Plots on to corner me, bring back Nawaz: Imran

LAHORE: Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said that a plot was being hatched to disqualify him in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases to pave way for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return from London.

“They have made a new plan to register new cases and disqualify Imran Khan in Toshakhana, and prohibited funding cases,” he said on Saturday while addressing a mammoth rally at National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.

Imran said the purpose to disqualify him was to strike a deal with him to nullify Nawaz’s lifetime disqualification so that both can compete in political arena.

“Under the conspiracy Nawaz will be brought back to the country by the end of September… and a character assassination campaign will be launched to malign me.”

“Don’t compare me with a dacoit… listen to me conspirators, no matter what you do I will not strike any deal,” he remarked.

The former prime minister said pitting the PTI against the army was part of a “foreign conspiracy” to cause harm to the country.

“Imran Khan will never want the army of this country to be weak… those who run movement for real freedom always want strong army and my criticism is always positive.”

Imran also announced launching a mass contact campaign under which he said he will stage rallies in various cities of the country including Karachi, Rawalpindi and others. He said his movement for “real freedom” has entered into its decisive and final stage.

“When they toppled my government they thought people would distribute sweets but millions of people took to the streets to protest against my ouster.”

Imran said the incumbent rulers were trying to instill fear among the masses through intimidation and asked people not to be scared of their intimidation tactics in order to achieve “real freedom”.

Earlier, Imran arrived at the venue to an enormous crowd of ardent supporters, eagerly awaiting what the former premier has to relay on the eve of Pakistan’s 75th Independence anniversary.

“Today you have to listen to my address patiently. I will give you roadmap to achieve ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ [real freedom],” Imran told the crowd in his opening remarks.

Imran while explaining his strategy to achieve “real freedom” said fear was the most dangerous idol which enslaved human beings. “A slave nation can never prosper.”

“We got an independent country by giving millions of sacrifices… respect cannot be earned through wealth… those who fear death can never achieve anything big.”

Imran said since joining politics he had been speaking about turning Pakistan into an independent and sovereign country, maintaining that his narrative of “real freedom” was not aimed at wooing the voters.

Referring to PML-N leaders’ statements on economic crisis, Imran said the two families — Sharifs and Zardaris — are responsible for destroying the country’s economy. “They have been plundering for the last 30 years, made offshore assets worth billions of rupees and now they are asking who is responsible for this mess.”

Imran said Pakistan suffered huge human and economic losses after the former military ruler, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf bowed before the US and joined it’s so called war on terror.

“They [US] carried out drone strikes on Pakistan but Sharif and Zardari never raised their voice against this oppression,” he said, adding that he was not anti-American but will never compromise on national interest.

He also reiterated his allegations that US official Donald Lu threatened that Pakistan would suffer consequences if he was not removed from power through vote of no-confidence.

“I visited Russia because I wanted cheaper gas for my country. I went there to help my nation. But they (US) became upset because I didn’t listen to their orders.”

Imran said he will never let his nation to become “slave of any superpower” and will walk through difficult path to achieve freedom.

“This movement for real freedom will continue until we topple this ‘imported government’,” he added.

Pervaiz Elahi

Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi while addressing the rally said he will not rest until he “takes revenge from those involved in inflicting violence” on the PTI workers during their May 25 long march.

The PML-Q leader also warned Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, saying soon he will be put behind bars and “handed over death sentence” in the Model Town case.

Elahi said PTI Chairman Imran and army have cordial ties and added that opponents have failed to create rifts between the two.

The former ruling party is staging a “grand power show” on Friday to celebrate Pakistan’s “haqeeqi (real) freedom”.

Screens have been set-up in major cities across the country to live telecast the speech of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Last week, the party had shifted the venue of its August 13 power show from Parade Ground in Islamabad to Lahore’s hockey stadium, hours after the TLP announced its “Nazriya Pakistan March” and conference at Faizabad Interchange in the federal capital.

Since his ouster back in April, Imran has upped the ante against the ruling coalition and has repeatedly alleged that the United States through the incumbent rulers removed him from the office of the prime minister.

This will be his first power show since the PTI secured a resounding victory in Punjab by-polls held in July and formed a government in the province.

Speaking to the reporters at the rally’s venue earlier today, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said ex-PM Imran would reveal the future course of action as the party’s “movement for real freedom has entered its final stage”.

Commenting on the raid on PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar’s house, he said the Punjab government would declare Tarar and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah “wanted” if they did not appear before the investigation team formed to probe the crackdown launched against PTI leaders during the May 25 long march.

He also slammed former Punjab chief minister Hamza Shehbaz, saying “he fled to London despite serious money laundering charges against him”.

Fawad also hoped that PTI leader Shahz Gill — who has been in judicial custody for passing controversial statements against the armed forces — would be granted bail on Monday.

 

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