dolling out huge funds in the name of development to its lawmakers and even candidates.

He urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of this practice.

He urged the chief justice to take notice of mysterious death of NAB officer Kamran Faisal who was investigating the rental power project scam.

He said that Kamran had been murdered to send a message to others investigating sensitive cases.

Updated Jan 20, 2013 02:15am

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