Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday alleged that another plot was being hatched to disqualify him in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases to pave way for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return from London.
“They have made a new plan to register new cases and disqualify Imran Khan in Toshakhana, and prohibited funding cases,” he said while addressing a mammoth rally at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.
Sniffing conspiracy behind the recent onslaught of legal actions against him, Imran said the motive behind the attempts to disqualify him was to force him to strike a deal with the government to nullify Nawaz’s lifetime disqualification so that both can compete in political arena.
“Under the conspiracy Nawaz will be brought back to the country by the end of September… and a character assassination campaign will be launched to malign me.”
“Don’t compare me with a dacoit… listen to me conspirators, no matter what you do I will not strike any deal,” he roared.
The former prime minister was announcing his much-awaited roadmap to attain the “real freedom” and the steps that needed to be taken for its achievement on the eve of Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day.
The address was being telecast across the country. As the clock struck 12, fireworks display and flag-hoisting ceremony were held to celebrate August 14 as the crowd erupted in cheers and songs.
Defending his stance on the military, the former prime minister said nefarious elements were attempting to drive a wedge between the PTI and the armed forces in order to harm the country.
Terming it a “foreign conspiracy”, Imran asserted he will never want the army of this country to be weak, adding that those who strive for “real freedom always want their army strong”.
Clearing the air about his remarks about the military, Imran maintained that, unlike the parties of the ruling coalition who have swung out against the army in a brazen manner, his own criticism was always constructive and wise.
The PTI chief then paused to play a number of clips on a giant screen installed right above him showing a slew of statements made by PML-N’s leadership casting aspersions on the armed forces. In one of the clips, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif could be seen lacing in top brass of the military for his ouster
Spelling out his plans, Imran announced launching a mass contact campaign under which he said he will stage rallies in various cities of the country including Karachi, Rawalpindi and others. He said his movement for “real freedom” has entered into its decisive and final stage.
“When they toppled my government, they thought people would distribute sweets, but millions of people took to the streets to protest against my ouster.”
Imran said the incumbent rulers were trying to instil fear among the masses through intimidation and asked people not to fear their intimidation tactics to achieve “real freedom”.
“I am coming out and to the people as the fight for real independence has entered its decisive phase […] my nation, be ready,” the PTI chairman told the people.
He said he has galvanised his party and its sub-organisations to prepare for the campaign, adding that he wanted the people to take his message of “real freedom” to every doorstep.
The former prime minister predicted that on the next August 14, “we will have taken our haqeeqi azadi (real freedom).”
Imran also announced formation of a new ‘Tiger Force’ which will follow the footsteps of those who fought for independence before the partition.
Speaking about May 25 brutality against the PTI workers, Imran asserted it was the democratic right of the party to stage peaceful demonstration but deplored that the “the corrupt rulers used state power against the peaceful protestors”.
“They descended on the unarmed protestors to terrorise them. Police was used against peaceful protestors,” he recalled out and added that during his own rule, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari brought out long marches twice but he did not take any action against them.
‘Politics for the sake of freedom, not wealth’
Earlier, Imran welcomed the crowd and praised its passion and fervour. He said he would give his roadmap of “real freedom” and the steps that needed to be taken for its achievement.
“I’m not ready to compromise on my people’s interests,” the former prime minister said, adding that he would never allow the nation to become a slave to anyone.
He said he would unite the nation and together it would pay off the country’s loans and stand on its feet after bearing difficult times.
“I know my nation is ready for sacrifices. The struggle for real freedom will continue until we don’t send the imported government packing and have fair and free elections.”
“Today you must listen to my address patiently. I will give you roadmap to achieve ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ [real freedom],” Imran told the crowd in his opening remarks.
Imran, while explaining his strategy to achieve “real freedom”, said fear was the most dangerous idol which enslaved human beings. “A slave nation can never prosper.”
“We got an independent country by giving millions of sacrifices… respect cannot be earned through wealth… those who fear death can never achieve anything big.”
Imran said since joining politics he had been speaking about turning Pakistan into an independent and sovereign country, maintaining that his narrative of “real freedom” was not aimed at wooing the voters.
Referring to PML-N leaders’ statements on economic crisis, Imran said the two families — Sharifs and Zardaris — are responsible for destroying the country’s economy. “They have been plundering for the last 30 years, made offshore assets worth billions of rupees and now they are asking who is responsible for this mess.”
Imran said Pakistan suffered huge human and economic losses after the former military ruler, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf bowed before the US and joined it’s so-called war on terror.
“They [US] carried out drone strikes on Pakistan but Sharif and Zardari never raised their voice against this oppression,” he said, adding that he was not anti-American but will never compromise on national interest.
He also reiterated his allegations that US official Donald Lu threatened that Pakistan would suffer consequences if he was not removed from power through vote of no-confidence.
“I visited Russia because I wanted cheaper gas for my country. I went there to help my nation. But they (US) became upset because I didn’t listen to their orders.”
Imran said he will never let his nation to become “slave of any superpower” and will walk through difficult path to achieve freedom.
“This movement for real freedom will continue until we topple this ‘imported government’,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi, while addressing the rally, said he will not rest until he “takes revenge from those involved in inflicting violence” on the PTI workers during their May 25 long march.
The PML-Q leader also warned Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, saying soon he will be put behind bars and “handed over death sentence” in the Model Town case.
Elahi said PTI Chairman Imran and army have cordial ties and added that opponents have failed to create rifts between the two.