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Imran touches upon ‘Mir Jafar’, ‘neutral’ subjects at charged rally

Says lawmakers elected on reserved seats should be jailed for switching loyalties

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said that more than two million people would go to Islamabad to protest against the government.

He expressed these views while addressing his party gathering in Abbottabad. Imran Khan thanked the people of Abbottabad for their unprecedented participation in the PTI public gathering and their warm welcome to him and said that this is the closest region to Islamabad “and I expect a large number of people from Hazara to participate in the long march against the government”.

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While criticizing the government policies and recent wave of price hikes, he said that during his government, everyone was slamming them for not controlling the prices of essential commodities and “now the situation is worse yet nobody is bothered “. The former prime minister claimed that more than two million supporters of PTI would reach Islamabad on his call of protest after May 20 despite the scorching heat.

Imran Khan said that during his government, “we were negotiating with Russia for 30 percent cheaper petroleum products, LNG and two million tons of wheat, which was sabotaged by the ouster of his government”.

The people of Pakistan are now facing price hike, he said while criticizing the alleged “intervention” of the US in toppling his government and said that Washington does not want a government that has independent policies and works for national interests. Abbottabad police had chalked out an elaborated security plan for the former prime minister’s public gathering and deputed more than 1,100 policemen for the security of the venue, Government College.

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Also, the PTI chairman said that lawmakers who were elected on reserved seats and “sold” their loyalties should be “thrown in jail”. One who has a constituency can argue that the PTI was unpopular in his area and therefore he had to abandon ship, he said while speaking to a gathering of Punjab lawmakers in Islamabad. “That is still understandable [but] how can someone go [to the other side] on a reserved seat? They have clearly sold their conscience. They should be ashamed […] they should be sent straight to jail.”

Imran began his address by paying tribute to the efforts of the lawmakers “fighting till the last ball” in the Punjab Assembly. “I went to meet Asia [Amjad]. She seemed better. She is still unable to speak but she is okay otherwise, thank God,” he said. Amjad was rushed to a private hospital in Lahore last month after her health deteriorated and was treated for a blood clot in her brain. The PTI had claimed that the lawmaker was “tortured” by the police and PML-N “goons” during the chaos that took place in the Punjab Assembly on April 16, when election for the chief minister was held.

Imran went on to say that turncoats who had abandoned the party after making grandiose claims of being willing to render sacrifices, had forever humiliated themselves. “People will remind their children of what they have done.”

Imran said that his political opponents and their “handlers” had thought he would lose steam after staging the rally in Lahore. “I assure you that what I saw in Mianwali yesterday […] I have never before seen such a rally in Mianwali,” he said, referring to the rally held on Friday. The former prime minister said that he was “never ready to be part of the war on terror with the US and neither was he willing to give air bases to Washington.” “Americans wanted a leader like Pervez Musharraf who would have obeyed them upon receiving a single call,” Khan claimed. Turning his guns towards PM Shehbaz Sharif, the PTI chairman claimed that he was a “beggar, servant, and a thief”. “The lies that Sharif family have told, I have not seen anyone spread such lies ever before,” he claimed.


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