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Imran plans siege of Islamabad on Oct 30

Updated Oct 07, 2016 09:21am

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PTI chief Imran Khan talking to Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a meeting of his party on Thursday.—INP
PTI chief Imran Khan talking to Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a meeting of his party on Thursday.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has called on party workers to lay siege to Islamabad on Oct 30, telling them to stay put until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns or presents himself for accountability in the backdrop of the Panama Papers leaks.

The charged PTI chief also took the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership to task for going soft on the government, returning to his earlier stance that both “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari are not only in cahoots but are also providing cover to each other’s corrupt practices”.

In fact, Mr Khan criticised the PPP leadership responsible for its slow reaction to the Panamagate scandal, saying the party had dragged its feet on the formulation of terms of reference (ToR) for a proposed inquiry commission.

Sounding more like his 2014-self, Mr Khan said Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah himself faced corruption charges and was on Nawaz Sharif’s payroll.

“I am of the firm belief that, come what may, Zardari will never go after Nawaz Sharif for corruption. In fact, both have an agreement to protect each other,” said the PTI chairman.

Mr Khan even went as far as to suggest that the PPP leadership should follow the MQM’s minus-one formula and get rid of Mr Zardari, who had only brought a bad name to the party by committing widespread corruption. “Why has Mr Zardari fled the country; why is he not coming back?” he asked, rhetorically.

Talking about his party’s decision to besiege the capital city, the PTI leader said that if the prime minister didn’t meet his party’s demands, he wouldn’t let PM Sharif continue running the government. “A detailed modus operandi will be released afterwards.”

Flanked by the entire PTI leadership, Mr Khan said that with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and PPP joining hands to maintain the status quo, “I am left with no option but to go for a solo flight against their collective corruption.”

The PPP, he said, had already crash-landed in the National Assembly by playing friendly opposition. However, he praised Aitzaz Ahsan for genuinely striving against the Sharifs’ corruption and demanding their accountability.

Mr Khan again criticised government institutions — such as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) — for their silence on the Panama Papers leaks, and hoped that the Supreme Court would do justice to petitions filed by his party and others.

When asked why he was coming back to Islamabad, the PTI leader responded: “Because the government is here.”

In the same breath, Mr Khan said that he knew the people of the twin cities would have to face inconvenience again, but “you have to face it if you want our future generations to live honourable lives.”

On tensions between Indian and Pakistan, Mr Khan said that these were largely due to the government’s failure on the diplomatic front, which boiled down to the lacklustre leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Had the prime minister provided genuine leadership and not stayed busy looting the country and enjoying his stay in his palatial houses abroad, India could have not isolated our country,” he said, adding that when Narendra Modi was busy isolating Pakistan, PM Sharif had gone on a shopping spree in London.

Defending his decision to stay away from the ongoing joint sitting of parliament, Mr Khan referred to how the opposition and treasury benches had sparred, accusing each other of corruption. “Is this the collective message they want to send the outside world?” asked the PTI leader.

Earlier, when Mr Khan arrived to chair a party meeting at a local hotel, he was seen on video congratulating other party leaders over the trade of barbs by PPP and PML-N members in parliament.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2016

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Comments (24) Closed



Hashim Oct 07, 2016 09:55am

And again. more dharnas, more inconvenience for the public, and more people in the end turning their backs on PTI. Some people never learn !!!

JUSTICE Oct 07, 2016 10:01am

Please keep the pressure on until all the leaders of PML-N and PPP are indicted on Panama Leak and hold them accountable for past corruption charges.

Talha Oct 07, 2016 10:06am

IK is absolutely right. With the pace PPP was trying to take the Panama issue PMLN could have served two more terms with ease. Asif Zardari, Fazlur Rehman, Mehmood Achakzai, Altaf Hussain, Asfandar Wali and Nawaz Sharif are not six different people. They all are the same person with different names. They don't want accountability in the country. IK will have to counter them all. All five would come to the sixth person's defense whenever IK talks about accountability.IK can easily live a luxurious life full of praise from media with ease. He is only driving this change for us, the Pakistani nation. If the entire nation supports IK then he will overcome all odds. IK may make mistakes but he doesn't have ill intent for Pakistan, something one can't say for the group of six.

