“Listen Carefully, The Things I Know…”: Imran Khan Warns Pak’s ISI

Imran Khan addresses his party supporters in Lahore.

Lahore/Islamabad:

A day after the former prime minister made a “lucrative offer” to Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed, Imran Khan on Friday said he would remain “silent” after the ISI chief said he would remain “silent” as he did not want to “damage” the country and its institutions. Bajwa in return for supporting his government during the political turmoil in March this year.

Addressing his party’s supporters at Lahore’s famous Liberty Square after taking out a protest march to Islamabad to demand early elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief said his march was not for politics or personal interest but to achieve real freedom and ensure that all decisions are taken. In Pakistan and not in London or Washington.

“My sole aim is to liberate my nation and transform Pakistan into an independent country,” Khan said, standing over the container.

Khan, in an unprecedented press conference on Thursday, rejected the allegations by ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, saying they were one-sided and that he only “talked about Iman Khan” and did not utter a word against the “thieves” in the government.

“DG ISI, listen carefully, the things I know, I have kept quiet for my organization and country. I don’t want to harm my country,” the PTI chief said, to cheers from the crowd.

“Our criticism is for constructive purposes and for your improvement. I can say more but won’t because it will damage the organization,” he said.

Lt Gen Anjum said on Thursday that Army Chief General Bajwa was given a “lucrative offer” by the then government in March amid political turmoil. General Bajwa will retire next month after an extension of 3 years.

The spy chief’s unprecedented press conference came as the country grapples with different versions of the killing of Kenyan journalist Arshad Sharif and indirect allegations against the armed forces. Sharif was shot dead at a police station an hour’s drive from Nairobi on Sunday night, causing a storm in the country.

Kenyan police later said it was a case of “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.

Addressing his supporters, Khan said that unlike Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, he “has not run away to either sit quietly here or criticize the military in London”.

“I will not leave this country. I will live and die in this country,” the PTI chief added.

“If the masterminds and masterminds of these imported government thieves think they (the government) should accept us, listen, this country will make every sacrifice but will never accept these thieves,” he said.

Khan also assured that this march will be conducted peacefully. “Our march will be according to the law, we will not break any rule. We will not enter the (high security) red zone and will only go to those areas designated by the Supreme Court for protests,” he said.

He also accused the Supreme Court of failing to protect the constitutional rights of his supporters during the May 25 protest but expressed hope that “our rights will be protected this time”.

Khan, 70, plans to arrive in Islamabad on November 4 and has sought formal permission from the government for his party to hold a protest rally. His party has billed the protest as a ‘Hakiki Azadi March’ or a protest for the country’s real independence.

It is not clear whether he will go back to the rally or turn it into a meeting on the lines of his 2014 protest, when his followers went on a 126-day fast in front of Parliament House.

The government rejected the march, and Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said the country had refused to bow to “foreign-sponsored” instigators and rejected a “bloody march”.

At a press conference held by Federal Investigation Agency officials in Islamabad, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Khan had tried to “threaten” the government and institutions to “get an election date” but had failed in this regard.

The minister said that after all the tactics of the PTI chiefs failed, they have now resorted to taking out a long march.

“He made many speeches and used the word ‘neutral’. But when all that failed, he was left with no option but to try something else,” Sanaullah said.

He warned that “strict action will be taken if they try to break the law and restore law and order in the capital.” Sanaullah added that if the PTI sticks to its commitment to stay in the place allowed by the Supreme Court, no one will. will prevent them from exercising their democratic rights.

Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman alleged that Khan considered himself “above the law and the constitution” as she accused the PTI chief of lying to the public.

Rehman said Imran was a “fascist” who considered himself a “king”. “That’s why it drives people to violence,” she added.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar earlier told the media in Lahore that the protest would be peaceful. He said that the party decided to dedicate the march to the killing of journalist Sharif.

The country was grappling with different versions of the killing of journalist Sharif in Kenya and indirect accusations against the armed forces.

Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary said PTI’s long march had only one agenda – fresh elections.

The PTI leader told Dawn News that the people of Pakistan want fresh elections. “People have come out in hundreds and thousands. This is our real freedom struggle,” he said.

He told the “handlers” of the incumbent government that they were facing a “flood of people” against which no one could stand.

“Their handlers, listen carefully. This is a flood of people and no one can stand against it,” he said while addressing the protesters after his march reached Ichhra in Lahore.

During a short pitstop in Lahore’s Ichra, Khan delivered another fiery speech, this time targeting the government.

“They steal money, go abroad, come back after getting NRO and come back [to power] Again,” said Khan from the top of his compartment as Shah Mahmood Qureshi stood behind him.

“What do they think of us? Or are we bher goats (fools)? Those who have stolen billions from our country and live in palaces in London are made prime ministers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed television channels not to telecast live programs and other content, especially when covering speeches and long marches of PTI leaders.

Pemra said monitoring Friday’s broadcast showed that the speech was “directly broadcast statements against state institutions” in violation of the code of conduct and court orders.

It directed television channels to “refrain from broadcasting that text [is] Defaming/defaming state institutions (intentionally or inadvertently) and sensitizing their editorial boards, directors (new and programming), bureaus and field reporters to comply with these directives.

Non-compliance will prompt legal action, suspension and cancellation of licenses, Pemra warned.

Khan has been demanding early elections and is threatening to take out a protest march towards Islamabad to press for his demands if the government fails to give an election date. The term of the National Assembly expires in August 2023 and fresh elections must be held within 60 days.

Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence motion against his leadership, has spoken out about the ‘threatening letter’ from the US, claiming it was part of a foreign plot to oust him because it was not acceptable. Pursuing an independent foreign policy. The US has categorically denied these allegations.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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