RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Tehrek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Rawalpindi chapter on Sunday staged a protest outside the Rawalpindi Press Club, asking Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) submitted its report in the Supreme Court in the Panama leaks case.
More than 200 PTI workers and supporters gathered at Liaquat Bagh, in front of the press club. They were led by PTI district president Zahid Kazmi and other leaders including PTI city president Mohammad Asghar, Imran Hayat and Farrah Agha were also present.
Participants carried placards inscribed with slogans saying the Sharif family is corrupt and chanted slogans including ‘go Nawaz go’, ‘go corrupt mafia go’, and ‘we demand resignation of Nawaz Sharif’.
This was the party’s first protest in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad after new office bearers were appointed by Imran Khan.
The PTI chief appointed Zahid Kazmi as district president after finding that the previous office bearers had failed in mobilising workers and supporters over the Panama leaks issue.
However, PTI MPAs did not participate in the protest on Sunday including the party’s three MPAs in Rawalpindi.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kazmi said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar should step down after they were declared guilty in the JIT report.
“If they do not step down, PTI Chairman Imran Khan will call for country wide protests,” he said.
Mr Kazmi said it was unfortunate that Pakistan was being ruled by Nawaz Sharif and that people like Shahbaz Sharif were holding the highest public offices.
“The Sharif family plunder the country and establish offshore companies abroad but the time has come for the people to bring back their wealth from abroad,” he said.
He said there is a dire need for bringing back the wealth stolen from the country and to hold the thieves accountable. Mr Kazmi added that Imran Khan is a popular leader and demands for the people to be given their rights. He said Imran Khan will soon be calling for protests to demand the rulers to resign.
He said people should stand up for their rights and ask the Sharif family why they hid their wealth abroad and made the country poor. He said commissions and kickbacks were received in various projects, which lead to more corruption.
Other speakers also urged the Sharif brothers to step down and threatened that the people will otherwise get resignations from them via mass protests.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2017