Pakistan: Former PM Imran Khan to hold mega protest on October 28
Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced to launch his much trumpeted long march on October 28 to force the government to agree on the dissolution of the National Assembly and announce snap polls. Khan, 70, was disqualified last week by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for failing to inform it about the money he received after selling the state gifts, also known as the Toshakhana case.
However, the Islamabad High Court observed on Monday that Khan was not barred from contesting elections in the future as it heard the disqualification case of the former prime minister by the country’s top election body. Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Lahore, the place he chose to launch the protest towards capital Islamabad, Khan said that the protest will begin from the Liberty Chowk on October 28 and he will himself lead it.
“We will gather at 11 and then we will start marching to Islamabad,” he said. Khan said the march was actually the country’s actual fight for “real freedom” and his protestors would achieve their objective through peaceful means. “We are not going to Islamabad for any violence; we will not break any law; we will not enter the (high security) Red Zone; and we will hold protest in the capital at a place which has been designated by the Supreme Court,” he said, reiterating that the marchers would remain peaceful.
Khan, who also held a protest march on May 25, said that the peaceful march was called off to avoid bloodshed in the country. “There is our march for haqeeqi azaadi and it has no timeframe. We will reach Islamabad from the GT Road and the nation will come from across Pakistan to Islamabad,” he said. He announced that it would be the biggest protest in the history of the country which was not for politics but for the future of the country. “This is something way beyond politics, it is a war for freedom from these thieves that have been imposed over us. This jihad will decide where the country will go,” he said.
Khan alleged that a bunch of thieves was installed in the country to form the government and he wanted to show that the people were with him and to translate the support of the people, there should be fair and free elections. “We want the people to make the decision. Today, I am appealing to the entire nation that you will have to decide the direction of the nations. Do we want to go on this way to become a free country or serve these thieves,” he said.
He also alleged that the prominent journalist Arshad Sharif, who was shot dead in Kenya on Sunday night, was silenced by those who were afraid of him. Khan announced the construction of a monument in his name in Lahore. Separately, Khan addressed lawyers in Peshawar and revealed that Sharif was receiving threats from unknown numbers and he had asked him to leave the country. Khan was ousted from power in April this year through a no confidence vote and since then he has been holding rallies to force the government announce fresh elections as he is confident to win.
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