- PTI chief accuses US of meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs
- Says PML-N govt ‘is a servant of US and polishes shoes of Americans’
- Khan repeats calls for civil disobedience, countrywide protests
- Warns Islamabad admin and police against launching a crackdown on peaceful protesters
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Thursday lashed out at the United States government for “interfering in Pakistan’s internal politics”, and said Washington should withdraw its statements regarding the ongoing political crisis in the country.
The US State Department in a statement lent support to Nawaz Sharif’s government, saying “an elected government is in place”.
Khan, however, said the government is a “servant of the US” that “polishes the shoes of the Americans”. He said that he is familiar with the workings of the American and British democratic systems and said that the US would never accept a rigged election.
“If an election took place in the US and a Congressman said that a majority of the votes could not be verified, wouldn’t that constitute a full blown enquiry in America?” he asked.
Khan appealed to US Ambassador Richard Olson to convey his message to the State Department and asked “if Pakistanis are children of a lesser god”.
“Why one law for us and another for you? Why are our democracies different?”
Urging Olsen to take back the statements of the US government, Imran said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is hiding behind the army and the US to protect his rigged election.
Thursday marked the eighth day of the Imran Khan-led movement against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a campaign that has partially paralysed life in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi as containers and police personnel guard state buildings against charged protesters.
Although Imran is unflinching in his demand for the premier’s resignation, PTI sources say the party chairman has “no other option left” as his earlier calls for a civil disobedience movement and the mass resignation of PTI lawmakers from assemblies have yielded no results.
Khan rallied supporters with the aim to remove Sharif as prime minister in protest against alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections. Reporters present in D-Chowk — the final destination of the PTI sit-in — say that crowds are thinning as the drawn-out protest entered its eighth day on Thursday.
Khan blasted the government, resorting to curses and threats while calling for a nationwide protest.
The PTI chairman called on his supporters to expand the civil disobedience movement into all the provinces.
Imran threatened both the interior secretary and newly appointed IG Islamabad against resorting to violence on the protesters, warning that they should not think they would be spared.
Imran said he would personally take the new IG of Islamabad to jail if any of his supporters were hurt.
“In my passion, I may punch you!” the PTI chairman said, adding that he would stay in the Red Zone, “for as long as I live”.
“It is our democratic right to protest…we are not breaking any laws. I request the Supreme Court to have these containers removed so that life can return to normal,” Khan pleaded.
The PTI chairman also reiterated many points from his previous speeches, including his principle demand that Prime Minister Sharif should resign before any meaningful talks are held with the government.