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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

PML-N govt wanted to thwart Azadi March: Imran Khan

The PTI Chairman says he had cut short the PTI's 'Azadi March' as he feared the country would have gone towards anarchy.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan said the PML-N government wanted to contain him in his Bani Gala residence during the late-night search operation last Saturday to thwart the Azadi March.

In an interview with 92 News anchor Dr. Moeed Pirzada, Khan said this is the reason he went straight to Peshawar after his Multan rally.

The PTI Chairman said he had cut short the PTI’s ‘Azadi March’ as he feared the country would have gone towards anarchy.

Talking about the clashes between the party members and the police, Khan said, “There was already hatred among the people due to raids carried out by the Punjab Police a day prior to the march that I was 100% sure that the situation would lead to chaos.”

He said PM Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah are in the habit of using force against their opponents and admitted that “Our people had weapons on them too. I was afraid that the country will now face riots.”

Read more: Imran Khan gives 6-day deadline to PML-N govt.

He said that this would have led to hatred against the police, the institutions, and a division in the country among the people and this situation would have only benefited the “thieves” in power.

Khan said his party will submit a petition to the Supreme Court today to allow them peaceful protest and seek protection from the SC.

“Tomorrow, we will submit our case in the SC for a hearing,” he said. “I did not want chaos in the country. PTI will now take to the streets with preparations and planning,” he concluded.

The PTI chairman said that the current political milieu of the country was posing a real challenge for the judiciary, and the entire nation was looking toward it.

He said the PMLN leaders have always bought the umpires, adding that they only wanted to come to power to dissolve the NAB and end their corruption cases in the FIA.

In another interview with the British news channel, Sky News, Khan said he never endorsed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that “we have nothing to do with it.”

When asked about the timing of his visit to Moscow, Khan said, “How the hell was I supposed to know Putin would invade Ukraine?” he said.

Regarding his claim that he was ousted from power by a US-backed conspiracy, Khan said that he “got a cipher” to prove that.

Imran Khan said that his comment about the Afghans breaking the “shackles of slavery” was “deliberately distorted” and quoted out of context. Khan said he referred to the West’s cultural imposition through English language education, creating mentally enslaved people.

Read more: Imran Khan calls for Donald Lu’s sacking

“First time in our history we had one syllabus for everyone and I said, ‘mental slavery is far worse than physical slavery.’ I referred to Afghanistan in that context where they were fighting for their physical freedom. It wasn’t gloating over [the US withdrawal].”

The PTI chairman said the accusation that Pakistan supported the Taliban was “propaganda.” “We were blamed for the lack of success in Afghanistan. What is happening in Afghanistan has nothing to do with us.”

He also elaborated on the fallout and damage in Pakistan due to participating in the US-led war on terror.

Taking the host Mark Austin to task over a question regarding the Taliban’s “slavery of women,” Imran Khan said, “I am neither responsible nor a Taliban spokesperson.” He stated that if there was a military solution to Afghanistan, the US should have found it in 20 years.

When questioned about his relations with China and Russia despite their human rights violations, Khan stated the “number one” priority for him was the people who had elected him.

“I was not elected to correct all the wrongs that are going on in the world. My responsibility was my country. All my relationships, whether with China, the US or Russia, were for the benefit of our people.”

He pointed to India’s violations in the occupied Kashmir and the lack of any condemnation against them. “Allow us to be neutral too so we can look after our own people,” Khan added.

Imran was also questioned about what he hoped to achieve from his new march. He responded: “What every democrat hopes to achieve from a peaceful protest. What I hope to achieve is to show the whole of the country that its people want one thing: elections.”