Islamabad, Oct 29: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Saturday vowed to go ahead with his plans of a ‘lockdown’ of Islamabad on November 2 to demand “accountability” of Prime Minister waz Sharif over alleged corruption. Talking to reporters near his Bani Gala residence, Khan advised PTI supporters to travel in groups, saying when they arrive in small numbers the police “puts them in jail”.
“We are telling everyone to come in big groups.” He asked the party supporters to make sure to avoid arrests. “No one can now stop the massive sea of people that will sweep Islamabad,” Khan declared.
He said the Sharif family is the quintessence of corruption in Pakistan. Reiterating his plans to put up a grand show in Islamabad on November 2, Khan said: “This is waz Sharif’s dictatorship, not a democracy... we will show waz Sharif on Nov 2 what democracy is.”
He asked the supporters, many of whom set up camps and spent the night near his residence, about their comfort and directed his party magers to ensure their well being. Municipal workers used shipping containers to block major roads leading from Rawalpindi to Islamabad.
Khan has vowed to lead a demonstration in Islamabad on November 2 to demand Prime Minister waz Sharif step down over revelations in the Pama Papers that his family has offshore bank accounts. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), claimed that the authorities have cut off Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from Punjab.
Khan was under virtual house arrest with a heavy contingent of police surrounding his house in Banni Gala, a leafy suburb of Islamabad, preventing him from leaving — though he has not been formally arrested.
On Friday, clashes took place between police and opposition party supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, with dozens arrested ahead of the planned protest by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan aimed at unseating the government. “Wait for Nov 2, a PTI tsumi will sweep even a contingent of 50,000 policemen to D-Chowk,” Khan was quoted as saying on Friday, apparently in the first indication that the PTI might reach the place located in front of Parliament House where it had staged a sit-in for three months in 2014.
PTI and Pakistan government have locked horns since the mes of members of Prime Minister waz Sharif’s family appeared in the Pama Papers leaks. After months of verbal duels between the parties, Imran Khan announced plans to lay siege on the capital on Nov 2, and vowed to stay put until the Prime Minister resigns or presents himself for accountability in the backdrop of the Pama Papers scandal. The government remains adamant that it will not allow the PTI to shut down Islamabad and action will be taken against the party according to law if it challenges the writ of the state. The Pakistan government also banned political rallies in the capital for two months.
The administration in the capital imposed section 144, which prohibits gathering of five or more people at a location. (IANS)