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PTI warns govt against using force to stop long march

Fawad says roads are being closed in Jhelum and Attock

Former information minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Monday said that the ‘Azadi’ (independence) march will be held at all costs as the party prepares to head to Islamabad to seek snap polls and send the coalition government packing.

He was addressing a press conference alongside other party leaders. On Sunday, former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan had announced that his party’s much-anticipated Islamabad long march would begin on May 25 and he will meet his workers and supporters at 3:00pm on Srinagar Highway.

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“We cannot give you more time given the damage you have caused to the country. The march will be held at all costs and it cannot be stopped forcefully. A tsunami of people, including women, children, ex-servicemen, police officials and their families will join us from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh,” he said.

Regarding a potential arrest of PTI leaders and workers by the government’s agencies, the former minister said that the move would be counterproductive.

He claimed that “the responsible people in the administration have told us that they are being pressurized”. “Many officials have told us that they will resign but will not accept the steps being taken by the government,” he added.

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He went on to say that the growth rate of Pakistan was six percent 40 days ago.
India, he said, secured a deal to buy discounted oil from Russia. “We wanted to make a similar deal but our government was overthrown,” he maintained. “If we will not descend on Islamabad, there is a fear that our freedom will be taken away forever and we will not allow this to happen,” the former information minister added.

Taking a dig at Home Minister Rana Sanaullah, he said that the home minister has a “criminal background”. “Arrests will be made… roads are being closed in Jhelum and Attock to stop PTI supporters,” he said. He told the media that Imran Khan will leave Peshawar for Islamabad on May 25 and will reach there the same day.

Referring to the brief arrest of PTI leader and former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, Fawad said, “People are being arrested by plainclothesmen. It (PTI) is not a small party. It is the only federal party in Pakistan.”

He also vowed to express solidarity with senior Hurriyet leader Yasin Malik, who had been convicted in a terror funding case in India. “The judicial system has been destroyed in Narendra Modi’s India,” he said.

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