Islamabad [Pakistan]: Former Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday warned party workers and supporters of being wary of rigging during the next election in Punjab as “the umpires” sided with the Shehbaz Sharif-led government.
“We have 20 by-elections [coming up] in Punjab. The only way they can win is through the rigging. The people are against them, [but] the umpires are with them,” Khan said as quoted by Dawn newspaper. He was addressing a public gathering of his party at Islamabad’s Parade Ground against inflation, political destabilisation, excessive load-shedding and continued hikes in fuel prices.
PTI Chairman said that they have to win the election despite the fact that “umpires” are with the government.
“No matter what tactic they use … whether they rig the election or use the police, the nation will never accept them,” Imran said referring to the government, which he often referred to as “imported” and also claimed that the US had imposed this government through a “conspiracy.”
He had announced tonight’s gathering last Saturday, saying that the demonstration would be held for Islamabad locals and those from Rawalpindi, while people from other major cities would have their own local protests, Dawn reported.
Earlier, Imran Khan lashed out at the Shehbaz Sharif-led country’s government and said he did not come out to fight against the institutions in the country or to spread anarchy but to tell everyone that the nation will not accept the “imported government”.
“I knew there would be anarchy that evening and people would have come face to face with the police and the rangers. The nation, the police and the rangers are mine. I don’t want to spread anarchy within my nation. I had set out just for one slogan- imported government unacceptable,” Khan said.
During the rally at the federal capital after leading a rally from Rawalpindi, the former Prime Minister said that he did not protest against the coalition government on May 26 because he knew no one would come out after what transpired during the “Azadi March”, Geo Tv reported.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah today said that he will use “fresh” and “updated” tear gas against PTI supporters if needed.
In a veiled warning, the federal minister advised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters not to give cause to such a situation, Dawn newspaper reported.
His remarks come as preparations are underway for the party’s power show at the capital’s Parade Ground today. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead a caravan from Rawalpindi to the venue in Islamabad.
Earlier PTI accused Islamabad Police of using expired tear gas against the party supporters during the rally in the federal capital on May 25.
Quoting Akbar Nasir Khan, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad had said that tear gas used on the protesters had caused irritation in the eyes only.
“Expired tear gas shells were not used. No other chemicals were used to disperse the crowds on May 25,” the IGP had said.
During the press conference today, Sanaullah said that the expired tear gas, which he claimed was bought by his “predecessors”, had finished.
“Now they will get everything effective, fresh and updated if the need arises. But it would be better if they don’t create a situation,” the Interior Minister said.
Sanaullah also said that the government was motivated to end “police culture” in the capital and was giving 100 per cent coverage to safe city cameras, which won’t just be installed on roads but also in police stations to ensure punishment for perpetrators.
He also condemned the attack on journalist Ayaz Amir in Lahore last night and gave assurances that the police were pursuing the case.