Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that his party had decided to resign from the provincial assemblies instead of marching on Islamabad to force the Shehbaz Sharif-led government to announce snap polls.
Addressing a massive rally of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party here in this garrison city, which houses the headquarters of the powerful Army, Khan also alleged that “three criminals”, who were behind the failed assassination attempt on him early this month, are waiting to target him again.
The mran Khan, 70-year-old leader
The 70-year-old leader, who appeared with plaster on his right leg, has repeatedly alleged that Prime Minister Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and ISI Counter Intelligence Wing head Maj-Gen Faisal Naseer were behind the attack on him.
“We will not be part of this system. We have decided to quit all the assemblies and get out of this corrupt system,” Khan said in his first in-person address to the party workers after the failed assassination bid on his life.
“I will consult all chief ministers and party leaders to leave the assemblies,” he said, adding that his party had decided not to go to Islamabad to avert any destruction or chaos.
Imran Khan’s parties
has governments in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. It has representation in the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies also.
The party lawmakers had already resigned from the National Assembly but the resignations of all lawmakers were not accepted.
Khan also announced to continue his protest until new elections were announced. Elections are not due in Pakistan until the term of the current National Assembly gets over in August 2023.
“The mran Khan movement of Haqeeqi Azadi 26 nov pindi
will continue until genuine freedom is achieved,” he said, adding that the moment would come once new elections were held.
He said that today’s rally was held because “we want elections” to take the country forward. “I am here to tell them that there is no other way except elections.” Khan also said that the country was heading towards a default which would compromise its national security. He said that default risk was more than 100 per cent which was just 5 per cent when his government was toppled in April.
During his nearly 80-minute address,
he also talked about the sleaze in the country and accused the powerful establishment (Army) of tolerating corruption.
Khan said his government was successful but its only failure was that it could not bring the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption body, under his control to punish the corrupt people.
“It (NAB) was controlled by the establishment. Instead of bringing the corrupt element to the law, the establishment was cutting a deal with them,” he said.
He went on to add: “Those having power don’t mind corruption…That is why they have installed the corrupt elements.” He also talked about the removal of his government through conspiracy and failure of the establishment to stand against it. “If they (establishment) did not commit the conspiracy, they failed to stop it,” he said.
Khan also said that the establishment could have stopped the return to power of what he called corrupt elements but it failed to do so.
He once again reiterated
hat a foreign conspiracy was hatched to topple his government and it had been proven by the secret cypher which was placed before the National Security Council meeting which was attended by the top military leadership.
Talking about the attack on his convoy in Wazirabad on November 3, he said that there were three attackers, including the one who was arrested and another two.
He said that the second attacker fired at him but missed the target when he fell down and the bullet flew over his head, while the third attacker was tasked to eliminate the first gunman and he fired but instead hit an innocent participant who was killed.
He also defended his performance during his rule by claiming that he had turned around the economy despite the Covid-19 pandemic. He said 5.7 per cent growth was recorded in 2021 and it was 6 per cent in 2022, which was the highest in 17 years.
Khan said that during the seven months of the current government, the price hike has been the highest in the last 50 years of the country, while all other indicators have also dropped down.