Imran promises mammoth rally on 22nd

PTI chief accuses police of violating privacy of his home

Imran Adnan March 19, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan addressing his supporters on March 19, 2023. SCREENGRAB


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan announced on Sunday a “mega power show” at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Wednesday, the eve of the Pakistan Day celebrations.

Addressing his supporters via video link from his Zaman Park residence, Imran vowed a “mammoth rally” at Minar-e-Pakistan, which he said would be like a referendum to prove which side the nation stood.

“We are holding a mammoth public rally on Wednesday. It will be more like a referendum,” he said. It will tell the nation where the public stands and where the cabal of crooks and their handlers stand,” he added.

Previously, the PTI had announced that it would hold a public rally at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday. However, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had instructed the party to reschedule the rally in consultation with the district administration.

Condemning Saturday’s police action at his residence, Imran lashed out at the inspector general (IG) of the Punjab police and the officers involved in the raid. He accused the police of breaking down the main gate and exterior wall of his house.

“At the time of attack”, Imran said, “only his wife, Bushra Bibi, and a few domestic help were present. I want to ask everyone, police, army, judges and citizens about the respect of ‘Chadar and Char Dewari’ [privacy of the home] in Islam.”

The PTI chief alleged that there was video evidence that officials looted whatever they could find at his residence. “Is the police supposed to loot homes. Do you have a little shame,” he questioned.

“Exactly what is my crime? The nation knows I always abide by the law,” Imran said. “But this fascist government has registered 96 cases against me. More cases are registered, whenever I leave my house,” he added.

Imran said when he returned to Lahore the other night he was angry at the police action at his residence, therefore, he decided not give his speech. “It was good that I did not address yesterday … a person should not speak, when angry,” he maintained.

The PTI chairman reiterated that the coalition government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was behind the attempt on his life in Wazirabad in November last year and added that they had the support of their handlers.

Giving a recap of the recent events, Imran said after announcement of the election schedule, his party decided to kick-start its election campaign by holding a rally in Lahore on March 8.

“On the night of March 7, we finalised every detail with the police as to how the rally would proceed. We got permission. The next day, as we were about to start, the interim government imposed Section 144 and police appeared clad in riot gear,” he said.

“How could Section 144 [ban on public gatherings] be imposed after the announcement of election schedule,” Imran asked. He added that when the rally started moving, the police used water cannons and tear gas against PTI workers.

“Subsequently, I had to cancel [the rally] because I knew that they are trying to make the situation worse to find an excuse to escape the elections,” he continued. He said that there were constant attacks at his home.

The police operation at Zaman Park, the former prime minister said, was the reason he asked for shifting of the hearing of the case against him to another place in Islamabad. The F-8 Kachehry was a death trap,” he added.

About the arrest warrants, Imran said, a posse of police officers raided his residence to “implement the warrants issued by a magistrate” but when warrants for Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah were issued, no action was taken”.

Speaking about the turn of events on Saturday during his court appearance, Imran asked if he just had to mark his attendance in a court in Islamabad, why his home was being attacked from three sides.

“Yesterday, when I left my house, I said goodbyes to my wife. I had in mind that I might either be arrested or killed. Then, Rangers arrived in armoured vehicles, jumping over the walls like some commando action was taking place,” he claimed.

He added that when he reached the Toll Plaza, police had closed the motorway and only one lane was open. “They had thought that once my car left, they would close it behind me so that rest of the cars could not follow,” he said.

By this, he alleged, the government had either planned to isolate and kill him on his way to the Judicial Complex, or they wanted to arrest him and shift him to Balochistan. However, the people came out to receive and protect him.

“When we got close to the Judicial Complex, police started firing tear gas shells relentlessly. We waited outside the Judicial Complex as the situation deteriorated,” the PTI chief continued.

“I knew they will try to kill me in the crossfire if I left my car,” he charged “They have long planned to assassinate me, and I have been exposing their plans for two months,” he maintained.


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