ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday said that the narrative of Imran Khan had finished and he himself had admitted that his march to Islamabad had failed because he was not properly prepared.
Addressing a news conference in response to the former premier’s media talk in Peshawar earlier in the day, she said Mr Khan had admitted that they were not prepared for continuing the march.
“But why didn’t they come prepared for the march, because the preparations were [made] only to collect arms, ammunitions, sticks and other weapons,” the information minister alleged, adding, “They had announced that it would be a bloody long march and they were fully prepared for it”. She said that was the reason they could not even gather 35,000 people in Islamabad.
Marriyum says 18 security men injured in violence during march
Referring to Imran Khan’s announcement that he would return to Islamabad to stage the protest after six days if his demands were not met, she claimed that he would not return even in six centuries, and reiterated that fresh elections would be held upon completion of the coalition government’s constitutional term.
The minister said that despite utilising the resources of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Imran Khan could not muster support of people and the only target of the march was to pitch the KP police against the police force of Punjab and the federal capital.
Ms Aurangzeb said that based on agencies’ report she had earlier said that Imran Khan had supporters who carried weapons and people saw it on their TV screens that the participants of the march were armed.
“So they were prepared for their bloody march but the general public did not participate in it,” she said.
She recalled the pro-judiciary movement led by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif during the Musharraf era and said that nobody carried weapons in that march nor was it aggressive and its only strength was the massive participation of general public.
She said the statement by Imran Khan that he had left Islamabad because there were fears of bloodshed “was a false claim” because he had reached the federal capital without any obstacle from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the Supreme Court had issued directives that there should be no hurdles on the way.
“The real story is that people have rejected you,” the minister said. “People have rejected the armed groups.”
She said that 18 Rangers and police officers were injured in violence during the march. “You tortured policemen, set fire to trees in Blue Area only to cover up the “flop show” as it was clear that people had rejected the politics of vandalism, arson and sabotage,” she said.
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2022