- PTI chief says decision taken in wake of brutal terrorist attack on schoolchildren in Peshawar
- Says PTI has shown its street power by locking down three cities therefore govt should immediately form judicial commission for rigging probe
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday announced that he was wrapping up the party’s 126-day-long sit-in protest at Islamabad and other anti-government protests scheduled in other cities against last year’s alleged election rigging in wake of the tragic terrorist attack on schoolchildren in Peshawar’s Army Public School the other day.
Khan’s announcement was welcomed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who said that it was a wise decision by the PTI chief as the country needed unity at this critical juncture.
“Imran Khan’s concerns over last year’s elections will be addressed,” said the premier in a shot statement.
Earlier addressing his supporters at D-Chowk, Imran Khan said the PTI core committee had decided to end the protest campaign in larger national interest.
“I have never seen an atrocity like this in my entire life…I cannot even comprehend how someone could kill children like this,” he said, referring to the killing of 144 people, mostly schoolchildren, by Taliban terrorists.
“If someone killed my children like this, I would seek to avenge it as well,” Khan said.
He said that initially he was hesitant to participate in the all-parties moot hosted by Prime Minister Sharif at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor’s House but then he decided he should attend it in national interest.
“During the past few months I have seen the people of Pakistan wake up and rise for their rights…We held historic protest rallies in Pakistan with record numbers of people attending,” the PTI chairman said.
However, he said that the party would continue to fight for justice and insisted that a judicial commission should be constituted at the earliest to investigate the rigging allegations.
“If the judicial commission finds that rigging had indeed taken place, the prime minister would have to resign and hold re-elections but if the commission gives the government a clean chit, we will accept Sharif as the prime minister,” he said.
Khan said that the PTI had shown that it was capable of locking down the entire country by staging three successful shows in Faisalabad, Karachi and Lahore.
“Over the past four months PTI has grown as a party and our adversaries know now that we can lockdown the country anytime we want therefore it’s in their interest to hold the rigging probe at the earliest so that we can move forward to build a stronger Pakistan,” he said, but warned that the party would be back on the streets if the government does not form the commission.
The PTI leadership’s decision to end the sit-in at D-Chowk was however rejected by some supporters who besieged Khan’s SUV and demanded that he take back the decision.
The PTI supporters raised slogans and said that they would not allow Imran Khan to leave the sit-in venue unless he took back the decision. The PTI chief was later escorted out of the venue by security personnel after much effort.
The PTI, along with Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), had launched a campaign against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in August, demanding that he resign over alleged rigging in last year polls.