We will continue to mount pressure on the Nawaz Govt: Imran
13 December, 2014
KARACHI: Imran Khan vowed to continue pressurising Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “We will continue to mount pressure on the Nawaz government until justice is served.” He urged the people of Lahore to join him on December 15, PTI’s next date and destination for the protest. Routine life in the metropolis was partially paralysed on Friday due to the sit-ins staged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in protest against alleged rigging in the May 2013 general election.
Under the PTI’s Plan C, party workers, including a large number of female participation, staged sit-ins at nearly two-dozen places across the city, including Clifton, Hassan Square, Quaidabad, Nursery, Keamari, North Nazimabad, Lyari, Star Gate near Malir, Kala Pul, Qayumabad, Native Jetty Bridge and Shershah.
The shutdown began early morning as PTI supporters blocked all major roads and staged sit-ins at different locations of the city. Markets, shops, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained closed in many parts of the mega city. With sparse public and private transport on the roads, the city wore a deserted look.
Addressing a large gathering of party workers and supporters at the Nursery on Shahra-e-Faisal, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan reiterated his stance that inquiry into rigging in general election 2013 would be held under the new judicial commission, and vowed to punish those who stole public mandate. He expressed a resolve to have the people responsible for rigging in the general election 2013 punished for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
The PTI chairman said that the judicial commission would be established, new elections held and a ‘new Pakistan’ made.
Imran said he was sure that the judicial commission would resolve the issue. “I can foresee a new Pakistan, where real democracy will prevail. In ‘Naya Pakistan’ there would be rule of law and merit,” he said, adding he was fighting a war for true democracy.
Imran Khan said law and merit would be supreme in ‘Naya Pakistan’, as the rulers would be accountable to the masses. The PTI chief said the ‘Naya Pakistan’ could also provide clean water to the people of Tharparkar.
“The people of Lahore will also support us like Karachi’s citizens supported us,” he said.
Khan said it was his right to protest, and added that he neither asked anyone to bring people by force, nor did he compel anyone to close markets. Imran Khan thanked the people of Karachi, transporters, traders and labourers for pressurising the government supporting PTI’s call in the provincial capital of Sindh and also tendered an apology for inconvenience. The protest demonstrations across the city were largely peaceful, with no major incident reported.
Earlier, talking to the media at the Karachi airport, Imran said his part was shutting down the city “not for ourselves but for the country”. “We want a corruption-free government in Pakistan so that the election process could be made transparent in the future.”
The PTI chief said all parties were of the view that elections were rigged.
He said that people were ready to take on the government if they repeated the same ‘violent episode’ as they did in Faisalabad.
“We will hold press conference on Saturday (today) to expose all PML-N and Rana Sanaullah-backed criminals who attacked the PTI rally.”
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the party would consider calling off its protest when a judicial commission was formed. In a way, he appreciated the Sindh government, saying that there were no Gullu Butts in Karachi like Faisalabad.
In a tweet, PTI leader Arif Alvi said, essential components of the city’s daily operations, such as transporters and traders, were supporting the party in its bid to hold the sit-ins and protests at various points of the city.
Dr Arif Alvi said, “We have shown what we had been trying to show all along that our party can peacefully shutdown any city and, in fact, the whole country.”
Responding to a question, he said, “We are not only prepared to shut down Lahore next but the whole country. I will thank Nawaz Sharif for this.” Earlier, the Sindh government had said it would not allow a strike, stating that government machinery would swing into action if anyone attempted to shut the city
down by force.