Addressing a mammoth rally at Democracy Park, organised as a “thanksgiving day” in the wake of Supreme Court’s decision to pursue the case of the Panama leaks, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said: “I’m optimistic the dark nights under the Sharif brothers will be over this month (November) and the dawn of a new era will begin.”
Citing the resignations by provincial and federal ministers of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in different cases, he asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down as the court has started hearing into the allegations surfaced in the Panama Papers. “How can institutions initiate inquiry against you (the prime minister) when you control all of them,” he said, “I’m seeing your middle stump falling even if you don’t resign.”
The PTI chairman reiterated the Supreme Court has also supported his stance that no institution especially National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency and Federal Board of Revenue is doing its job.
“The Supreme Court judges have plainly said they will dispose of the Panama case as soon as possible as no other institution is doing its job,” he said, adding that the Panama leaks issue has engulfed the whole country and now all eyes are set on the Supreme Court for justice.
Khan also came down hard on his political opponents who refused to become part of his movement against the government. “When the opposition stops playing its due role, it ultimately hurts the democracy,” Imran said.
He also ridiculed the Awami National President Asfandyar Wali for siding with Nawaz Sharif despite all his reservations on China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
About his arch rival Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman of Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), Imran said that if Nawaz Sharif gives some importance to the cleric, it is only due to him.
“Whenever I frighten Sharif brothers, they go to the Maulana and he knows how to get his share of the cake … Maulana used to make money through diesel permits and now is milking the Sharifs,” he said.
Referring to police highhandedness and teargas shelling on peaceful PTI workers, he said that it doesn’t take place in any civilized society, adding the day is not far when both the Sharifs will be behind the bars for their crimes.
“Our only fault was to protest against corruption of the Sharif brothers, but they were bent upon creating rifts between people of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said, adding that if the PTI hadn’t shown restraint, the Sharifs could have brought the two provinces face to face.
He warned the Sharif brothers that if they repeated the use of violence against innocent PTI workers, they would lay siege of the police stations in their respective areas. “This is not the way to treat honourable citizens and if this had happened in any civilized country, the rulers would have been put behind bars,” he said.
Khan particularly mentioned the name of KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and lauded his bravery to accept the challenge of blockades placed by the Punjab government on Islamabad-Peshawar motorway.
He once again denied killing of any PTI worker while struggling against highhandedness of the Punjab police and Frontier Constabulary.
PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the main objective of the lockdown was to eradicate the menace of corruption from the country.
“We were coming to close Islamabad, but we do not want to do so since it is not our manner of doing politics,” he said, adding that if Imran Khan orders, we can close the federal capital tonight, but we do not want to do so”.
CM KP Pervez Khattak while condemning Punjab government for violence against PTI workers said that if we had more days, our opponents have understood what we had wanted to do. “They tried to use our Pashtun brothers (FC personnel) against us, but they had no idea that a Pashtun will never fire a bullet on his brethren,” he added.
Referring to increase of salaries of FC personnel, he questioned as to why this wasn’t enhanced four years back, adding the FC personnel should have rejected it.
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid was given a warm welcome by PTI workers as he was the only leader who shut down Rawalpindi on November 28 despite all out efforts by the Punjab and federal government to apprehend him.
“I was very depressed when Imran called off the lockdown plan”, he said, adding that Imran Khan took the decision after the court orders and this also motivated him not to get hard as the game had just begun.
Earlier, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has directed Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration not to allow anyone to violate the assigned limits for PTI’s public gathering in Islamabad.
According to interior ministry spokesman, the minister made it clear that law will take its course if any participant tried to violate the agreement signed between the ICT administration and PTI.
Following directives of the interior minister, personnel of Rangers were deployed for the security of the sensitive buildings. The spokesperson said that 10,000 security personnel have been deployed on the occasion to ensure law and order in the city as well as at PTI’s public gathering.
Earlier, the ICT administration issued no objection certification (NOC) to PTI for holding a Jalsa at Parad Ground Shakarpaian following the PTI submitted undertaking/code of conduct.
A large number of people including women, children and elderly from all over the country participated in the jalsa, which according to some observers was well about a crowd of over 100,000 people.