Imran to lead ‘peace caravan’ to Waziristan

Published: July 15, 2012

PTI supporters throng Imran Khan at the rally in Peshawar. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: 

Amid fears of a possible terrorist attack, thousands of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters and activists marched in a rally in Peshawar, protesting drone attacks, reopening Nato supply routes, power outages and corruption.

Addressing the rally which was organised from Hashtagairi Chowk to Firdousi Chowk on GT Road, PTI chief Imran Khan also announced to take a peace caravan to Waziristan, a place engulfed by militancy and security operations, by late September. “I ask [President] Asif Ali Zardari to reveal the names of all the innocent people killed in the US drone attacks,” Khan said. “We will take representatives of human rights organisations and the media with us to Waziristan. We will march for peace,” he said.

He added that the party wanted to show the government that “innocent people” were being killed in the area by the drone strikes. A fired-up Imran Khan also warned President Asif Ali Zardari of a ‘tsunami march’ towards Islamabad, if the government attempted to override the judiciary.

Speaking on the US-led war on terror, he said it had nothing to do with Pakistan. “This is not our war, this is not Pakistan’s war,” he added. “Innocent people are being killed in the war on terror which the government is fighting for dollars.” The charged-up crowd then started chanting the famous slogan: “Amreeka ka jo yaar hai, ghaddar hai, ghaddar hai (Those who are friends with the US are traitors).”

The party chief also called on Zardari to “bring back his Rs1 billion from Switzerland.” He also lashed out at Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, calling him “Raja Rental” and for being the sole one responsible for the acute load -shedding in the country. “It is because of your theft and ineligibility that people are suffering.”

PTI President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and central leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi also addressed the rally.

They said that load-shedding, corruption, inflation, unemployment and lawlessness were at its peak, but the government was not bothered to eradicate them.

Police officials present at the scene claimed that there were around 15,000-20,000 PTI activists and supporters at the rally. It was dominated by anti-US and anti-Zardari slogans, with motorists and bikers honking horns and waving party flags during the march.

At one point during the rally, the excited crowed breached the barbed wires placed at a distance from the stage, sparking panic on the stage of a possible bomb attack. Various leaders, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi left the stage, however Imran continued with his address, with police officials quickly dispersing the people involved in the breach.

The PTI chief also criticised the leader of Awami National Party (ANP), Asfandyar Wali Khan for siding with Zardari and becoming his aide in corruption. He lambasted the ANP leader for failing to end the violence against Pashtuns in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Imran pledged that PTI would end all bloodshed in the province if he won the upcoming general elections and would strive to alleviate the misery of the people in the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2012.

Reader Comments (16)

  • Javed Shah
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:25AM

    PTI is stretching its limit and getting its supporter out of comfort zone. Big hurray to team PTI for hard efforts and peace efforts. It is important to bring FATA brothers in the political stream. No one can do it better than Imran Khan.

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  • Tahir Alyana
    Jul 15, 2012 - 12:05PM

    This man is something. Great efforts this man is putting to bring pakistan on better course. And mind you only Khan can do it.

    Go khan on your way and we are with you even if we are to lose our lives.

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  • Dr Shah
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:05PM

    The momentum in all the four provinces strongly favors PTI. IK is right to claim the young generation from both genders has ALREADY decided to bring a peaceful democratic revolution. The moment for that revolution is approaching fast, by grace of God.
    Salam to the new vanguard

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  • ONLY PTI
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:50PM

    This man desereves to be called a LEADER

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  • waqas
    Jul 15, 2012 - 2:07PM

    we are with a corruption free pakistan and you all know who is best among the zardari , sharifs and Imran ? Imran Khan zindabad

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  • observer
    Jul 15, 2012 - 4:53PM

    Will this ‘peace caravan’ free the local population from the clutches of the Taliban- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

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  • Pears
    Jul 15, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Has Mian Sahib or Zardari come across their supporters like Imran Khan has in the picture above? Imran Khan is a true leader indeed……….

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  • Cautious
    Jul 15, 2012 - 8:55PM

    So why wait until late Sept — why not now? How about some spontaneous trips to both Waziristan’s to show the World that they are not controlled by the militants?

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  • Jul 15, 2012 - 9:44PM

    No party,no leader in such circumstances can dare to to go Wziristan
    as Imran Khan decided.It is exposed by that he is true sympathiser of
    those,being targeted by drones.No doubt,he is true in his nature.

    He is clean-handed,his hands are cleaned not smeared with corruption or
    blood of innocent people.In the present time,he looks a single man who
    can have talk with enemies keeping eyes into eyes.

    As for my mentally approach is concerned,majority of the people of Punjab
    have decided to vote him in forthcoming general election.It also can be expected
    the same hope from other provinces.

    According to the prediction of political experts,PTI may come into power in the result of
    upcoming general election.

    In case,PTI could not gain crucial majority then would be coalition in the center and common man would have to face the same circumstances.

    So it is better,people should reject all tested in the past time and again.

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  • Wahab Khan Afridi
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:36PM

    laugh on imran khan when he say this is not pakistan war

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  • Jul 15, 2012 - 11:21PM

    He is right in his stance,
    really the war being fought by our armed forces is not our war.
    It is the war,United States had imposed on Iraq in the name of weapons of mass destruction and thereafter Afghanistan in the name of 9/11 attack.

    United Stats occupied Afghanistan successfully but failed in facing guerilla warfare sprea dout all over Afghnistan and still continued.

    Pakistan has involved by high policies.

    Imran khan ‘s stance on this war is hundred percent correct.It is not our war,it is American who has trapped in it and now trying to get out.

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  • Mian
    Jul 16, 2012 - 1:14AM

    “At one point during the rally, the excited crowed breached the barbed wires placed at a distance from the stage, sparking panic on the stage of a possible bomb attack. Various leaders, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi left the stage, however Imran continued with his address, with police officials quickly dispersing the people involved in the breach”……nuff said

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  • Kirmani
    Jul 16, 2012 - 1:22AM

    All the best, Imran!

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  • You Said It
    Jul 16, 2012 - 2:11AM

    The Taliban attack lay citizens traveling to Waziristan. But PTI and Imran Khan claim they can hold a jalsa in Waziristan. Is this because they have an assurance that the jalsa will not be disturbed due to Imran Khan’s persistent support for the Taliban? What does it say about Imran Khan and PTI that they have support from the Taliban, who only support their rigid & extremist views of Islam, and do not recognize the legitimacy of democracy in Pakistan.

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  • Omar, Karachi
    Jul 16, 2012 - 2:15AM

    @Cautious:
    The Army will need to sanitize and the lay the ground work for the jalsa to pass off peacefully. This will take a few months and create the impression that IK & PTI have popular support. Unfortuantely, other parties will not be able to get this support from the establishment.

    This is all of course just political posturing since the Frontier Crimes Regulation is still in force in FATA, which means that FATA citizens dont have the usual rights anyway. So this jalsa is primarily for the benefit of popularizing Imran Khan’s pro-Taliban stance among the rest of the country.

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  • Ali
    Sep 6, 2012 - 8:46AM

    I really hope that Imran Khan becomes the next president of Pakistan. He not only is against the war, but stands up for losses of innocents. If he is killed whilst performing this action. I am sure he will go to heaven because he stood up for not only Pakistanis but for HUMANITY. Imran Khan saab zindabad!

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