Imran Khan addresses PTI workers in Mianwali, Punjab province, on Friday. Twitter photo
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that he will give a call for the long march to Islamabad any day after May 20, local media reported late on Friday.
Addressing a public gathering in his hometown Mianwali, the former primer minister said a sea of people would reach Islamabad to demand the early elections.
“I challenge that the sea of people will reach the federal capital and it will be the biggest public gathering in the history of Islamabad,” he said.
"I am announcing our 'real" freedom movement from Mianwali today... I am preparing my nation... when I will give you a call to come to Islamabad will you come," he asked the charged crowd.
The ousted premier said that when no one voted for him, only the people of Mianwali elected and sent him to the National Assembly. "I will never forget this and will never forget about you."
Imran told his supporters that neither containers placed on the route could stop them from their march nor Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, who he said had committed “18 murders.”
The former prime minister said that the nation would not bow before anyone as long as he was alive.
"The US conspired with local Mir Jaffars and removed the government which saved Pakistan from bankruptcy... these people were looting the country for the past 30 years.... cherry blossom says you have to do slavery because you're a beggar but I say to him that he is a slave, we're not," he added.
The PTI chief said, "We're the followers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and we don't bow down to any superpower. My entire nation stands on one point today that we will be friends with everyone but will not be slaves of anyone."
Reiterating his earlier stance about the alleged US "conspiracy" for the removal of his government, the former prime minister said that the US told our ambassador that if Imran Khan is not removed from power, there will be consequences and if he is removed then all will be forgiven. "We don't need any forgiveness of the US. A great nation will never accept these thieves who are ruling us," he added.
He criticised the FIR registered against PTI leaders for the unruly incident in Madina earlier, saying that wherever the members of the government go in the world, they will hear words such as "traitors" and "thieves."
The PTI chairman is conducting a whirlwind series of rallies, starting from today to May 20. According to a tweet by party leader Azhar Mashwani, the next rally will take place in Jhelum on May 10, followed by Attock on May 12, Sialkot on May 14, Faisalabad on May 15 and Chakwal on May 19.
Earlier, Imran has said that he wanted to pursue an independent foreign policy whether or not “someone” liked it, nearly three weeks after he was ousted from power after a no-trust vote by the parliament.
“My independent foreign policy was clear from day one,” he told interviewers during a podcast while commenting on the reasons for his rift with the establishment.
“If someone didn’t like it, then I don’t know about it,” he said and went on to add that it was his prerogative as the prime minister and the chief executive of the country to pursue the same.
While responding to another question about his party PTI’s ties with the establishment, Imran rubbished speculation that he wanted Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed to be the next army chief.
“I wanted him to continue serving as the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during the difficult winter season when the fallout of the Afghan infighting was imminent. You don’t replace an intelligence chief during difficult circumstances,” he said and added that instead, there arose speculations that he wanted Hameed to be the next army chief.
The PTI chief further said that he couldn’t even think about appointing an army chief against the rules of merit.
Imran also said that unlike Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, he never wanted to control the army as he had a clean record and didn’t fear anyone.
The former premier also criticised the policy of “neutrality” of the institutions, saying “one is only supporting falsehood if they choose to remain neutral in a battle between truth and falsehood.”
Addressing a rally of his supporters in Sialkot, Imran said he has recorded a video of the characters behind the "conspiracy" against his government, and if something happens to him, it will be released.
Imran said that his opponents claim that the summer heat would not allow people to leave their homes to march on Islamabad, but he believes that heat cannot deter brave youth and sisters.
Imran singled out Murad Saeed for praise as his ministry came out on top despite his young age. He hailed the initiative as a "great opportunity" since every ministry would get to know how much the others worked. "Our ministries will get incentives to work hard, the more we publicise this.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said loans worth Rs1,000 billion will be provided to 4.5 million deserving households under Kamyab Pakistan Programme by next year to lift them out of poverty and enable them earn their livelihoods.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Ministry of Economy imposed fines worth Dhs65.9 million on 137 companies operating in the UAE’s designated non-financial business or professions (DNFBP) sector.
"These provocative and dangerous maneuvers are a source of problems for maritime security," said Mao Ning, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stressing that "the United States must immediately stop these dangerous provocations."
The governor said the first 300 children will be taken to Voronezh. A correspondent for state-run agency RIA Novosti near Voronezh said buses had arrived with around 150 people on board.
Nader Bishkat, 26, jumped into the river and grabbed the woman, and made sure her head was above the water, until the rescuers arrived, who pulled them out, amid praise from the large crowd who had gathered to monitor the situation.