By: Pramod Thomas
FORMER Pakistan prime minister and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Imran Khan criticised the government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Saturday.
He stated that those who are currently in power will come to understand that the people’s passion cannot be suppressed through obstacles and the use of barricades.
Despite receiving threats from the interim Punjab government, Khan gave a speech at the PTI rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Saturday evening, according to The Express Tribune Newspaper.
“One thing is clear, whoever is in power, they will get a message today that people’s passion cannot be curbed via hurdles and containers,” he said, adding that around 2,000 PTI workers have been put behind bars only to create hurdles for the rally.
He praised his party’s supporters for showing up at the rally’s venue, saying that despite all kinds of obstacles, people, in large number, came to Minar-e-Pakistan.
“Those in power must know that [blocking the roads and pathways with shipping] containers cannot stop people who want true independence,” he explained, adding that fear was spread to frustrate the public meeting.
The government has placed containers on the way to Minar-e-Pakistan, leading to hurdles for people seeking to partake in the jalsa.
Khan held the Pakistan government responsible for the country’s current situation. He questioned “Did our ancestors give sacrifices for this Pakistan?”
He said that a level playing field does not mean that tie Imran Khan’s hands and give others all the facilities but it means to give an equal opportunity to all.
“I have completed a century of cases, I might even cross 150. I have 40 terrorism cases registered against my name. Poor spend their entire life fighting false cases in this country,” he said.
The PTI chief said that in Sindh, one cannot stand up against the influential. “They call it the Zardari system.”
Imran said that ‘real freedom’ will only come if rule of law prevails in the country.
He said prime minister Shehbaz Sharif was begging around the world but still was getting no reprieve.
“General (retd)] Bajwa says he used to scold him (Shehbaz) for 40 minutes and he used to listen without uttering a word,” he said, adding that, “this is what happens when you come to power through backdoor.”
According to Khan, the PTI took permission for a rally on March 8 to start its election campaign from Zaman Park.
“But we suddenly got news that police started baton-charge and [tear gas] shelling. They only wanted to create chaos. I called off the rally because I did not want bloodshed,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, he urged his supporters not to back off ‘under any circumstance’.