- PTI to launch protest movement on August 7, as Khan says protests will continue until an enquiry is launched against PM over the Panama Papers
- PTI to also protest outside NAB on July 25 for giving clean chit to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar
- Imran says PTI will be the biggest loser if martial law is imposed
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday announced countrywide protests from August 7 “to defeat the forces of the status quo”.
Imran said the PTI will start a movement to awaken the masses and to prepare them for the final battle to get rid of the country’s corrupt and crooked rulers.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Khan said he did not support the imposition of martial law in the country.
“Let me clear, I did not spend 20 years struggling for imposition of martial law in the country but for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions,” he said.
He said that a protest street movement will be launched because Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seems in no mood to frame Terms of Reference (TORs) to probe the Panama Papers scandal.
The last sit-in of the PTI against the government also started in the month of August, on August 14 and lasted for 126 days. This year too, analysts were predicting an August start to the protest even though the Panama Papers were leaked almost three months ago.
A day earlier, the loose alliance of 9 opposition parties had failed to evolve consensus on the joint street protests or on the demand for the PM’s resignation, but they agreed to take the Panama Papers issue back to the parliament as the ruling was not serious about resolving the TORs issue in the Parliamentary Committee. By announcing a date for the protest, the PTI hopes that some of the other parties will also come on board and join the protest.
The government too, appears to be making its countermoves, with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar calling on Leader of Opposition in National Assembly and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Shah for a meeting.
PROTEST OUTSIDE NAB FOR GIVING CLEAN CHIT TO DAR:
Imran Khan also announced that the party will stage a protest demonstration in front of the National Accountability Bureau office on July 25 to register protest against the Bureau for giving clean chit to Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar despite his own confessional statement.
“Why is the NAB not taking action against those who looted and plundered the national wealth and smuggled it abroad?” the PTI chairman questioned.
He said that NAB should have taken action against Nawaz Sharif soon after the Panama Leaks revelations.
PTI WILL BE THE BIGGEST LOSER IF MARTIAL LAW IS IMPOSED:
Imran Khan said that all the political parties are on the same page pertaining to accountability of the prime minister; therefore, he said there is no threat to democracy. There is, however, a threat to the monarchic rule of Nawaz Sharif, he said and added that the movement will be continue until an enquiry is started against the premier.
Imran said that the imposition of martial law will hurt PTI the most, because it is the major political force at present.
He went on to say that it became a huge issue when he said that people will distribute sweets if the army takes over but what he meant was that people will celebrate the ouster of PM Sharif, because he had done nothing for the people of the country. He said that he still stands by his words.
He said that PTI will bring the real and true democracy in the country, as the party has become the most powerful political force in the county.
‘IF PM IS NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE, NO ONE WILL EVER BE’:
He reiterated his resolve that even though he has not been named in the Panama Leaks, but he would like to be tried along with Nawaz Sharif under the same TORs.
He made it clear that if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not held accountable, no one could be investigated.
He asked why Nawaz Sharif is so scared of TORs, demanding the government to accept the TORs prepared by the opposition parties.
Imran said that Nawaz Sharif had become prime minister for the third time but unfortunately he could not become a leader.
The PTI chairman said that the party was being organised and committees had been constituted at all levels in order to launch a massive street movement against ‘the Panama plagued government’.
He said that the government did not strengthen NAB and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure that they could not take them on under any circumstances.
Earlier, speaking at a party workers convention, he warned that grouping within the party will not be tolerated, asking the workers to stand by the ideology of the party instead of running after portfolios.
RAISING FINANCES FOR THE STREET MOVEMENT:
He said that the party will fight a battle against the corrupt government at all levels; therefore, the workers should contribute Rs 100 to the party fund, because at present the party is facing financial constraints.
He told the workers that if they wanted to be respected, they must speak the truth and believe in merit.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the PTI was blamed for solo flight in the past but that this time around, the party made all-out efforts to take along all the position parties on the issue of Panama Leaks. However, he said that the government was not ready to frame the TORs; hence, they were left with no option but to resort to mass protests.