Back off or we march on Islamabad, Imran warns centre

Published September 3, 2022
IMRAN Khan addresses the crowd in Gujrat.— Twitter / PTIofficial
IMRAN Khan addresses the crowd in Gujrat.— Twitter / PTIofficial

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Friday issued a ‘fresh warning’ to the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government about marching on Islamabad if it “continued to torture” his party’s leaders and workers.

Addressing a public gathering at Gujrat’s Zahoor Elahi Stadium, Mr Khan said his chief aide Dr Shahbaz Gill was tortured in custody, while in Sindh, 27 FIRs have been launched against Opposition Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh.

Using a cricketing analogy, Mr Khan said the current political situation was that point of a match where the PDM government cannot win against the power of people.

Rallying the youth to be prepared to join his movement for haqeeqi azadi (real independence), he alleged that the ‘imported government was acting on the instructions of foreign powers’.

Squad car in PTI chief’s convoy catches fire on way back from event, no one hurt

Criticising the government over the recently-approved IMF loan tranche, Mr Khan said during his government, then opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif used to say that the government has given up the country to IMF.

He also said that despite oil prices going down in the international market, the “imported government” has increased the price of petrol to Rs236 per litre.

He reiterated that he tried to pursue an independent foreign policy and said “absolutely not” to the US.

Stating that the current government would never purchase cheap fuel from Russia, Mr Khan said that he feared the leaders would allow foreign forces to use Pakistan soil for their war.

Talking about the devastation from floods, Mr Khan said that the funds of Punjab and KP chief ministers have already received over Rs5.5 billion.

However, he added that the money will be distributed all over the country as per the needs and that he will soon collect more funds.

“I am starting my visits to flood-hit areas,” he said, adding that he will also continue holding rallies as he is preparing the nation for his movement.

As Mr Khan was on his way back from Gujrat to Islamabad, one of the squad cars in his convoy caught fire, apparently due to a short circuit, near Rawat police station, late Friday night.

According to police officials, the security personnel travelling in the vehicle jumped out to save themselves and no one was hurt.

Security sources said the PTI chairman’s convoy continued its journey towards Islamabad and the damaged vehicle was taken off G.T. Road.

Mohammad Asghar in Rawalpindi also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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