PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court for saving the nation from further "deterioration of its moral standards", which he said were compromised by his political rivals in a bid to topple his government under a US-orchestrated conspiracy.
The statement from the ex-premier came hours after the top court announced its decision on a presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution which is related to the status of defecting lawmakers, saying the votes of defecting legislators will not be counted.
The verdict by the larger bench of the apex court was a 3-2 split decision, with a majority of the judges not allowing lawmakers to vote against party line in four instances outlined under Article 63-A. The verdict went on to say that defections were "one of the most pernicious ways" in which political parties could be destabilised, noting that they could also delegitimise parliamentary democracy.
"Thank God, the Supreme Court rejected the votes of lawmakers who were committing betrayal with their people, the country, and the Constitution," Imran told his audience in a public meeting in Attock today.
While hailing the decision, Imran also urged the court to seek the record of corruption cases of the Sharif family and conduct day-to-day hearings on the cases.
He said the incumbent government had deliberately "destroyed" institutions such as the Federal Investigation Agency in order to render them ineffective in probing corruption cases.
Imran also appealed to the Supreme Court to order an inquiry into the recent death of FIA officer Dr Mohammad Rizwan, who died of an alleged cardiac arrest. In his speeches over the past week, Imran had raised suspicions of foul play regarding the nature of Dr Rizwan's death.
The PTI chief's appreciation of the top court stands in contrast to his public criticism of the judiciary over the past few weeks in his political power shows where he had asked why the courts opened their doors at midnight prior to his ouster.
'Only demand is immediate elections'
The ex-premier lamented that Shehbaz and his son would have been convicted a year ago, but added it could not happen due to the weak justice system in the country.
"We just want one thing and that is immediate elections. We do not accept this America-backed government," he told the crowd.
Imran said he was "carefully planning" the date of his upcoming Islamabad march and would unveil it in days to come.
He also sought a promise from rally attendants that in future elections they would not vote for leaders whose properties and assets were stashed abroad.
The PTI chief also "congratulated" the Khyber Pakhtonkhwa for having just one "turncoat" in the entire province. He said the PTI will never forgive those who defected to other parties "for the sake of money".
Lashing out at the current government, Imran reiterated that he had signed an agreement with Russia to procure oil and wheat at 30 per cent discount. However, he alleged that "the current government revoked all those agreements right after coming to power."
'No provision to be neutral'
He said there were two kinds of people in the country: "one, who are trying to fix the problems faced by the country, and the others others who have been looting the country for 30 years".
"Allah has asked us to choose between the two and he has not allowed us to be neutral here."
He predicted the government will now "hastily approach" the United States for help and seek money on the pretext that Imran will come to power if the amount was not provided.
The former PM further said that Asif Ali Zardari was "enjoying" the current political situation whereas Shehbaz was "struggling" as the PPP had control of Sindh alongside a share in the federal government.