Former Pak PM Imran begins march to Islamabad

Wednesday 02nd November 2022 06:51 EDT

Islamabad: Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan kick started his long march from Lahore to Islamabad with a “Dirty Harry” dig at ISI boss Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, a day after the latter’s unprecedented appearance at a presser to accuse him of trying to lure army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa into backing his erstwhile government.

“ISI DG, listen carefully. The things I know, I am silent for the sake of my institutions and the country. I don’t want to damage my country,” Imran said to cheers from the throng of supporters accompanying him on the 380 km trek from the country’s political and cultural hub to the capital in a purported quest for “haqeeqi azadi (real freedom)” and to pressure the government into calling snap polls.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said the march with Imran leading a tail of thousands of supporters would enter Islamabad on November 4 after passing through a dozen-odd cities along the historical Grand Trunk Road. Rallies starting simultaneously from the north and northwestern parts of the country will meet and merge with Imran’s march at a designated point before entering the capital, the party said. PTI is in government in two of Islamabad’s neighbouring provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and the nominally self-governing regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK aka PoK.

On the ISI chief’s allegation that Khan had made unconstitutional demands through “backdoor contact” with Gen Bajwa, the ex-PM said, “I want free and fair elections. This was discussed with Gen Bajwa. I want the people to decide who will lead the country - not Washington or anyone else. ” Before his ouster from office in April, Imran had been looked at as the blue-eyed boy of of the military brass. He has lately been accusing the military of supporting his rivals in collaboration with the US.

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