Imran throws ball in the court of 'neutrals', judiciary

Asks youth to be 'fully prepared' to combat the odds


​ Our Correspondents May 24, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan is addressing a news conference in Peshawar on Sunday, May 22. PHOTO: TWITTER/PTI

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ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR:

Defiant and poised to descend on the federal capital to nail his colours to the mast, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the ball was now in the court of judiciary, bureaucracy and the “neutrals” - a thinly-veiled reference to the establishment - to demonstrate whether they were with or against the “thieves” governing the country.

He described his long march to the federal capital against all odds as a "test" for state institutions. “It is a test for everyone, including the police,” Imran told the party's youth wing in Peshawar on the eve of his ‘Azadi March’.

Reposing his confidence in the nation that was “well aware of the conspiracy”, the former prime minister said the people of the country will make the right decision. He added the nation will never surrender to “thieves” and the “imported government” at any cost.

While inviting the people from all provinces and cities to attend his march, Imran stressed it was the responsibility of the youth to remove obstacles in their march towards ‘real freedom’. “We have always remained peaceful and worked under the ambit of the Constitution and the law.”

Against the backdrop of the government's measures to thwart the march on anticipations that it would turn violent, the PTI chief maintained his party never harmed police or the masses during any of the protests staged during its tenure and severely criticised the crackdown launched by the “imported government, slaves of the Americans and the biggest thieves imposed on us.”

He recalled that his party had always allowed its rivals to organise protests as it was their democratic right. In spite of this, he noted, people were being thrown behind bars and the sanctity of homes was violated against the traditions on Monday night. He reiterated that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif hatched a ‘conspiracy’ from London and the “Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs at home” toppled the government.

“At least 60 per cent of the current cabinet is out on bail,” he added. Imran Khan announced that he would lead the youth and the rest of the party workers from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad tomorrow.

“Whoever that will come in our way will be washed away by the ocean of people,” he remarked and added that the PTI will instruct its youth to be “fully prepared” for an internet and mobile phone outage.
Concluding, he said, “Our campaign will begin tomorrow and it will continue until a schedule for fresh elections is announced, the assemblies are dissolved and the imported government is sent packing.”

‘March to strengthen democracy’

Meanwhile, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi emphasised the’“Haqeeqi Azadi March’ was being held for strengthening democracy in the country.

Talking to the media, Elahi berated the government for carrying out attacks on PTI leaders and particularly condemned the raid on the home of Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, mother of PTI leader Walid Iqbal.

“Those who recite Allama Iqbal’s poems in their speeches had the audacity to raid the house of Justice Nasira,” he said, emphasising that the former judge of the Lahore High Court was not even involved in politics.

“The whole nation is saddened by the raid on Allama Iqbal’s house.”nHe stressed that as a custodian of the house, it was his duty to protect the fundamental rights of the members of the Punjab Assembly, suggesting that MPAs whose homes are being raided by the police should film their ordeal so it could be presented in the assembly and in the courts as evidence of violations of fundamental rights.

The PA speaker went on to say that Imran Khan’s claims regarding a “foreign hand” pulling the strings in the country through the incumbent government have proven true.

Read Islamabad braces for PTI's long march as crackdown intensifies

‘1,100 places raided’

Separately, in a video message, PTI Punjab President Shafqat Mahmood claimed that on directions of the “imported government”, law enforcement agencies raided over 1,100 places in Punjab on Tuesday.

In a video message released from an undisclosed place, the former federal minister strongly condemned the illegal actions of the government and the use of police force against PTI workers and leaders.

“The government cannot succeed in stopping the PTI’s Haqeeqi Azadi March,” he added. He announced that the PTI public rally will reach Islamabad through Grand Trunk (GT) Road as the government had already blocked M-2 Lahore-Islamabad Motorway by placing containers.

He asked his party workers to reach GT Road. The party will soon announce the location of assembling the public rally, he added.Feisty and defiantHowever, the PTI leaders in Punjab, including PTI Information Secretary Musarrat Jamshed Cheema and Andleeb Abbas, appeared defiant in the face of the mounting crackdown, saying that all actions have further galvanised the party workers and public at large who believe that a foreign conspiracy was hatched in the country for a change of regime.

These police raids and arrests have laid bare the true face of the “false and fascist” government illegally imposed on the country.

Besides condemnations and approaching the court of law for the release of party workers, the PTI has issued a list of district lawyers’ teams along with their contact details and asked party workers to approach them in case of any difficulty.

The party has also floated a web form link to contact details of arrested party workers to provide them legal assistance as the Haqeeqi Azadi March has entered its final phase.

 

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