DAWN.COM

Today's Paper | August 15, 2022

Updated 24 May, 2022 04:17pm

Imran says long march towards Islamabad to take place in last week of May

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday announced a rough timeframe for his planned long march to Islamabad, issuing a call for the last week of May without mentioning the exact date.

He said the decision was taken in a meeting of the PTI's core committee.

"This call is for all of Pakistan, and not just for the PTI," Imran said in a video message released by the PTI.

He explained that the call was being given because the country was "insulted" and "the most corrupt people were placed atop the country via a foreign conspiracy."

Imran lashed out at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet, saying that the former was being referred to as "crime minister" and he had corruption cases against him while 60 per cent of the cabinet's members were also out on bail.

"I want to give a message to all of Pakistan to start preparing from now. The start of our preparation will be chaand raat (eve of Eid) and I want to say specifically to the youth that you have to come out with flags and tell the whole world that the Pakistani nation is alive."

He predicted that the march to Islamabad would be the "biggest" in Pakistan's history and a "sea of people" would flood into the city and give the message that "never after this will any foreign country be able to place a corrupt group over us and Pakistan's nation will make its own decisions."

Imran had first spoken of his march to Islamabad last Saturday in his first press conference after his ouster via a successful vote of no confidence.

On Tuesday, he elaborated that the march's purpose would be to give the US the message that Pakistan was a "free country" and urged his supporters to gather people from every village, street and locality and prepare them for the movement for "true freedom".

"I want two million people to come to Islamabad when I give the call. I want all of you to go to the people and preach to them about our movement for true freedom," Imran had said on Wednesday while an adoring crowd chanted slogans in support of the PTI chairman at a workers' convention in Lahore.

Claims of conspiracy

Imran claims that his government was sent packing and PM Shehbaz's regime was subsequently "imposed" on the country as part of a "conspiracy" hatched by the US against his insistence of having an independent foreign policy.

"This conspiracy started when the US decided to remove Imran Khan," the PTI chairman had said on Tuesday. "Their secretary Donald Lu came to our US ambassador and threatened him that if Imran Khan wasn't removed Pakistan would have to face difficulties. He also said that if Imran Khan was removed by the no-confidence vote, Pakistan would be forgiven."

"They [US] knew that the corrupt mafia would seek forgiveness," Imran had said, stating that the US knew "these dacoits had money abroad. Always remember, all those leaders who have money, palaces and businesses abroad can never stand up to the US. They will always remain slaves to the US."

The ex-premier had also called out the Shehbaz government for "weakening" the institutions of the country such as the Federal Investigation Agency, the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Board of Revenue.

Imran had subsequently reiterated that now was the time to take charge and told his workers to communicate his message to people in every corner of the country.

Read Comments

At 75 years, Pakistan is viewed as the sick man of South Asia. Can it heal over the next 25? Next Story