Imran Khan threatens to launch march for 'true freedom' against Shehbaz Sharif-led Pak govt
Islamabad, Apr 23: Directing his supporters to prepare for the march for "true freedom", Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday threatened to launch a protest rally soon towards the national capital Islamabad against the new government led by Shehbaz Sharif.
Khan was ousted earlier this month through a no-confidence vote, which he alleged was orchestrated by the US through a conspiracy to topple his government for following an independent foreign policy. The US has rebuffed the claims multiple times.
Khan has addressed three big rallies in Peshawar, Karachi and Lahore since losing power and is planning a long march against the new government and forcing it to announce snap polls. Addressing his maiden press conference since his ouster, Khan said he would announce the date for the march later but directed his followers to start preparations for “true freedom”.
A huge sea of people would go towards the federal capital, he asserted. "People have begun to understand the joke that happened with them and the kind of people placed on us (as rulers)," he told reporters at his Banigala residence.
Khan alleged that an unprecedented number of "criminals" and those who were out on bail were part of the new Cabinet. Observers say the march might be organised after the holy month of Ramzan, which will end at the beginning of next month.
Khan also harped that the foreign conspiracy to topple his government has proven "true" after the meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Friday also "confirmed that the cable was genuine and the conversation with (US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia) Donald Lu was real”.
“The language used (in the cable) was undiplomatic. I will say it was arrogance,” he said. In a statement released after its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the NSC on Friday said it discussed the telegram received from the Pakistan embassy in Washington last month which was used by Khan to portray his removal through no-confidence vote as a US conspiracy for following an independent foreign policy. The meeting concluded that "there has been no foreign conspiracy", the statement said.
Earlier this month, Pakistan's powerful Army had also contradicted Khan’s remarks accusing America of hatching a conspiracy to topple his government, saying there was no evidence of interference in the country’s internal matters. Khan also blasted the head of the Election Commission of Pakistan, saying that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja was clearly biased and should resign.