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Imran Khan Launches Civil Disobedience Movement

Posted by on Monday, August 18, 2014, 10:09
This news item was posted in Breaking News, Politics category and has 0 Comments so far .
Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Giving the government two days to meet his party’s demands, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan Sunday launched a civil disobedience movement in a last-ditch attempt to knock out the incumbent regime he alleges was elected by corruption, news reported.

“I am appealing to all the Pakistanis not to pay any taxes, utility bills, etc until Nawaz Sharif resigns as prime minister. This is the only way to get rid of this government”, Khan said in what he claimed was his political career’s most important speech.

This announcement came after Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s Dr Tahirul Qadri issued a 48-hour ultimatum demanding the arrest of Sharif.

Khan’s address, which is widely being seen as dichotomous, confusing, and off-the-cuff, has come as a letdown to the lot of his followers and the political analysts alike.

“It appears, with a little help from Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, the government has finally cut a peace deal with Khan. That’s why the PTI leader blew hot and cold during his address”, an analyst told Samaa.

The cricketer-turned politician said that he could set his tsunami protestors on the parliament and prime minister houses but he would not.

“Anarchy is an invitation to a military takeover, which is the last thing any democratic party like PTI will ever want”, said Khan warning his workers not to cross the lines drawn by the leadership.

He, however, gave a two-day ultimatum to the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to bow out.

“Mian Sahib, after two days … your time is up. I will not be able to rein in these thousands of angry Insafians from coming for you. You have two days to get your bag and baggage. So deal with it now or you will have to deal this throng after 48 hours”, an emotional Khan thundered sending a premonitory message to the sitting PM.

Earlier, at the outset of his address, Khan said there was no apparent legal way to dislodge Nawaz Sharif as prime minister.

“Tell me what should we do with the man who is immune to the laws, can hide behind the constitution, has the power to buy election commission”, Khan asked his workers.

Late Saturday he also warned Sharif to resign, saying his supporters would otherwise enter on Sunday the capital’s high security “Red Zone” where top government buildings and embassies are located.

The May 2013 general election saw Sharif take power in a landslide, and international observers who monitored the polls said they were free and credible.

The protests are the culmination of a “long march” — in reality a motorised cavalcade — that set off Thursday from Lahore, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) away, to try to topple the government.

Analysts warned there was no quick solution to the impasse.

“Apparently there are no signs that the government and the two parties are working towards a solution of the problem… both are sticking to their positions, leading to a deadlock,” analyst Hasan Askari told AFP.

“If political leaders fail to resolve this problem and violence starts, then the initiative will shift to the military — either to mediate the problem or see to it that the stalemate is resolved,” he said.

“This will further increase the military’s clout in Pakistan”.

Senior politicians have intensified efforts to avert a crisis.

Siraj-ul-Haq, chief of the religious Jamat-e-Islami party, met the opposition leader in parliament’s lower house, Syed Khursheed Shah, to discuss the situation.

“The entire nation is upset over what is happening in Islamabad… we have to steer the country out of this crisis with a cool mind,” Haq told reporters after meeting Shah in Karachi.

“I am going to Islamabad on Monday where I will hold further consultations with other politicians,” he said.

“We will not allow democracy to be derailed at any cost.”

Shah, who is also a senior leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, said: “Our survival lies in upholding democracy and the constitution. We all have to sit together to find an amicable solution to the problem.”

Security in Islamabad has been ramped up, with some 30,000 police and other security forces on the streets.

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