Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan says his party to quit all assemblies

He made his first public appearance on Saturday since being wounded in a gun attack earlier this month

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By Agencies

Published: Sat 26 Nov 2022, 9:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 6:16 AM

In a surprise move, former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced that his party will resign from all the assemblies and not be part of any current political system.

Addressing a rally in Rawalpindi, the first since he was wounded during an assassination bid, he said that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party will not be part of “this corrupt system”. Khan’s PTI is in power in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Khan said the PTI had decided not to go ahead with its march on Islamabad to avert any destruction or chaos and instead will walk out of the assemblies. However, he said he will announce the exact date in next few days.

He added that the date would be announced following his meeting with provincial chief ministers and party’s top brass.

“They [the government] cannot stop millions from entering Islamabad. We could have created Sri Lanka-like situation,” he said. But, he added, the party has decided to quit all legislative assemblies in the country in a bid to force the rulers to announce early elections.

“If riots take place then things will get out of everyone’s hands. I tried my best not to take any step which could create chaos in the country,” he added.

“Today I am deciding against marching on Islamabad because we don’t want to spread anarchy in the country,” Khan declared. “We will not remain part of this corrupt system.”

“Instead of causing harm to our country it is better to leave this corrupt system,” he added.

Earlier, Khan, who was accompanied by a team of doctors as he arrived in a helicopter in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, said everyone had advised him when he was setting out from Lahore not to do so due to his injured leg as well as the threats to his life.

Khan said he went ahead because he has seen death form close range. “If you want to live life, shun the fear of death,” he said.

Earlier, Khan was advised to wear a bulletproof jacket, should not exit the vehicle on the way to the rally’s venue and keep his movement secret.

Khan said his aides also warned him not to address the public rally in Rawalpindi as “three culprits holding top portfolios will attempt again to kill him”.

The former premier said that overseas Pakistanis were standing with him because they were aware of the importance of the rule of law.

“If Pakistan is in difficult situation today it’s not because we are short of resources but due to the absence of rule of law.”

Khan said Sharifs and Zardaris were responsible for weakening Pakistan’s institutions in a bid to protect their “looted wealth”.

Despite all challenges including Covid-19, Khan said his government successfully revived the country’s ailing economy.

“What crime did we commit that our government was toppled through foreign conspiracy,” he asked.

The former premier also claimed that three shooters were deployed in Wazirabad for his assassination plot.

“Mozzam was shot dead by a third shooter… a third shooter was there to kill the [prime suspect] so that he does not open his mouth,” he said while likening the attempt on his life to the assassination of country’s first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan.

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