Imran sets May 25 date for ‘march’ on Islamabad, warns bureaucracy, security forces

says he will welcome marchers in federal capital, fears disruptions
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After a series of public rallies to build momentum for a month, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday finally announced the date for his planned ‘long march’ on Islamabad. However, instead of leading his supporters to the federal capital, Imran Khan has said that he would welcome them at the entrance of Islamabad at 3pm on May 25.

Imran Khan also threatened the bureaucracy and security forces of the country of reprisal if they took action against marchers, who he said would remain peaceful.

The PTI chief said that he was demanding the dissolution of the assemblies and the announcement of the date for fresh elections and would end his protest only after achieving the two goals.

He also urged the military to stay ‘neutral’ and said that the fresh election he was demanding must be “free and fair.”

Imran Khan also feared that the government would try to disrupt the ‘march’ by shutting down the internet and discontinuing petrol and diesel supplies at filling stations.

He spoke after the meeting of the PTI’s core committee in Peshawar.

Imran Khan urged his supporters to leave early for the federal capital.

He urged Pakistanis of every social class and profession to reach Islamabad on May 25 to get rid of the ‘imported government’ and to achieve a better future.

Imran Khan said he would meet Pakistanis at Srinagar Highway (previously known as Kashmir Highway) in Islamabad at 3 pm on May 25, adding that marching on Islamabad was “a jihad.”

Imran asks military to stay ‘neutral’

Addressing a press conference at Chief Minister House in Peshawar, he warned the bureaucracy to refrain from blocking the long march and asked the military to stay ‘neutral’ as it had previously set forth.

PTI chairman assured the participants of the long march would remain peaceful and warned the bureaucracy and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to refrain from charging on them.

He warned that they would take legal action against the government officials if they resorted to such tactics.

Imran Khan said the police, bureaucracy, and army are from them, adding that the people would not return from Islamabad without the dissolution of the assemblies and the date of new elections.

He asked the people to make early preparations of the march as the internet could be blocked and shortage of fuel supply could be created two days before the march.

However, PTI chairman said he has informed the nation about the time and location.

Imran Khan said they would not care about the jail or life but would never accept the ‘raid’ on the country, adding that he would go to any length and prefer to die instead of embracing injustice.

He said only the free and fair elections are the way out of the crisis, and he would accept if the people bring these thugs into power through fair polls.

Imran Khan also invited the families of the civil servants and ex-servicemen to join the long march for true independence of the country.

He said that despite all hindrances, nobody can stop the long march as it has transformed into a ‘revolution’.

The Srinagar Highway, previously known as Kashmir Highway, is one of the main arteries in the federal capital. PHOTO ONLINE
The Srinagar Highway, previously known as Kashmir Highway, is one of the main arteries in the federal capital. PHOTO ONLINE

Berates current govt for economic woes

Imran Khan opened his press conference by berating the Shehabz Sharif-led government for the economic woes of the country and claimed that his government had put Pakistan on the right path with 6% GDP reported in the last year.

He said that the ‘conspiracy’ to topple his government began in July last year, lamenting that he couldn’t stop it to succeed.

He said the conspiracy was hatched by partnering with people who would only protect their corruption after coming into power.

He emphasized that the conspiracy was not against Imran Khan but the country because Pakistan was experiencing economic growth. He claimed that Pakistan produced the highest number of employment opportunities in the subcontinent.

Imran Khan said the PTI inherited a nearly bankrupt Pakistan but his government rescued it and put the economy on the right track despite the coronavirus pandemic.

He claimed that there was no corruption in the PTI’s tenure, adding that the incumbent incompetent government is asking National Security Committee (NSC) to decide on the petrol prices.

PTI chairman reiterated that 220 million were insulted through the ‘threat’ that was given to the ambassador by the US official. He added that it was asked in the cipher why Imran Khan visited Russia, reiterating that he developed consensus with every stakeholder including the military establishment before the visit.

However, he said the US official was told by the local abettors of the conspiracy that the visit to Russia was Khan’s sole decision. This was done so to make Imran Khan look bad, he added.

He said India did not take pressure from the US and bought cheap energy from Russia for the benefit of the people and reduced petrol and diesel prices on Saturday.

The ex-premier said the people on bail in mega corruption cases have been installed in power which is another insult to Pakistan.

PTI core committee meeting

Shortly before Imran Khan started the press conference, PTI’s Farrukh Habib, in a video message, said the core committee meeting had ended and that Imran Khan would hold a key press conference to announce the date for the planned long march.

Khan on Sunday chaired the meeting of the party’s core committee at Chief Minister House Peshawar.

PTI’s central leaders including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pervez Khattak, Asad Umar, Qasim Suri, Murad Saeed, and others are attending the meeting at the Jirga Hall of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister House.

Imran Khan is likely to reveal the final date of the long march on Islamabad after today’s core committee meeting.

He had previously postponed the announcement of the date in the Multan rally but had said that the date would be announced on Sunday (today) and the long march would start on any given day between May 25 and May 29.

In a tweet on Saturday following the arrest of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari in Islamabad, Imran Khan had again announced that the final date of the long march against the ‘imported government’ would be revealed on Sunday.

Imran Khan

Long march

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