Civil disobedience: Imran, supporters burn electricity bills at sit-in

Published: September 20, 2014
Imran Khan burns his electricity bill during a speech at D-Chowk. PHOTO: INP

Imran Khan burns his electricity bill during a speech at D-Chowk. PHOTO: INP


Living up to his promise, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan set alight his electricity bill on Friday as part of his civil disobedience campaign against the government while citing its failure to curb rampant power theft despite  raising tariffs by 80% in a year.

“I will travel to Karachi on Saturday to convince the people to burn their utility bills,” Imran said while addressing thousands of his supporters from atop his custom-built container at D-Chowk hours after the joint session of parliament pledged to support the democratic process. At the venue, hundreds of PTI workers also set their bills on fire.

There was a visible increase in the deployment of police force at D-Chowk which triggered speculation that the government might crack down on participants to smash the 36-day-long Dharna. The fears were in the air, clearly perceivable.

Criticising the prime minister’s speech on the last day of the joint sitting of parliament, the PTI chairman jeered at Nawaz Sharif for comparing himself with the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. “There is a huge of difference between Nawaz Sharif and Muhammad Ali Jinaah. Nawaz Sharif, you should be ashamed of yourself when you compare yourself with the Quaid-e-Azam. The Quaid never told lies. The Quaid never evaded taxes and he always disclosed his assets,” Imran said.

He called upon his supporters to stand up to the ‘tyrant’ and fight against tyranny. “We’re here for this cause and I’m standing here to fight,” he said.

Imran said that the PML-N staged a rally on Friday in the capital city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – where the PTI is in power – but no one placed shipping containers on the roads to thwart the rally because the provincial government believes it was a democratic right of the people to protest.  “But the chorus of ‘Go Nawaz, Go’ was heard in that rally too,” he said, adding that the federal government was using the police force against protesters in Islamabad.

An accountability court on Friday acquitted the Sharif brothers in a money laundering reference. The PTI chairman said this was bound to happen because the NAB chief had been appointed by the prime minister in connivance with the opposition leader in the National Assembly, who himself was facing corruption charges. “In a week you will hear that Syed Khursheed Shah has also been acquitted in the corruption cases,” he said.

The PTI leader said if his party came to power, all graft cases against corrupt politicians, including Khursheed Shah and the Sharif family, would be reopened. He heaped criticism on the PML-N government in Punjab and asked what they have done for the poor people in “their 30-year tenure”.

To substantiate his claims of massive rigging in the 2013 elections, Imran said that two more judges have given verdict exposing rigging in PP-136 and PP-107. In PP-136, the judge termed the role of the returning officer ‘shameful’, as 80% polling stations in the constituency were rigged. About the prime minister’s claim that all but one issue with the PTI had been settled, Imran said that the government was lying. “We know if we end our sit-in, the government will renege on its commitment and will refuse to implement any of our demands,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2014.


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Reader Comments (7)

  • vinsin
    Sep 20, 2014 - 9:25AM

    Jinnah was confident that India Muslims will move to Pakistan after its creation. Most of them stayed back. You can blame Nehru for that too. Jinnah after negotiating 25% land for Indian Muslims in the name of Pakistan from Mountbatten also tried to get Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bhopal, Junagadh(successful), Kashmir and supported separatist movement in Hyderabad. All of which was against the spirit of partition.


  • Ghazi
    Sep 20, 2014 - 12:13PM

    alone Karachi received 10 million emigrants
    and by the way, if you come across the Pakistan resolution of 1940 it asked to create a separate nation for Muslims in muslin-majority provinces and neighboring districts and if you know Kashmir has a Muslim majority ferozpur and gurdaspur districts of Punjab also had a majority but first was given so that India has control of the rivers of pakistan and later so that india has a route to Kashmir it has been proved that Radcliffe awarded these districts to Pakistan but mountbatten forced him to do vise versa the night before partition
    and if you say that ghulab singh dogra had the right to decide the fate of his people according to his own wishes then so did the muslims rulers of hindu state


  • Shuaib Bhat
    Sep 20, 2014 - 2:50PM

    Millions did at that time. I’d like to add that at Partition Pakistan included Bangladesh. Over 66% of muslims of India were given independant rule because of Jinnah. I’d like to add that it is entirely our fault Pakistan hasn’t developed into a good country. However, our independance is still good for us in the long run. You will see that our nation’s resources are much higher than India’s espcially on a per capita basis.


  • muhammad ahmed khan
    Sep 20, 2014 - 7:52PM

    Go Nawaz Go !


  • muhammad ahmed khan
    Sep 20, 2014 - 8:07PM

    Wonder how long this system will take to survive. People are fed up. Go status quo Go !! Go Nawaz Go


  • unbelievable
    Sep 21, 2014 - 2:00AM

    Most Pakistanis don’t pay their utility bills anyway … so burning an invoice doesn’t mean a whole lot. Hard to believe that any serious politician would encourage not paying a utility bill – especially when the govt is already subsidizing the price.


  • vinsin
    Sep 21, 2014 - 8:49AM

    @Shuaib Bhat:
    Your figure are wrong. 62% of Indian Muslims got homeland. From the current India only 25% of Indian Muslims moved to Pakistan as opposed to expected 86.6% by Muslim League, Congress and Jinnah. That resulted in more resources for Pakistan on per capita basis. Biggest looser were non-muslims as they fought for secularism, independence and still India is not a secular country. Many Indian Muslims always supported and waited for Pakistan to be a successful country to move to till last decade. That didn’t happen strangely. Biggest winner are Muslims of Subcontinent who got 3 countries for themselves and demanding more.


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