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Imran vows to put up ‘grand show’ to mark a month of protests

Updated September 10, 2014

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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan meets with his supporters at D-Chowk sit-in in Islamabad on Wednesday. – Photo by Online
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan meets with his supporters at D-Chowk sit-in in Islamabad on Wednesday. – Photo by Online
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks to marchers in Islamabad on Wednesday night. – Photo by Online
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks to marchers in Islamabad on Wednesday night. – Photo by Online

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that his protest movement will complete one month on Saturday and vowed to put up a grand show to express national solidarity, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to participants of his Azadi sit-in at D-Chowk, he vowed to bring more evidence against the government to make his party’s case even stronger. “On Saturday, we will unveil things which should have been brought in the parliament,” he said.

The PTI chairman criticised the federal ministers for claiming a trillion rupees loss due to his and Dr Tahirul Qadri’s sit-ins in the federal capital. He demanded an explanation into the allegation.

Brushing aside allegations of paying electricity bills and not following his own civil disobedience movement, Khan termed it false propaganda. He urged the masses not to pay power bills.

Despite paying IPPs billions of rupees, why circular debt of the power sector has increased, he questioned.

The PTI chief reiterated his stance that holding peaceful protests were his party’s lawful right, adding that it was a battle between oppressors and oppressed.

Khan urged the nation not to waste this opportunity and join him at the protest sit-in.

Earlier, speaking to media representatives after conclusion of the 14th round of talks with the government, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that dialogue has entered into a ‘sensitive phase’ and refused to discuss it any further.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is also a member of the government negotiating team, affirmed Qureshi’s statement and expressed hope for an early conclusion of successful talks.

Like PTI, government’s dialogue with Dr Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) also continued as both sides met at the residence of PPP Senator Rehman Malik.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that the FIR of Model Town incident has been registered according to PAT’s wishes and expressed hope for a transparent probe into the tragic incident.

PAT leader Rahiq Abbasi, however, ruled out a transparent and unbiased investigation into the killing with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif still in power.

Khan and Qadri have been protesting in front of the parliament to force resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections won by his PML-N party and CM Shahbaz Sharif over the Model Town incident.

Several rounds of talks have failed to resolve the over three-week-long crisis as protesters want nothing less than Sharif's ouster and fresh polls.

The government has ruled out prime minister's resignation and proposed a judicial commission to probe into the alleged rigging while Sharif has shown willingness to resign if the charges against him are proved.

The cricketer-turned-politician has moved his makeshift stage, set-up on a shipping container mounted on a truck, from in front of the Secretariat buildings to the D-Chowk facing the Parliament.

The anti-government cleric is also camping close to Khan's camp. His supporters have vacated the parking lot of the Parliament and are now sitting near the Constitution Avenue.