Minar-e-Pakistan Rally: ‘Go Nawaz, Go’ chant will haunt PM, says Imran

Published: September 29, 2014
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PTI chief Imran Khan addresses supporters gathered at Minar-e-Pakistan. PHOTO: INP

PTI chief Imran Khan addresses supporters gathered at Minar-e-Pakistan. PHOTO: INP

LAHORE: 

After a massive rally in Karachi, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday staged an impressive show of political strength in Lahore, a city considered as a bastion of power of its main political nemesis, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will not be able to rule now as the ‘Go Nawaz, Go’ chant will chase him wherever he goes,” PTI chairman Imran Khan told hundreds of thousands of his frenzied supporters in the shadow of Minar-e-Pakistan. It was a carnival atmosphere as men, women and children, waving party flags and donning party colour caps, sang and danced to songs.

“This slogan will not let him sleep,” he said, adding that one day someone from the prime minister’s own household would shout ‘Go Nawaz, Go’. Since August 14, Imran has been leading a street campaign for an audit of the 2013 elections which, he alleges, were massively rigged in favour of the PML-N. “Justice cannot be served so long as Nawaz Sharif is in power,” he said.

Imran renewed his demand for the prime minister to step down, appoint someone to step into his shoes and order an independent inquiry into the rigging allegations. The PTI chairman said he would not end the Islamabad sit-in, which started on August 16, until the prime minister resigned.

“If the inquiry proves me wrong, I will apologise. But if it confirms our allegations, then all who rigged the elections, their facilitators and abettors will face cases under Article 6 of Constitution,” he said.

Imran said that after 18 years of political struggle he was happy to see that the Pakistani nation has awakened. “I haven’t seen a bigger rally than this. I challenge Nawaz Sharif to gather even 10 per cent of the crowd present here,” Imran said as the charged crowd shouted ‘Go Nawaz, Go’.

He vowed no let-up in his anti-government campaign, saying that he would stage the next rally in his hometown of Mianwali on Thursday, followed by another one in Multan.

The PTI chairman said the Nawaz government had increased electricity tariffs by up to 80%in one year and charged consumers Rs70 billion in inflated bills. “If you pay your electricity bills, the prices will go further up in next two months. Don’t pay your bills. I have burnt my bills as well,” Imran told his supporters.

About the alleged rigging in the 2013 elections, the PTI chairman said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had yet not published ‘Form 14’, which presiding officers submit to returning officers (ROs), on its website “This means the ROs issued results without counting the ballots. If the ECP doesn’t upload Form 14 on the website, we will believe that the ECP was also involved in the rigging,” he added.

Imran said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif had a secret agreement whereby they support each other on the pretext of saving democracy. “We are happy that the joint session of Parliament was convened. Now, the whole Pakistan knows who stands with whom,” he added.

The PTI leader said that his Islamabad dharna had achievements to its credit, including registration of a criminal case against the prime minister. “The Supreme Court has also admitted petitions seeking disqualification of Nawaz Sharif for lying to the parliament,” he added.

Highlighting his vision of ‘Naya Pakistan’, Imran said a PTI government would focus on three areas: justice, education and humanity.

“We will introduce the same education system for the whole country. Currently, 800,000 children go to English-medium schools, 30 million to Urdu-medium schools and two million get education at Islamic seminaries.” He also vowed to turn governor and chief minister houses into libraries, ensure austerity and run the government with simplicity.

Earlier, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, other leaders of the party and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also addressed the rally.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Humza
    Sep 29, 2014 - 6:35AM

    Imran Khan should stop his nonsense and start working for the country. He has surrounded himself with people like Shaikh Rasheed, the Chaudries of Gujrat as well as many other questionable people. He can hardly talk about Naya Pakistan when he is surrounded by the ghosts of old Pakistan who are just power hungry and think nothing about destroying the country to obtain power. The nation needs investment, stability and co operation to overcome challenges. Not childish 3 rd world quick fix schemes a la Arab Spring. We all saw what happened in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia. Stop being a sore loser Imran Khan. It’s pitiful.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Sep 29, 2014 - 8:08AM

    Not only the whole nation but whole world has seem that whom is with whom during the joint session . Entire opposition except one party is standing behind the govt. to save the country’s democracy from the mobocracy .

