ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said on Monday that his party does not support martial law.
“Martial law is not the solution to the country's problems. We do not want any kind of violence,” Imran told a press conference in Islamabad.
“Nawaz Sharif is the Hosni Mubarak of Pakistan,” said Imran. “People are scared that if they come on the streets, the military will come.
“There are thousands protesting in Britain (in favour of Palestinians). Is the military coming (in Britain)?” he remarked.
The PTI chief reiterated that the army is not the solution, and that his party does not support martial law.
“Our protest will be peaceful,” he assured.
He called out to police and the bureaucracy to “save the country”.
“If something like the Model Town incident happens again, it would take the country towards destruction,” he said.
He appealed to people to maintain peace and to avoid vandalism and bloodshed as this would be a historic movement.
Sethi, Iftikhar Chaudhry involved in rigging: Imran
The PTI chief reiterated his stance over rigging during general elections held in 2013 and added that Najam Sethi, Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Ramday and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice (r) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ensured the victory of PML-N.
Khan claimed that Sethi was the third biggest player in the elections rigging and added that the Sharif brothers blessed Najam Sethi with key postings since they knew he could spill the beans regarding the rigging.
He claimed that in this regard Shahbaz Sharif had regularised one hundred thousand employees of the provincial education department one month prior to the elections.
The PTI leader also alleged that Justice (r) Ramday had held a dinner at his residence where all the Returning Officers had been invited as well.
During the dinner function former chief justice Justice (r) Iftikhar Chaudhry convinced all the Returning Officers (ROs) to support Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan further alleged.
Earlier, however, Imran Khan warned that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) will be responsible if the military intervenes.
Speculations are rife in the country about an impending political change.
Imran reiterated his party's support of democracy at a time when the government is under immense pressure to step down over alleged corruption and election rigging.
His appeal for a non-violent movement comes as observers question the nature of his protest with the inclusion of Dr Tahirul Qadri, who has called for “violence as revenge” against the Sharif family.
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Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Qadri is leading demonstrations denouncing the death of his supporters in clashes with the police in June.
A separate protest, led by opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, is planned for the capital on August 14 to protest alleged election irregularities. Khan has also called for the government to go.
The planned demonstrations have unnerved Sharif's fledgling civilian government. The Punjab government has blocked roads in Model Town that lead to the Minhajul Quran secretariat, and many parts of Islamabad have been cut off by containers and other barriers.
Some members of the ruling party fear the protesters may be getting support from elements in the powerful military, which has had a series of disagreements with the government. The military however denies meddling in politics.
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Observers and analysts speculate that if the ongoing political crisis persists, the army may intervene if unrest ensues during these demonstrations.
As a result of the government imposing Article 245 of the Constitution, additional troops are reportedly in place for the capital's security.