Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said that his party’s planned anti-government long march would begin between May 25 and 29 due to some “new developments”.
“There have been some new developments recently and all the dissenting members have been disqualified. I have called a meeting of the PTI core committee in Peshawar on Sunday [May 22],” he said while addressing a large public gathering in Multan’s Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium.
The ousted premier said that everybody would know about the exact day of commencement of long march after Sunday’s meeting.
He said that the PTI will demand only one thing during its long march that is the date of the general election after dissolving assemblies. “It is not about politics anymore… What we’re witnessing is a revolution,” he added.
The former prime minister said that the federal capital is about to see an ocean of people which would not only be a record for Pakistan but for the entire world.
No revolution succeeds if the youth and women of that nation do not participate in it, he added.
“I always prayed to God to awaken our nation and make them aware so that they do not bow down their heads in front of any superpower or mafia and the Almighty has listened to my prayers.”
He said that when he was coming to the venue, he was receiving messages that his life was in danger. “Fear of dying, of embarrassment, of losing a job … they make a big person small. Until you break the shackles of fear, you cannot become a great nation.”
The PTI chief said: “No soldier has earned any medal who fears death, the cricketer who is afraid of losing never becomes a great cricketer, if a batsman is afraid of getting hit by a fast bowler, he can never become a great batsman.”
The corrupt politicians have made the nation coward that until we don’t polish the boots of Americans, we cannot go forward. “We have a history of such leaders who sold the independence of this country to Americans. Our leaders never allowed us to become a great nation.”
“I wanted to lift my people [life] and that is why they conspired against me… who was involved in this conspiracy? Those who ruled the country for 30 years. They wanted me to give NRO [amnesty] like [former military ruler] Musharraf. They kept talking bad about me and my politics and their only objective was to forgive them for their corruption.”
He said that Pakistan’s loans increased four times during the tenure of former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “They tried to blackmail me so I could forgive them in their corruption cases. Musharraf forgave them to save his government.”
“I ask PML-N supporters whether a society ever accepts a jackal as its leader. Can a jackal become a leader?” he questioned
Talking about Nawaz’s departure to London, Imran said that his government thought he might not be able to sit on the plane due as his health condition was so serious.
“One of our ministers, Shireen Mazari, started crying during a cabinet meeting,” he said, adding that as soon as Nawaz Sharif boarded the plane, all his diseases went away and when he reached London, he became a politician again.
“Tell me the PML-N people how can you follow this liar,” he questioned again.
The government, he said, is “scared of raising the petrol and diesel prices. “They want to call an NSC meeting for it so they can blame the military for it.”
Talking about the alleged US conspiracy which, according to him, toppled his government, Imran said that US Deputy Secretary of State for South Asia Donald Lu told our ambassador to the US that Pakistan will face consequences if the no-confidence motion against him does not succeed and if it does, all will be forgiven.
“This nation does not need anyone’s forgiveness, it is a proud nation,” he added.
Unfortunately, he further said that the elites of the country became fearful of the US threat. “They all got involved and removed an elected prime minister. They thought that would be the end of the PTI. They tried to bury the PTI but on the contrary, it has awakened the entire nation.”
“This is the biggest revolution in the history of Pakistan. The mafia, who ruled us for 30 years, is about to be buried.”
Imran said that the federal capital is going to witness a sea of people which has never been seen in the history of Pakistan.
“They planned to govern for 1.5 years together and depute their own people on important positions to rig and win the elections. They told the nation they’re very experienced, they say Shehbaz Sharif wakes up at 7am but my gardener wakes up at 6am. Shehbaz Sharif! The dollar is now over Rs200 what are you doing,” he questioned.
The PTI’s top leader challenged that despite being in power for 30 years, the PML-N and the PPP could not achieve the economic prosperity achieved during the PTI’s tenure.
“After Ayub’s era, the PTI’s tenure was the best for industrialisation in the country. We increased industries during the [Covid-19] pandemic. We received the most taxed. Our IT sector grew by 75 per cent,” he added.
The ousted premier also said that if he was not worried about the country, he would’ve just let them govern as their actions would prove to the nation of their incapability, but the country will default in the process.
“Inflation will rise because of the spike in the dollar rate. All edible items that are being imported will become expensive. They will take us to the point of what Sri Lanka is facing today.”
Taking a jibe at PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, Imran said that she might annoy her husband the way she repeats his name during her political speeches.
“Someone sent me a clip of Maryam’s speech… Maryam took my name repeatedly so passionately that she should be careful… it might annoy her husband,” he added.
The former prime minister said that he has spent eight days of his life in a prison where he noticed that criminals only involved in small crimes were imprisoned.
“When I reached the assembly, I saw the biggest thieves there. A nation who makes the biggest thieves their chief ministers and prime ministers does not have a future.”
He said that Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza were about to be convicted but instead one became prime minister and the other chief minister.
“I am here to prepare you all. If we don’t take to the streets now, we will be slaves of the US and these thieves,” he added.
“When I was removed as prime minister, I had decided to go to people. I had decided even if I had to go alone, I will go. I had not expected that the entire nation will stand by me shoulder-to-shoulder. I had not expected that school children and women in such huge numbers would also come out.”
He said that the families of many police officials and soldiers are joining his long march. “Ex-servicemen are also ready and coming to Islamabad.”
Imran further said that the US asked India not to do trade with Russia but the neighbouring country refused, saying that it is a sovereign nation that will make policies for the betterment of its people.
“How could a lower ranking American official threaten a nation of 220 million? They tell us ‘you cannot buy oil and wheat from Russia’ but India, despite being US strategic ally, responded by saying they’re a sovereign nation and will make policies for their people… India and we got independence together but they [US] imposed cherry blossom on us.”
The PTI leader also said that he told the US official he wanted friendship with everyone, but Pakistan will not be enslaved by anyone. “We sacrificed 80,000 people for the US war but they did not even thank us. Our tribal area got ruined… 3.5 million people became IDPs (internally displaced persons). Many had to settle in Karachi and other areas of the country and start a new life.”
He went on to say that the US had asked Pakistan to condemn the Russian invasion in Ukraine but he said it was not Pakistan’s war. “India has been committing atrocities in IIOJK but they never condemn it because India is their ally. Israel commits atrocities in Palestine, does the US condemn Israel,” he questioned.