ISLAMABAD: Exactly a month after abruptly ending the Azadi March with a six-day ‘ultimatum’ to the PML-N government for announcement of early elections, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday announced he would lead the July 2 protest at Islamabad’s Parade Ground against the “imported government imposed on Pakistan through a US regime change conspiracy”.
A meeting of the party’s political committee, held with Imran Khan in the chair, examined country’s overall political situation amid rising inflation and discussed a future course of action. PTI’s Central Secretary General Asad Umar, Pervez Khattak, Asad Qaiser and Aamir Mehmood Kiyani along with other central and regional leadership of the party attended the meeting.
They condemned lawlessness witnessed during the first phase of local government elections in Sindh and expressed deep concern over what they called the failure of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold fair, transparent and credible elections. However, they expressed ‘happiness’ and ‘satisfaction’ over the decisive victory of PTI in PK-7 Swat, wherein PTI inflicted punching defeat on ANP candidate backed by 13 political parties.
According to a PTI statement, the leaders expressed their reservations over rising complaints of pre-poll rigging by the coalition government in 20 Punjab constituencies where by-elections will be held on July 17.
PTI workers told to make Parade Ground event ‘historic’
Calling enthusiasm among the people regarding the by-elections ‘a ray of hope’, they said government’s days were numbered.
Also, a briefing on preparations for the Parade Ground protest was given at the meeting. Instructions were issued to the Rawalpindi and Islamabad chapters of the party to speed up their preparations and public mobilisation campaign to make the event historic.
They also reviewed government preparations for the budget approval and price hike.
While unveiling the protest plan, the PTI chairman said he would lead the July 2 protest rally, as a strong movement against the government was inevitable. He said people from all walks of life, especially the youth and women, were politically more mature than ever, which was also evident from their overwhelming reaction against his government’s ouster.
‘Local Mir Jafars’ were flouting the Constitution, law and democratic values more ruthlessly than dictators did, he alleged. In a separate development, ex-premier’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill told a news conference that police claimed the staffer of Banigala, who he said had been hired years before being caught red-handed while planting a bugging device in Mr Khan’s bedroom on June 25, was not mentally well.
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2022