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Imran Khan dismisses reports of deal with establishment

Former PM says called off march to avoid bloodshed

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday dismissed reports that a deal had been struck between him and the ‘establishment’ to bring an end to the Azadi March, saying that he had done so to avoid bloodshed.

The former prime minister made these comments while addressing a press conference in Peshawar, and expressed regret over how his party workers were attacked by the police.

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He said that the government had specifically chosen officers to target the party. He added that he would protest again if the elections were not announced.

The PTI chairman said that when he reached the venue of the gathering he realised the nature of the situation and understood that there would be bloodshed.

He added that there was anger at the time among his supporters and that if he staged a sit-in, there definitely would have been published.

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While speaking about the alleged ‘deal’, he said that he was hearing that a deal had been made with the establishment, adding that he made no such deal.

The former premier made it clear that he would not engage in negotiations with the “imported government”, and added that he thought of this as jihad.

The PTI chairman also alleged fear on part of the government, saying that they had pressurised media channels and made internet services slow.

Imran Khan also said that he had written a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and asked him whether the party possessed the right to peaceful protest in a democracy.

He said that he had asked the top judge of the apex court to make clear his position on the matter.

Imran Khan also spoke about the recent hike in prices of petroleum products, and criticised the government for “succumbing” to the pressure of the International Monetary Fund, adding that the decision would have an effect on prices of all commodities.

He further stated that the government lacked the ability to run the country, saying that depreciation of rupee and inflation had occurred once they [incumbent] government came to power.

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