Establishment’s ‘neutrality’ to have consequences for country: Imran

Will announce ‘next plan of action’ in Dir rally tomorrow after ‘studying’ SC decisionClaims govt reluctant to buy Russian oil fearing American backlash

PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced on Thursday that he would unveil his plan of action for his party’s next march at a rally in Dir “two days from now”, on Saturday.

Speaking at a rally in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Shangla district, he said, “Those on top now want to destroy the country. People fear that the country will go bankrupt,” he said, pointing to the rise in inflation and debt. “If the situation is not steadied and it goes bankrupt, then I have a message for the establishment. The United States and the Soviet Union were the world’s biggest powers. But when the Soviet Union’s economy tanked, it broke apart and even its strong army could not keep it together.”

Imran said that even though the establishment said it was neutral, the people would still be looking in its direction as they knew where the “power” lies. “History will not be forgiving if the nation descends into chaos and you keep on saying that you are neutral,” he said. “I have a rally in Dir where I will present my next plan of action. We are studying the Supreme Court’s decision,” he said.

The PTI is looking towards the apex court to provide his party “protection” ahead of another planned march towards Islamabad, which would follow his ‘Azadi March’ late last month where PTI workers and supporters had faced intense police action. The purpose of the marches is to pressure the government into calling immediate elections.

The party’s petition in this regard, however, was returned by the SC registrar on Thursday, saying that it had already decided on an “almost similar issue”. Imran, in his speech on Thursday, said he would stay in KP for two more days to prepare his organisation. “I am planning to continue our campaign for freedom until the government conducts fair and transparent elections.” Turning his guns towards the coalition government for its alleged torture of the protestors of his May 25 march, he said that staging a peaceful protest was a citizen’s democratic right. “Brutalising” protesters are not allowed under the constitution of any country, he said, adding that “they can’t win the election. They can’t mingle with the people because they get heckled with chants of chor (thief) and gaddar (traitor)”.

He claimed that the government was trying to “rig the polls” in connivance with the Election Commission of Pakistan. “A conspiracy is being carried out to destroy Pakistan’s democracy,” Imran said that the government was harming all the country’s institutions by having its leaders’ corruption cases swept under the rug and by clipping the wings of the anti-graft watchdog. The PTI chairman alleged that the government, “brought into power through a US conspiracy”, would end up bankrupting the country. The former prime minister said that the government was reluctant to buy oil from Russia as the ‘enslaved’ leaders feared American backlash. He alleged that the ‘enslaved’ leadership in the Pakistani government could not buy subsidised petrol from Russia because the United Stated did not allow them to do so as “the US and Russia do not have good relations”. “Our government increased the price of petrol by Rs30 per litre, while the Indian government recently reduced the price of petrol by Rs25,” he said, claiming that this highlighted the differences in decision-making between free and enslaved countries.

Imran alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to destroy the mandate of the people in the next elections. “They are conspiring with the support of the election commission to rig the next elections and trying to ruin democracy in the country,” he said.