Imran Khan gives six-day deadline to govt as PTI long-marchers disperse
PTI chief warns govt to dissolve assemblies, announce elections I June, otherwise he will lead another long march to Islamabad: Says he does not want fight with police, Army
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Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has given a six-day ultimatum to the government to dissolve assemblies and announce new elections as his party’s long marchers disperse on Thursday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing protesters at Islamabad’s Jinnah Avenue, Imran Khan warned that he would come back to the federal capital with the “entire nation” otherwise.
Imran Khan said the government was pushing the country towards anarchy. “If I staged a sit-in here the government will make us fight police and Army,” he added.
He urged the Supreme Court to take notice of the PTI workers’ arrests and shelling on party activists.
The PTI chief said “The government has used every trick to crush our Azadi March, they used teargas on peaceful protests, our homes were raided and privacy of the houses were violated, however I have seen the nation free itself from fear of slavery.”
Imran Khan said he had reached Islamabad after 30 hours of travelling from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Announcing the deadline to the government to announce the date for fresh polls, the former prime minister said, “I am giving a six-day ultimatum to the government to dissolve assemblies and announce general elections in June.” The PTI chief warned that he will return to Islamabad along with millions of people if the government fails to announce the date for elections.
Imran Khan said three PTI workers lost their lives in Karachi while two workers were thrown off Ravi Bridge and thousands of others were arrested. He lashed out at the government for trying to create a divide between the people and the law enforcement agencies.
Imran Khan said that he had decided that he will stage a sit-in until the government dissolve assemblies and announce elections, but after seeing the “brutal crackdown” on the people in the last 24 hours, he changed his mind.
Addressing the Supreme Court judges, Imran Khan again asked them to take notice of tactics used by the “imported government” to stop the masses from exercising their right to protest. He said there was a huge responsibility on the apex court judges and thanked them for taking notice of what happened yesterday.
He declared “My message to the imported government is to dissolve the assemblies and announce elections, otherwise I will return to Islamabad after six days.”
He went on to ask where in a democracy peaceful protests were not allowed and demonstrators had to face tear-gas shelling, police raids and arrests.
The PTI chairman entered Islamabad in the early hours of Thursday and marched towards D-Chowk.
Imran Khan’s morning address was the culmination of a chaotic 24 hours which saw the federal capital blockaded and clashes break out between police and protesters across the country.
The government had attempted to prevent the convoy from reaching the capital by shutting down all entry and exit points around the city, but was forced to allow in the protesters by an emergency Supreme Court order.
"I want to give a message to this imported government to announce elections within six days. Dissolve the assemblies and call an election in June," he said, to a thinned-out crowd of thousands who later dispersed.
He warned that he would return to the capital with his supporters next week if elections were not scheduled.
Thousands of supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party heeded his call to march to the capital from nearby cities on Wednesday.
But political analysts said Khan's attempt to stage a historic sit-in was a failure, with smaller numbers than expected hobbling his bargaining power. "With around 30,000 people, it was not a good idea to stay in Islamabad and face the powerful police that broke his momentum," said Qamar Cheema.
More than 1,700 people have been arrested since police began raiding the homes of PTI supporters on Monday night, said Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, who previously accused protesters of planning to carry weapons.
PTI workers end Karachi sit-in peacefully
As per media reports, three workers of PTI are injured due to the day long shelling and clashes with the Police on Wednesday.
PTI workers remained on the road at the Numaish Chorangi to fight for their cause and what they believed as ‘Haqiqi Azadi’ but as soon as Imran Khan called off the Long March and Karachi chapter workers of PTI also dispersed peacefully.
PTI workers peacefully end Quetta sit-in
Dr Baloch earlier announced that the PTI sit-in camp would continue until the government announced the election date but when Imran Khan called off the long march, the PTI workers in Quetta too dispersed peacefully.
The party workers and supporters also reached Quetta from Chaman, Pishin, Loralai, Zhob, Ziarat and Qila Abdullah to join the march.
The local administration deployed heavy contingents of police, members of ATF and the Balochistan Constabulary to deal with any untoward incident.
Reporter Gohar Mehsud, Saud Butt, Rizwan Saeed and Daniyal Syed
With inputs from AFP.