Lahore, April 22
In a veiled warning to Pakistan's military establishment, former prime minister Imran Khan has given an ultimatum to those who have ousted him to rectify their "mistake" by holding early elections or else his supporters will reach the capital to overthrow the "imported government".
Addressing a rally of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Thursday night, Khan lashed out at the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and those who brought it to power.
In an indirect reference to the military establishment, Khan said, "Those who had committed this mistake of ousting my government should rectify it by holding fresh elections without any delay."
He also asked the people of Pakistan to wait for his call to reach the capital.
"Wait for my call when I will invite you to Islamabad. I am not giving a call just to the PTI but all Pakistanis. I want to make it clear that I don't want confrontation,” he said in an hour-long speech.
"The actual party has just begun, our campaign will intensify [...] wait for my call. I don't want anything else except early elections," he said.
In a veiled attack on Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Khan on Wednesday alleged that "some elements" in the powerful establishment who indulged in "bad practices" were responsible for his unceremonious ouster from power.
Khan asked the people to pledge that they would continue their peaceful struggle for “real democracy and independence” in Pakistan till the announcement of fresh elections.
He also thanked the people of Lahore for turning out in large numbers.
“Today I will give you a future course of action that we will not accept slavery and this imported government.
“Come what may, I will not accept this government of looters and slaves,” he added.
“I have asked the entire leadership of the party to spread across the country and prepare the nation for the next stage of the freedom struggle. Everyone should know that the PTI has just started. Unlike my opponents, who have properties and wealth abroad, I will live and die in Pakistan,” he said.
Khan also reiterated his remarks about India's independent foreign policy unlike that of Pakistan.
"Hindustan's foreign policy is for its people. How come our foreign policy can be for others,” he asked.
Khan rued that he was planning to import oil and wheat from Russia on 30 per cent concessional rates but his government was brought down through a planned conspiracy in which the US and local characters were involved.
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