PTI invites coalition partners to ‘Azadi March’

Published August 5, 2014
Pervez Khattak. — File photo
Pervez Khattak. — File photo

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Monday said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s ‘Azadi March’ on Islamabad against the federal government would bring about the real democracy in the country.

Talking to reporters in Islamabad, the chief minister said his party, the PTI, had formally invited its coalition partners in the province to participate in the march.

“All political and religious parties have welcomed the call of Imran Khan to dethrone two kings sitting in Islamabad and Lahore, whose governments are in fact the product of rigging in the May 2013 polls. Mid-term elections are the only solution to the current political imbroglio in the country,” he said, according to a handout issued here.

The chief minister said PTI leader Imran Khan wanted pure democracy in the country and had engaged all party lawmakers to pave way for the new, corruption-free country, where there was supremacy of law, merit and justice for everyone.


Khattak says party’s protest to bring about real democracy


He said the long march’s decision on August 14 was final and that it would decide the fate of the federal government.

“The days of the rulers are numbered,” he said.

Khattak said the time had come to get rid of the federal government installed as the result of record rigging in the May 2013 elections. He said the time for thumb impression verification and recounting of votes in four National Assembly constituencies was over. “Now, we will not agree to anything except mid-term elections,” he said.

Regarding the federal government’s desire to meet the PTI leadership and address the party’s reservations and discuss its demands, the chief minister said Imran Khan neither did any backdoor diplomacy in the past nor would he do so in future.

“We demanded and struggled for reforms in the electoral process for a year to prevent rigging and ensure transparency in the future elections but the government didn’t listen to us,” he said. Khattak said his party did its best to resolve the issues through talks in an amicable political manner.

He alleged that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet members paid no heed to the PTI demands.

The chief minister asked where such people were a year ago when the PTI demanded electoral reforms and was ready to resolve the issues through dialogue.

He alleged that the prime minister was acting like a king. “He (prime minister) is trying to impose his will on other politicians and political parties and doesn’t respect political norms and writ of the national institutions,” he said.Khattak said Nawaz Sharif’s dictatorial attitude had disappointed the opposition and it had now threatened to come onto the streets to stage protests. He said the consensus was being developed among all parties to join hands against the Nawaz Sharif government.

The chief minister said one million people would participate in the ‘Azadi March’ and that no force would be able to stop them from proceeding to Islamabad. “A peaceful march is our democratic right. We hope the centre will not turn it violent by using force,” he said.

Khattak said the federal government wanted to create hurdles to the march and it could even arrest party workers and leaders. He said if the federal government was dissolved, then all provincial assemblies, including that of Punjab, would meet the same fate. The chief minister, however, said sacrifices on part of all political forces were a pre-requisite for ensuring true democracy and providing relief to the poor in the country.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2014

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