RAWALPINDI – Leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Awami Muslim League (AML) are sharing a stage at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, where a large number of supporters have turned up on the call of Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid for a public gathering.
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— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 13, 2017
Imran Khan, addressing the crowd at Liaquat Bagh after six years, praised Sheikh Rashid for “waging a jihad against corruption and political mafia for the last nine years.”
“For three years, Nawaz Sharif has been controlling all the institutions; this was the first time, that he wasn’t able to control the joint investigation team or the Supreme Court — that is why he [Nawaz] is calling it [his disqualification] a conspiracy,” thundered Khan. “This is not a conspiracy, this is naya Pakistan.”
Throwing his support behind the judiciary, Khan said that this “is the era of social media”, and women and the youth are more vigilant than before. “The nation will stand by the Supreme Court if needed.”
He alleged that only two types of people were supporting Sharif; those whose interests were associated with him and those who were misled by him.
“Nawaz Sharif was expelled after the due judicial process, yet he says that the honour of [people’s] vote is at stake,” said Khan.
The PTI chief criticised the proposal to eliminate Articles 62 and 63 from the Constitution, warning of massive agitation in Islamabad if a “conspiracy” was hatched against the Constitution.
PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi started his speech by asking, “What am I guilty of?”, taking a jibe at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. In nearly all of Sharif’s speeches that he delivered on his way to Lahore from Islamabad, he demanded to know the reason for his disqualification. “Someone tell me, why was I deposed?” he had asked, repeating the question frequently during his four-day GT Road rally last week.
Answering the question, Qureshi said that Nawaz was disqualified because he fooled and mislead the nation, and plundered the national exchequer.
“Nawaz Sharif talks about honouring the mandate; [he should know that] transparent elections guarantee the honour of the mandate,” said Qureshi. He asked the crowd to join him in creating a new Pakistan under the leadership of PTI chief Imran Khan.
Earlier, Zahid Kazmi, PTI district president, had claimed that Rawalpindi was the PTI’s fort “which will be proved on August 13.” He explained that Imran Khan had not announced his plan for coming to Rawalpindi to celebrate Independence Day which is why a separate rally was being planned.
AML President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had expressed hope for the success of his public meeting, saying that the basic aim of the public meeting was to highlight the corruption of the ruling elites. “Panama Papers leaks exposed the ruling elites and time has come to get the answer from them about the illegal money transferred abroad,” he had said.
Ahead of the gathering, the PTI started distributing pamphlets, titled “We will tell you why you were disqualified”, via a private helicopter at Liaquat Bagh and nearby areas.
The ground was almost filled with participants an hour ahead of the convention despite a downpour that has been lashing the city since the evening.
Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) said that it had prepared a response to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s repeated questioning of why he was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate verdict, started distributing pamphlets listing reasons for his ouster.
‘Mian Sahab, this is why you were de-seated’:
- You took advantage of your position [as PM] and looted taxpayers’ money.
- You built offshore companies in your children’s name for money laundering.
- You hid your wealth and assets from ECP, SECP, FBR and the public by lying on your documents.
- You engaged in money laundering with help from Ishaq Dar and other dishonest government officials.
- You cheated tax collecting authorities for 30 years.
- You lied to the Parliament and public in your address about Panama leaks and tried to mislead court.
- You and your children tried to mislead the joint investigation team and submitted fake documents.
- You are not honest or truthful.
- You had 15 months to come clean in front of the court and the public, but all you did was lie.
- You were disqualified by five judges, not random people.
The pamphlets, titled “We will tell you why you were disqualified”, were distributed by a private helicopter at Liaquat Bagh and nearby areas ahead of the gathering at Rawalpindi today.
In nearly all of Sharif’s speeches that he delivered on his way to Lahore from Islamabad, he demanded to know the reason for his disqualification. “Someone tell me, why was I deposed?” he had asked, repeating the question frequently during his four-day GT Road rally last week.
The pamphlets list 10 reasons as to why the PTI believes Sharif was ousted from the public office.