PM issues clarion call for D-Chowk rally

Says opposition in Islamabad’s Sindh House is sitting with ‘bags full of money’ to ‘buy loyalties of govt lawmakers’

Our Correspondent March 16, 2022
PM Imran addressing a public gathering in Swat on March 16. SCREENGRAB


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday lashed out at the opposition parties, saying their leaders were sitting in Islamabad’s Sindh House with “bags full of money” to “buy the loyalties of government lawmakers” and urged the people to reach Islamabad’s D-Chowk on March 27 – a day ahead of the no-confidence motion – to show that they stand with the “truth” and against the “slaves of America”.

The premier made these remarks while addressing a public gathering in Saidu Sharif, Swat. Earlier this week, the PTI had announced that it would hold a “massive power show” at Islamabad’s D-Chowk on March 27 and pull out one million people to the streets to “express confidence in their leader [PM Imran]”. The ruling party is expected to give a plan of action on opposition's no-confidence motion, which it believes would fail.

While addressing the pubic gathering on Wednesday, PM Imran thanked the people of Swat for according him a warm welcome. He came down hard on the hurriedly cobbled opposition alliance pursuing the scandalous “Changa Manga” politics and noted that the coming days would prove to be defining moments in history.

“As I have invited people in Islamabad on March 27 [for a rally], nation should come out to tell that they stand with the truth and not with thieves, dacoits, hypocrites and the slaves of America,” the premier said.

PM Imran said “bags of notes” were being used from Sindh House in Islamabad for horse trading and “buying conscience” of the members of parliament like “Nawaz Sharif did in Changa Manga in the past”.
“Does the constitution allow horse trading? Does any democracy in the world allow this? Is this practice allowed in the UK, the democracy which we follow?” he asked while posing a question to the election commission.

The premier maintained that the opposition parties were resorting to “malpractice” to protect their corruption. “They know that if Imran Khan remains in power, all of them will be in jails.”Referring to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairperson Asif Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PM Imran said he would hunt down the “three mice”, which had joined hands for the no-trust motion and come out to defeat him.

Appearing confident to defeat the move, he said, “I will take ‘three wickets in one ball’.” The premier was critical of the PML-N and PPP for raising the country’s debt “four times” during their 10 years of rule (2008-18) and spending public money on “private foreign visits”. “They protected their personal interests at the cost of the country’s interest,” he remarked, and urged the people to come out against the corrupt.

Challenging the PML-N and PPP to compare their governments’ performance with that of the PTI during the last over three years, PM Imran said the opposition parties feared the country’s progress achieved by his government.

Read Voting on no-trust motion to take place after March 27: Faisal Javed

“The way we handled the situation of Covid-19 pandemic as well as the country’s economy through successful policies was appreciated by the world.” Counting on the government’s “achievements”, he mentioned the increase in the country’s exports and revenue collection after which the price of petrol and power tariff was reduced.

He observed that there had been record production of wheat, maize, rice and sugarcane crops, which led to realisation of additional incomes for farmers, besides enhanced IT sector exports and the Billion Tree Tsunami Programme to tackle the challenge of climate change.

“The initiation of projects for 10 dams including Mohmand, Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha to be completed by 2025 and 2028 will increase the country’s water reservoirs and help boost the agriculture sector.”

Referring to Nawaz, PM Imran said the sons of a three-time elected prime minister were living abroad and considered them unaccountable on the pretext that they were not Pakistani citizens.

Similarly, he maintained that the “daughter of Nawaz Sharif, who is a beneficial owner of four apartments in London, is unable to tell about the source of funds utilised for purchasing those apartments”.

Accusing Shehbaz Sharif of opening bank accounts in the names of his lower staff in order to avoid his “corruption”, PM Imran said the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly got adjournments in the case citing various excuses.

The premier expressed pleasure over the unanimous adoption of Pakistan-sponsored resolution on Islamophobia by the UN General Assembly and appreciated the efforts of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the UN.

The prime minister said he had emphatically raised the issue of Islamophobia, Muslims sentiments on blasphemy and linking terrorism with Islam and Muslims at various international fora including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations.

“The adoption of resolution by the United Nations General Assembly, which declared March 15 to be observed as a day against Islamophobia, is a major success for Pakistan after 1973 when the country’s parliament declared Qadianis a non-Muslim minority.”

He questioned whether the opposition parties including former premier Nawaz Sharif had raised the issue of Islamophobia at the UN or OIC. “When he [Nawaz Sharif] met the US President with [pre-written] notes in his hands, he should have had a slip about Islamophobia or Kashmir,” PM Imran remarked.

“Why Fazl who is in politics for such a long time did not raise the issue of Islamophobia?”
He, however, added that the “slaves had faith in nothing but their money”. The premier described the decision of the high court of India’s Karnataka state against hijab as Islamophobia.

He censured the PML-N and PPP leadership for not condemning the drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas during 2008 to 2018. “Only those leaders, who do not have their assets and properties abroad, stand against the powerful countries,” the PM said.





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