Imran remains adamant about 'foreign conspiracy' against his govt in Karachi address
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PTI Chairman Imran Khan Saturday while addressing a much-anticipated rally of his party workers and supporters at Karachi's Bagh-i-Jinnah again reiterated it was a conspiracy against him that led to end of his rule in the federation.
"Karachi, I thank you from my heart," Khan said in his opening remarks in the port city. I've come to talk some very special things because the problem is that of your future and your kids' future."
Khan said that it was the biggest foreign conspiracy in the country.
Imran said that this conspiracy has been done with the help of foreign and internal elements. The former premier said that issue is not of PTI, but is of whole Pakistan.
He said that he is not against any country, that he is neither anti-Indian, anti-European nor anti-American. Imran said that he wants friendship with everyone, but is against slavery. He said that the masses’ independence is more important than his life.
He said that it is good to see the Pakistani flags everywhere. Imran Khan said that “People told me that the mafia is following you”.
Imran claimed that his ambassador had a meeting with Donald Lu, who threatened the ambassador, adding the United States said that if the vote of no-confidence motion will be thwarted, then Pakistan will have to face troubles.
"This conspiracy against our country ... I want you to carefully listen if this was a conspiracy or an interference," he said, indirectly referring to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Babar's recent remarks in a press conference where he said that the word "conspiracy" was not used in the statement issued after a meeting of the National Security Committee last month but had acknowledged that a demarche was issued for "interference".
"Raise your hands and tell me if it was an interference or a conspiracy," Khan asked his audience. "There was a conspiracy against this country at a very vast international scale," he reiterated.
"I want to tell the nation that I never am against any country. I'm not anti-India, anti-Europe or anti-US. I'm with the humanity of the world. I'm not against any nation. I want friendship with everyone but slavery with no one."
Khan claimed that he came to know three to four months back that the turncoats who left his party as well as some journalists had started having meetings in the US embassy. "A journalist told me that 'a lot of money is being spent on us'. Thus, the conspiracy had been in the works for a while and then our US ambassador meets Donald Lu."
He repeated his grievance against the judiciary, asking what crime had he committed that they felt the need to open courts last Saturday at midnight.
"I, till today, have never broken Pakistan's law. I created two of Pakistan's biggest charity institutions. I created Shaukat Khanum and two universities. I am the only politician to have been declared sadiq and ameen by Pakistan's Supreme Court. I knew that the match was fixed but what pained me is that the courts opened up at midnight. It will remain with me for the rest of my life."
Khan asked why the judiciary did not take suo motu notice and get the cable investigated when the then deputy speaker gave his ruling on a foreign conspiracy and why it remained silent "when an open market was set up and politicians were being sold".
The PTI chairman said he stood by his decision to say "absolutely not" to the US when asked for military bases. "A country's prime minister is like the father. The 220m people were my responsibility, and to take them into someone else's war was my responsibility. I will never sacrifice my people for another country."
Khan slammed Shehbaz Sharif, his successor in the top office. "There are 40bn rupee corruption cases on Shehbaz in NAB and the FIA. What more insult of our country can it be that a person out on bail is the prime minister," he said.
"His son, also out on bail, is the chief minister. Think carefully what is happening with our country. They make thieves our leaders because they can be easily used. They get ready to do everything to protect their money."
The PTI chairman identified Shehbaz's elder sibling Nawaz Sharif as the "mastermind of this conspiracy". "The one who is sitting in London, who ran away from the law after lying is now preparing to return. The entire Pakistan's justice system is on trial. Can it stand against these powerful thieves or not? I ask the courts and NAB ... what will you do?"
Khan told his followers that God has given them two paths to choose from. "There is no other third path. You cannot be neutral. It is God's order."
He demanded that a judicial commission be made under the chief justice of Pakistan's supervision to decide on the merits of his claims regarding the cable and foreign conspiracy. Furthermore, he demanded that the foreign funding case against his party be heard together with similar cases against PML-N and the PPP.
The former prime minister urged his supporters to "remain peaceful and not do politics of confrontation". We have always done peaceful protests and our movement will remain peaceful. I want to warn ... don't do anything that this movement changes [into something else] because I don't want to see this country suffer in any way."
Earlier, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi criticised the current government's policies and compared it unfavorably with Khan's recently dissolved government.
"I remember last year, the Israeli army attacked Al-Aqsa and Muslims were martyred. What did Imran Khan say? He told me to go to the UN and raise voice for the oppressed Palestinians. I did not tweet like Shehbaz Sharif but fought case for the Palestinians and gained ceasefire," he said.
"Today, they [only] tweet and then they say they will make an independent foreign policy. Today, the oath wasn't taken, the cabinet hasn't been formed, yet sugar price has been hiked by 10 rupees, ghee by 30 rupees, and electricity by 4.5 rupees per unit. And oil and diesel price hikes are yet to come."
The party's central secretary general Asad Umar said that during PTI's government whenever he asked Khan for something for Karachi, "never did I hear no."
"The reason is that he (Khan) is Pakistan's only leader who does not belong to any one city, region, language or religion. He is the leader of every Pakistani. It's my faith that in this month of Ramazan, under Imran Khan's leadership, the dream of Quaid-e-Azam will be fulfilled by Imran Khan."
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, who is a key ally of the PTI, saluted "Karachi's passion", claiming that the city has "broken the record of Fatima Jinnah's gathering" for Khan.
He predicted that Khan would end the incumbent government before May 30 before he took aim at PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, calling him a "bandit".
In the end, he had a message for the military. "I want to talk to the Pakistan Army. We are with you," he said as he told the crowd to "wave Pakistan's flag so it can be seen that Karachi is with Pakistan's flag and Imran Khan".
Former Sindh governor Imran Ismail said that the entire city of Karachi was willing to take to the streets on Khan's call. He claimed that his party can shut down the entire city whenever it wants.
"We retain the power to shut down the city on half an hour's notice," he said. "We have done it in the past ... and we are restless to do it again. All we need is the go-ahead from you Khan sahab. We will take to the streets and teach them a lesson."
Former minister Ali Zaidi was also critical of Zardari, questioning: "What have you done with our city and people of our province?
"The people will never forgive you. When elections take place, there will be a PTI government in Sindh," he warned
Prior to Khan's arrival at the venue, various PTI leaders from Sindh, including Faisal Vawda, Aslam khan, Khurram Sher Zaman, Haleem Adil Sheikh and Firdous Shamim Naqvi addressed the crowd.
The party's local leadership, during their speeches, criticised in particular their former regional ally Muttahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan. Sindh MPA Khurram Sher Zaman branded the MQM-P "traitors", possibly referring to their severing of ties with the PTI at a crucial time that cost them their government.
PTI leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi termed the MQM-P a party that "destroyed the city" and predicted that its seats would be reduced to "zero" in the next elections.