Imran hints at changing date, venue of Raiwind protest

  • Says don’t consider Ayaz Sadiq speaker anymore
  • Says will take Panama Leaks matter to its logical end

Backtracking from his earlier announcement, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday hinted at changing the venue and date of his party’s accountability rally in Raiwind area, saying he will consult the opposition to reach a final decision in this respect.

Khan’s statement about rescheduling his party’s accountability march on Raiwaind comes after other opposition parties opposed PTI’s proposed rally in Raiwind scheduled for September 24.

Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, Khan however said his party’s protest in Raiwind was justified because it was the camp office of the prime minister, and pointed out that protests were even held at 10 Downing Street in London, the residence of the British prime minister.

Khan had the other day in a public meeting in Karachi announced to stage a protest in Raiwind on September 24 near the residence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

To a question, the PTI chief said they did not believe in breaking legs of the opposition, adding that Gullu were in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and not in his party.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on the occasion, made it clear that they would not attack the residence of the prime minister.

Several opposition leaders, including Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid Chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, had opposed PTI’s protest scheduled to be held in front of the residence of the prime minister on September24.

Earlier speaking in the National Assembly, the PTI chairman said he did not accept Sardar Ayaz Sadiq as the speaker because he had taken a partial decision regarding the references filed against him (Imran Khan) and the prime minister.

“While the speaker rejected the reference against the prime minister, he sent the one against me to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” he said, complaining that he was being victimised politically.

“A speaker is supposed to be impartial and loyal to democracy, not to the prime minister’s self interests,” Khan asserted, saying Sadiq being the speaker should have accepted and forwarded both the references.

“Sadly Ayaz Sadiq is not here today. We want to ask him, what is there of mine that stands undeclared since 2013,” Khan asked, and asserted, “If there was anything hidden, why were my papers not challenged in 2013. All my assets were disclosed.”

Khan said the government wanted to silence him and he was being threatened to keep shut. He said it was his duty to raise voice over the Panama Leaks issue as prime minister’s name was mentioned there. He again accused the prime minister of money laundering, and said when they raised voice against corruption the government claimed that democracy was being derailed.

He asked the PML-N parliamentarians to think about the country instead of personal gains.

After the speech of Imran Khan, the opposition staged a walkout of the National Assembly over the reference forwarded to the ECP against the PTI chairman.

The PTI chief meanwhile said that the government should not remain under any delusion, remarking that “we will take the Panama Leaks matter to its logical end”.

Talking to media at his residence Bani Gala before leaving for the National Assembly (NA) session on Thursday, Khan alleged that theft of billions of rupees had been concealed according to the Panama Papers.

“We will take to streets if we have to do so; we will take the matter to its logical end at every cost. Government is under some delusion that it will stop Imran Khan through threats. We will take along all opposition parties during our protest on September 24,” said Khan.

“The NAB, FIA, FBI are all government institutions. Transparent and fair elections are must for stability of democracy. We will have to save democratic institutions if we have to save democracy,” he went on to say.

Khan further said the National Assembly speaker did not send the reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan wherein the matter of siphoning off billions of rupees to offshore accounts had been pointed out.

“This move from the speaker has caused harm to democracy. We will take up the matter of partiality of the speaker in the assembly and ask about his compulsions,” he added.