Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman said his party might reconsider the timing of the Raiwind march, if tensions between Pakistan and India increased. Khan is scheduled to lead a protest on Sept 30 in the residential estate of the ruling Sharif family.
“We will stand by our armed forces and the nation, if tensions with India escalate,” Imran said during an interaction with senior journalists at a hotel in Karachi. In the same vein, however, he said he didn’t think India could go beyond sabre-rattling.
Imran said India was using Uri attack to divert international attention away from its human rights abuses in the disputed Kashmir state. He was particularly critical of the Indian media which, he said, was stirring up war hysteria in the region with its irresponsible reporting and skewed analyses.
The PTI is scheduled to lead a march to Raiwind, where the residences of the Sharif family are located, to pressurise the PML-N government to launch an inquiry into the Panama Leaks scandal. “It will be a historic march. We are expecting a huge turnout on September 30,” Khan said, but he would not say if they would stage a dharna or wind up the protest that day.
What if the Raiwind protest fails to bring the government on its knees? “I’ll announce the next step on Friday,” Imran said.
PML-N workers have raised a force, called Janesaraan-e-Nawaz Sharif, to deter PTI supporters from marching to Raiwind. Footages of baton-wielding members of the force were aired on some private television channels. “It’s our constitutional right to protest,” Khan said, citing at least three articles of the 1973 Constitution.
Imran said the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of Pakistan would be taking up two cases next week and the Raiwind march would send a message to the two institutions that people wanted accountability of the Sharif family for looting nation’s wealth.
In its Sept 21 meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, heads of key state institutions, like FBR, SECP, SBP, NAB and FIA, reportedly expressed their helplessness to investigate the Panamagate.
Wouldn’t street agitation lead to derailment of democracy in the country? “I’m not asking for winding up the government. I’m just calling for the accountability of [Prime Minister] Nawaz Sharif,” Khan said. “He is the biggest thief. If we don’t hold him accountable, then we cannot hold anyone.”