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Imran seeks intervention of judiciary, ‘neutrals’ over govt’s ‘illegal’ actions

Updated 24 May, 2022
<p>PTI Chairman Imran Khan, along with party members, addresses a press conference in Peshawar on May 24, 2022. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News</p>

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, along with party members, addresses a press conference in Peshawar on May 24, 2022. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News

<p>PTI Chairman Imran Khan, along with party members, addresses a press conference in Peshawar on May 24, 2022. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News</p>

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, along with party members, addresses a press conference in Peshawar on May 24, 2022. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News

Peshawar: PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday urged the judiciary and “neutrals” (an apparent reference to the military) to play their role amid the government’s crackdown against his party workers across major cities in the country while describing the government’s decision to deny permission for the party’s protest in Islamabad as “illegal”.

Imran said this during a press conference in Peshawar as the members of the federal cabinet led by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah spoke to reporters in Islamabad about the government decision. The government has decided to stop the PTI from staging the protest in Islamabad that would begin from Peshawar on Wednesday (tomorrow).

In a no-longer veiled reference to the military, Imran said that the “neutrals” have a role to play in the prevailing situation as the country was looking up to them. He reiterated that the role of the judiciary, police and bureaucrats was crucial during the current crisis.

Imran, who has long insisted that his government was toppled through a foreign conspiracy by the US in cahoots with the PDM leadership, slammed the incumbent coalition government for being criminals. He reiterated his claims regarding US diplomat Donald Wu, who according to the ex-PM threatened Pakistan with regime change.

The PTI chief lamented the police action against his party leaders, especially women leaders, during late night raids Monday.

“What kind of crisis is this that police are scaling walls to arrest people in the middle of the night? What kind of emergency was it?” he asked.

“At any cost, I will come out tomorrow and lead the biggest protest in the country’s history. If anybody wants to stop us, then give it a try,” Imran said. He urged the people to show up in large numbers for the protest regardless of the government’s decision to seal Islamabad’s sensitive Red Zone area and deny permission for the march.

On the economic situation, Imran expressed concerns that the country might follow the same trajectory as Sri Lanka, which went bankrupt in April 2022. Immediate elections are the only solution to this situation, according to the former PM.

The PTI and the federal cabinet have traded blamed over the economic situation and rising inflation.

On last night’s raid at the home of retired Justice Nasira Iqbal, he said: “I again ask the neutrals and judiciary that the scenes you are watching…what government can do such things. No democratic government can do this. Only a government led by criminals can do this.”

Imran alleged that the incumbent government had been brought into power by the United States because it would bend over backwards for them.

The PTI chief accused the Islamabad IG of corruption, adding that his party was taking note of every police and bureaucrat. “Action will be taken against you [bureaucrat] if you follow unlawful orders.”

He added that he would lead a rally from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad on Wednesday (tomorrow), saying that for him it was no longer about politics but was a “jihad”.

Speaking about Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik, he said that it was dishonest to label the Kashmiri leader a terrorist and condemned Indian actions.

“After torturing Yasin Malik so many years, India is declaring him a terrorist,” he said. He urged the international community to end its “double standards” saying that the West’s silence on Kashmir was in stark contrast to their vocal advocacy on Ukraine.