• Asks people to be ready for call after May 20
• Challenges media to highlight price hike
• Says dissidents conspired with ‘present-day Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq’ to overthrow him
ABBOTTABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Sunday once again called on people, especially his party workers, to get ready for his call to reach Islamabad, saying a sea of people would remove all hurdles and barricades that would be set up by the “imported” government.
He was addressing a public gathering at a postgraduate college here in connection with his mass public contact drive to invite PTI loyalists and workers to the ‘Islamabad march’.
Mr Khan made it clear that he would give the ‘Azadi March’ call any day after May 20, saying he was expecting a huge representation from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said the march would put the country on the path to real independence and democracy.
Talking about the role of media in highlighting price hike during his government’s tenure, Imran Khan said today the so-called media had gone into hiding and no media person was doing any programme on the issue and highlighting people’s misery.
He challenged the media to dare highlight price hike as it did during his term.
“I am confident that on my call, a record number of people will participate in the march,” Mr Khan said, adding that there would be only one voice and that would be “we do not accept the imported government and want real independence”.
He reiterated that he never wanted unhealthy relations with other countries during his term as prime minister and strived for ties based on equality, respect and not slavery.
He claimed that his government was removed under a great conspiracy as “we had refused to fight wars of others on our soil”, adding that he wanted a respectable foreign policy.
He said he did not believe in the concept of super powers as the only Super Power was Almighty Allah.
Mr Khan called Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his team looters and alleged that the “puppet” prime minister was trying to defend and protect the money looted by his family.
It was strange that the Sharifs had looted over Rs40 billion while Rs16bn was found in the accounts of their servants, he said, adding that it was a test case for the judiciary to take action against this wrongdoing.
The former prime minister claimed that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) staff conducting inquiries against the Sharif family had been transferred, adding that 60 per cent of the federal cabinet members were on bail.
Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs
Talking about the dissident members of his party who had sided with the other side, he said they had participated in the US-backed conspiracy to remove a democratically elected government.
“Accompanying them in this intrigue were the Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs of today,” he said.
Narrating the stories of Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq, the former prime minister said Sirajud Daula was a governor of the Mughal emperor whose commander-in-chief, Mir Jaffar, joined hands with the English.
The province of Bengal was one of wealthiest provinces and was contributing the most financially to the Centre, but due to Mir Jaffar, it fell under the control of the English who looted it, Mr Khan said, adding that due to its poor economic conditions, millions of people died of hunger and famine.
He also spoke about Mir Sadiq, who had betrayed Tipu Sultan.
Meanwhile, taking notice of Imran Khan’s comments, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the government would take legal action on the comments made against institutions, the state and Constitution in the Abbottabad rally.
Earlier, acting governor and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani and former federal ministers Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pervez Khattak and Ali Mohammad Khan also spoke on the occasion.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan addressed the public gathering and questioned the poor knowledge of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the province.
The chief minister reminded him (PM) that everyone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had Sehat cards valued at Rs1 million while a 20kg bag of flour was being sold at Rs800.
He said the day Shehbaz Sharif’s ‘imported government’ was imposed, the country started facing excessive power loadshedding.
Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2022