Listen Carefully, The Things I Know…

'Listen Carefully, Things I Know...': Imran Khan Warns Pak's ISI

Imran Khan addressed his party supporters in Lahore.

Lahore/Islamabad:

Imran Khan on Friday said he would remain “quiet” as he did not want to “damage” the country and its institutions, a day after the ISI chief said the former prime minister made “a lot of money” from Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed. Bajwa in return for supporting his government during the political unrest in March this year.

Addressing his party’s supporters at Lahore’s famous Liberty Chowk after launching his march towards Islamabad demanding early elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief said his march is not about politics or personal interest but to get real freedom and ensure that all decisions are made. Pakistan not London or Washington.

“My only goal is to liberate my nation and transform Pakistan into a free country,” Khan said, standing over a bowl.

Khan rejected the allegations by ISI chief Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum in an unprecedented press conference on Thursday, saying it was one-sided and that he had “talked about Iman Khan” and said nothing against “thieves” in the government.

“DG ISI, listen carefully, the things I know, I remain silent in my institutions and the country. I don’t want to spoil my country,” the PTI chief said to the crowd.

“Our criticism is for constructive purposes and your improvement. I can say more but I will not say it as it will harm the institution,” he said.

Lt Gen Anjum on Thursday said army chief Gen Bajwa was given a “lucrative allowance” by the then government amid political unrest in March. Gen. Bajwa is scheduled to retire next month after a 3-year extension.

The intelligence chief’s unprecedented news conference came as the country grappled with different versions of the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya and indirect allegations against the military. Sharif was shot dead at a police checkpoint an hour from Nairobi on Sunday night, causing a storm in the country.

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

Addressing his supporters, Khan said that, unlike Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, “he was not a refugee who could sit here quietly or criticize the military in London”.

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

“If the leaders and organizers of the thieves of this government who are sent to foreign countries think that (the government) should be accepted by us, then listen, this nation will give up but we will never accept these thieves,” he said.

Khan also promised that the march will be peaceful. “Our protest will be in accordance with the law, we will not break any law. We will not enter the (high security) Red Zone and we will only go to those areas designated by the Supreme Court for the strike,” he said.

He also alleged that the Supreme Court failed to protect the constitutional right of his supporters during the protest on May 25 but hoped that “this time our rights will be protected”.

Khan, 70, plans to arrive in Islamabad on November 4 and has sought official permission from the government to allow his party to hold protests. His party called the protest as ‘Haqiqi Azadi March’ or protest for real freedom of the country.

It is not clear whether he will back down after this rally or turn into a sit-in movement like his 2014 protest when his supporters sat in front of the parliament house for 126 days.

The government rejected the march and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the nation refused to obey a “foreign-funded” promoter and rejected a “bloody march”.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah during a press conference surrounded by officials of the Federal Investigation Agency in Islamabad, said that Khan tried to “threaten” the government and the institutions to “get the election date” but was unsuccessful in this matter.

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The minister said that after all the tactics of the PTI chief failed, he has now resorted to holding a long march.

“He made a lot of speeches and used the word ‘neutrality’. But when all this failed, he had no choice but to try something else,” Sanaullah said.

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

Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman alleged that Khan considers himself “above the law and the Constitution” as she accused the PTI chief of feeding people lies.

Rehman said Imran was a “fascist” who considered himself a “king”. “This is what leads people to violence,” he added.

PTI general secretary Asad Umar earlier told the media in Lahore that the protest would be peaceful. He said that the organization has decided to give a march to kill journalist Sharif.

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

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said PTI’s long march has only one agenda – fresh elections.

The PTI leader told Dawn News that the people of Pakistan want fresh elections to be held. “People came out in hundreds and thousands. This is our struggle for true freedom,” he said.

He told the “executives” of the ruling government that they are facing a “flood of people” that no one can handle.

“Their managers, listen carefully. This is a flood of people and no one can withstand it,” he said while addressing protesters as his procession reached Ichhra in Lahore.

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During a brief pitstop at Lahore’s Ichhra, Khan made another fiery speech, this time targeting the government.

“They steal money, go abroad, come back after getting NRO and come back [to power] again,” Khan said over his container as Shah Mahmood Qureshi stood behind him.

“What do they think of us? If we bher bakriyan (fools)? Those who became billionaires of our country and live in palaces in London are made Prime Minister, he said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has ordered television channels not to broadcast live TV programs and other content, especially while covering PTI leaders’ speeches and long trips.

Pemra said while monitoring Friday’s broadcast, it noticed during the speech “statements against government institutions were broadcast live” in violation of the code of conduct and court orders.

It ordered television channels to stop “broadcasting current content [is] it is like defaming/shaming government institutions (inadvertently or by mistake) and informing their editorial boards, directors (new and programs), institutions and journalists to obey these orders.

Legal action, leading to the suspension and revocation of licenses, will be initiated in case of non-compliance, Pemra warned.

Khan has been demanding early elections and has threatened to march to Islamabad to press his demands if the government fails to give an election date. The Legislature’s term will expire in August 2023 and new elections must be held within 60 days.

Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a vote of no confidence in his leadership, has described the ‘threatening letter’ from the US as part of a foreign plot to remove him as unacceptable. following an independent foreign policy. The US has publicly denied the allegations.

(In addition to the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published in the syndicated feed.)

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