PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Monday said that all previous governments in Pakistan were removed because of corruption with the exception of the PTI-led one.

Speaking at a lawyers’ convention in Peshawar, Imran said: “Since our government was not removed for corruption, people took to the streets instead of distributing sweets.”

He said that the current political milieu of the country was posing a real challenge for the judiciary as well as the lawyers in the country.

“I, therefore, want the lawyer’s community to support me as they and the judiciary as a whole play an important role in saving the country,” he said.

Imran criticised the incumbent government and blamed it for conspiring with the United States to oust him.

The former prime minister explained how US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu threatened the Pakistani ambassador to the US and detailed how, according to him, the PTI-led government was removed from power by the then opposition.

“They [the then opposition] comprised bootlickers, that’s why the US wanted to bring them back to power.”

Praising this government’s performance, Imran claimed that Pakistan performed better in the last two years in the economic sector as compared to the past.

“The country grew economically by 5.6% in 2021 and 6% in 2022,” said the former premier, adding that the country achieved record tax collection targets during his tenure.

“India — which is a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) country — bought oil from Russia at lower prices and has reduced the petroleum prices in its country while our government increased the prices.”

Imran said that Pakistan has been ruled by the military but two political families — Sharifs and Zardaris — monopolised the political area and remained in power for the last 62 years.

“I ruled for three-and-a-half years and they started having issues with my government just because Pakistan wanted to maintain cordial relations with other countries but refused to fight their wars,” he said. 

He then criticised the former government for allowing the United States to allow drone attacks in Pakistan. 

“We had no relation will 9/11. I will not give Pakistan’s bases to America,” said the former PM, adding that Pakistan neither wanted bad relations with any country nor did it want to become their slave.

Talking about the Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) incident, Imran said that the current government was “cursed by Allah to the point that people, even when they were present at a holy place, couldn’t stop themselves from chanting slogans against these corrupt leaders.”

“What was our [PTI’s] fault if ordinary people chanted slogans against these people in Madinah?” the former premier questioned.

Khan lambasted the PML-N and said that the Supreme Court had rightly called the Sharif family a “Sicilian Mafia”.

“I have never seen anyone filthier than this family,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif killed a record number of people between 1997 and 1998 in police encounters.

“If these people stay in the government, the rule of law in the country will be destroyed,” said the PTI chairman. 

Referring to the government’s decision to launch a crackdown against PTI workers during the “Azadi March” last week, Khan said that the party has approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan. 

“Tomorrow, we will submit our case in the Supreme Court,” he said. “I did not want chaos in the country. PTI will now take to the streets with preparations and planning,” he concluded. 

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