Pakistan Tekreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Sunday that the party’s long march will resume from Tuesday from Punjab’s Wazirabad – the same point where he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt last Thursday.
While addressing a press conference from the Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore, the PTI chief said that he will address the march every day and that in the next 10-14 days the rally will reach Rawalpindi from where he will lead the party’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ march.
He urged everyone to come out and participate in the march.
TRANSPARENT PROBE: The former premier said that he wants a transparent investigation into the Wazirabad incident but an FIR has not been registered yet.
“[The] FIR hasn’t been registered because they [the police] say we are ready to register a case against the PM and [interior minister] Rana Sanaullah but not the military official,” he claimed.
During the press conference, the PTI chief said that he has a few questions that he wants to be answered. “First, there are people in Pakistan that are above the law, does the Constitution allow this?”
Reiterating that three people were involved in his assassination bid, Imran demanded a transparent investigation and maintained that only a probe would determine “the truth”.
“It is my right to register an FIR against them,” he said, adding that how is it possible that a Punjab police under the provincial government “keep on giving excuses” and not registering a case.
It is pertinent to note that on Thursday, following the attack on Imran in Wazirabad, PTI General Secretary Asad Umar in a video statement had said that the party chief had named three suspects, who he believed were behind the gun attack on the long march.
The former minister said the PTI chief was certain that the men who had planned the attack were Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and the military official.
DG ISPR STATEMENT: Referring to the DG ISPR’s statement, Imran said that it was “shocking” that the military’s media wing spokesperson said that criticising a military official was akin to defaming the Pakistan Army.
“This means if I say a judge is wrong, this means the entire judiciary is wrong. If someone says there is a corrupt person in PTI and I say that you have said that the entire party is corrupt. Is there any logic?” Imran asked.
He questioned the DG ISPR, “why does the army then carry out court-martials?”, adding that it is because an officer does something wrong which is why such a practice is carried out.
Imran claimed that an attack on him was a conspiracy hatched by the three men he had accused of being behind it. “It is my right to register a case. I am the ex-PM of the country,” he added.
“If I can’t register an FIR, how can any individual do it?” he said, adding that only the powerful in this country are above the law and “layman gets no justice”.
JUDICIAL COMMISSION: The former prime minister welcomed the demand for a judicial commission by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“I welcome the judicial commission but what will it do? The three people that I have named are above the agencies that will investigate this assassination attempt. How can we do an impartial investigation? This is why I said that I want these people to resign so that the investigation is carried out transparently. It is possible that I’m wrong but I want a transparent investigation,” added the PTI chief.
The deposed prime minister then said that this is a pattern and it started when a video was released alleging me of blasphemy.
“This investigation should unfold who released that video, which was then followed by a journalist picking it up, who is affiliated to a party, and it later led to Marriyum Aurangzeb and Javed Latif holding a press conference,” he said.
He claimed that is why he registered an FIR against the two PML-N leaders because he knew that they will use this accusation of blasphemy and “try to get me killed just the way former governor Punjab Salman Taseer was murdered”.
The PTI chairman furthered that as soon as the incident of his attack took place, tweets were posted without any investigation that a religious fanatic did this.
“The video interview of the attacker was then leaked… police say they were pressurised, the IG says it was hacked,” he said, adding that all these “lies” started pouring but only a transparent investigation will tell who wanted to cover up.
Imran added that he thinks that nothing is better than a judicial commission but the first thing it should consider is how people who are accused are allowed to hold office where an independent investigation will take place.
Talking about slain journalist Arshad Sharif, Imran said he wants the commission to also inquire into the anchorperson’s killing. “Arshad Sharif’s mother knows from whom he was threatened…. Why was he forced to leave this country? Why was he forced to leave Dubai and move? All these questions need to be answered,” he added.
CYPHER: Imran said that the third thing that he wanted to point out was the cypher controversy.
“The DG ISPR said the cypher was a drama. If it was a drama then why isn’t an investigation being carried out?” he said.
He said that when the National Security Council had also confirmed that a cypher was received and had issued a demarche then why is DG ISPR saying that this was “a drama?”
He then addressed the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) and said that until he investigates “how will we know if this was a conspiracy or an intervention?”
Talking about the indecent video PTI Senator Azam Swati’s wife had received, the PTI chief urged the CJP to also investigate the incident.
“The nation has been moved after the video incident. The CJP must investigate this matter,” he said.
“The “usual suspects” tried covering it up by saying the video was fake but Swati has an original video and it is not fake,” Imran said, adding that the senator will sit outside the Supreme Court and demand justice.
He maintained that other PTI senators will accompany Swati in the sit-in outside the apex court.