Ahsan Oct 07, 2016 10:16am

Minus one formula for Ppp.... Lol

ART KP Oct 07, 2016 10:21am

@Talha Add Khwaja saad rafique, Pervaiz Rashid and Abid sher ali to the list.

Duniya Hasan Oct 07, 2016 10:25am

To be honest I am getting tired of Imran khan. The guy just never quit and wait for his turn. He should be more focus on KPK development and show country he should be next PM of Pakistan. You can't just do dharna all time time.

abdul Oct 07, 2016 10:25am

@Hashim So we let them get away with this Panama Gate and rule over us and don't even ask for the accountability? Is this what you are saying?

Tamza Oct 07, 2016 10:47am

@Hashim and perhaps some accountability for those who have and are looting the country and setting it back decades.

Hamid Shafiq Oct 07, 2016 10:50am

@Talha lives in 5 star home and talk about poor people lives in slums.

kharal Oct 07, 2016 10:55am

IK is right with his stance,question is why poor people born here to vote repeatedly for corrupt landlords and industrialist turned politician.Owner of PPP and PML(N) have had looted country turn by turn,now someone have come in both way to challenge and asking for accountability.

Malik Oct 07, 2016 11:00am

how about minus one formula for PTI :) to bring some sanity...please take it as a joke ;)

Objective View Oct 07, 2016 11:25am

@Ahsan

Right; a lot more than one need to go before PPP comes anywhere near being party run on democratic principles.

Imran Oct 07, 2016 11:43am

NawAz And zardari are the most honest politicians and what imran khan is doing is totally wrong

Amin Ansari Oct 07, 2016 11:47am

I will be there not for PTI but for Pakistan. Enough is enough. Powerful must be held accountable for their actions.

Worth_Commenting Oct 07, 2016 12:40pm

@Duniya Hasan You may be tired but the people of Pakistan are more tired of Zardari and Nawaz. Imran Khan is right. This whole status quo needs to go!

Imran AB Oct 07, 2016 01:36pm

Easy to say for making lives of Islamabad and Rawalpindi common people hell till this protests last. Why doesnt he do it in Zaman Park.

farrukh iftikhar Oct 07, 2016 01:43pm

I can see frustration growing among PTI followers. Imran khan 's PTI is turning to another Jammat e Islami. He should have foucsed on Khber paktunkhwa. If he want to do accountability should do through courts and ballot box.

Imtiaz Ali Khan Oct 07, 2016 01:47pm

Corruption is the number one enemy of Pakistan. 182 million of Pakistanis know this. Imran is on the right track, because those who are corrupt billionaires, tried and tested 3 times and failed, just simply needs to go. Pakistan First!

shakeel Oct 07, 2016 01:51pm

he is filled with energy after successful jullsa in raiwand!

Anis Muhammad Oct 07, 2016 02:01pm

Dear Iman Khan if you want people to vote for you, you need principals, our people are not willing to accept your sweet words and have a one night stand we want principals and actions. You remember charter of democracy, the one you was shouting about, well stick to it.

Mahmood Oct 07, 2016 02:14pm

The momentum is building. Soon the protests will be held every day, in every major city around the country for NS to pay attention.

azi ahmed Oct 07, 2016 02:19pm

All those who are against Imran Khan Dharnas .....Ask yourself 1 question and only you can answer it to yourself honestly......Is Imran Khan corrupt ?? I bet we can all vouch that he is not corrupt, thats the answer to Pakistans prosperity. Change is necessary for everything ,otherwise we will fail to grow.

Jamil Oct 08, 2016 11:26pm

@Duniya Hasan The political system needs to be changed before there is any hope of change for the betterment of the country and there are forces working towards that end.

Jamil Oct 08, 2016 11:51pm

Unless and until we don't rectify our flawed political system, we as a nation can not realise our full potential.