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  • Usman
    Sep 29, 2014 - 8:41AM

    @Humza: Imran has been working for the country since the 90s, Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Namal College, Flood Relief, Earthquake Relief. Don’t call Imran a sore loser, he is doing what I as a contributor and member of PTI want him to do, I want him to ensure that the vote of every Pakistani is respected, I want him to ensure that every rupee is spent judiciously, I want him to ensure that merit prevails, I want him to ensue that the law is applied equally and fairly to all. As for being surrounded by Chaudhries, I have never any of the Chaudhries on the stage with him or part of his decision making coterie. As for investments, can you tell me in the yeas PPP or PMLN were in powe how much FDI, was registered? The people of Pakistan aren’t going to listen to this nonsense anymore, I doubt you can even voice you opinions in public anymore… The strrets of Pakistan are fed up with PPP,PMLN,MQM

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  • 'hussain
    Sep 29, 2014 - 9:50AM

    WE need Justice, self-believe and sacrifice to over come the challenges… We don’t need loans, corruption and status qou……

    IK is the hope and he unites us…. Go Nawaz Go…

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  • Rahat
    Sep 29, 2014 - 12:50PM

    We need a just and equal system, rise for a better Pakistan. “Go Nawaz Go”

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  • Humza
    Sep 29, 2014 - 2:09PM

    @Usman: You forget that a great number of people who used to support PTI and Imran Khan have been turned off because of increasingly irrational behavior. The intolerance of PTI supporters is just as baffling. You need to ask yourself whether you will tolerate dissent within your own party before you can tolerate dissent in the country because on both accounts PTI is lacking. Imran Khan may have been a great cricketer and a great philanthropist at one time but his behavior has shown his change and he has revealed himself to be just another stubborn, dictatorial, and power hungry political leader. You may deny seeing the likes of Shaikh Rasheed, the Chaudries of Gujrat and even the self styled messiah Tahirul Qadri who calls himself Lenin and Marx up on stage with Imran but know this: There is no such thing as a quick fix to anything. I believe in work and respecting majority rule. Learn to respect the majority vote even if you don’t like PML N and work within the system for change. Imran Khan could have done a great job in KPK, held the government to account like the chief opposition should and he would have won in 2018 but even former supporters like me no longer see him as a rational choice given his intolerant and abusive nature. People can change and Imran has shown the worst of himself. Most people I know in and out of Pakistan support this view.

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  • oBSERVER
    Sep 29, 2014 - 2:22PM

    @Usman: you have been very polite to this man.Actually it is this pea brain lot that is isolated and should be ignored.They will be eliminated or will reform.

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  • Chengez K
    Sep 29, 2014 - 4:19PM

    GO NAWAZ GO

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  • KS
    Sep 29, 2014 - 4:24PM

    @Humza
    “You forget that a great number of people who used to support PTI and Imran Khan have been turned off because of increasingly irrational behavior”

    Wake up man!!

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  • IK
    Sep 29, 2014 - 4:30PM

    @Humza: You yourslef lead the nation, if you don’t like IK! And I am sure noone can do like IK!

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  • Arif
    Sep 29, 2014 - 4:56PM

    First time in my life as a Pakistani I can see that a change has come in the middle and lower class of our nation. It is a fact that an elite class was ruling Pakistan in one form or other and this class in public may oppose each other, but actually they are all united to save their interest. This class is enjoying life and making fortunes for themselves irrespective of political, economical and social problems of the country. Very recent examples include joint session of parliament and especially the allegations of Ch. Nisar (current interior minister) to Ch. Itzaz Hasan (former interior minister) and the response of former minister to current. Allegations by interior ministers on the floor of parliament is something we can not ignore. Similarly, everyone (including PML(N)) was complaining about corruption by PPP government. But, how unfortunate it is that when PML(N) came in government, not a single case opened and a single corrupt leaderis taken to court or jail. On the contrary, they are following similar policy including the IPP poliy of Raja Ashraf. We can list so many examples to conclude that both (PML(N) and PPP) leadership belong to elite class and they will support each other whn any force threatens them.

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  • Rayyan
    Sep 30, 2014 - 5:56AM

    @Humza:
    N family has indulged in nepotism, corruption and dynastic politics, money laundering (Ishaq dar himself confirmed) , combine that with a heavily rigged election, and God knows what other deviations. You say IK should follow a “routine” method for registering his protest? He DID that already, in vain. This is the only option left now.

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