People’s passion cannot be curbed via hurdles, containers: Imran Khan at Minar-e-Pakistan

26 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Pakistan World

The Punjab government stated in the alert that terrorists carrying explosive material have arrived in Lahore.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan targeted the PML-N-led Pakistan government on Saturday, saying that those in power will get the message that people’s passion cannot be curtailed through hurdles and containers, according to Pakistan-based The Express Tribune Newspaper.

Despite a threat alert issued by the interim Punjab government, Khan made the remarks while delivering a speech at the PTI’s power show at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan on Saturday night. “One thing is clear: whoever is in power will get a message today that people’s passion cannot be curtailed through hurdles and containers,” he said, adding that around 2,000 PTI workers have been imprisoned solely to create obstacles for today’s rally.

He praised his party’s supporters for attending the rally, saying that despite all of the obstacles, a large number of people came to Minar-e-Pakistan.

“Those in power must know that [blocking the roads and pathways with shipping] containers cannot stop people who want true independence,” he explained, adding that fear was spread to frustrate the public meeting. The government has placed containers on the way leading to Minar-e-Pakistan, leading to hurdles for people seeking to partake in the jalsa. Khan held the Pakistani government responsible for the country’s current situation. He questioned, “did our ancestors give sacrifices for this Pakistan?”

He said that a level playing field does not mean that tie Imran Khan’s hands and gives others all the facilities but it means giving an equal opportunity to all. “I have completed a century of cases, I might even cross 150. I have 40 terrorism cases registered against my name. Poor spend their entire life-fighting false cases in this country,” he said.

According to the PTI chief, one cannot stand up to the powerful in Sindh. “It’s known as the Zardari system.” Imran stated that ‘true freedom’ will come only when the rule of law prevails in the country. He claimed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif begged all over the world but received no relief.

“[General (retd)] Bajwa says he used to scold him (Shehbaz) for 40 minutes and he used to listen without uttering a word,” he said, adding that, “this is what happens when you come to power through the backdoor.”

He said that police have picked up around 2,000 PTI workers ahead of this rally. “Dr. Rubina was in her clinic when they picked her from there,” he added. Khan said that PDM staged three long marches during PTI’s tenure but the party created no hurdles in their way. “I even said I will make arrangements for their dinner.”

According to Khan, the PTI took permission for a rally on March 8 to start its election campaign from Zaman Park. “But we suddenly got the news that police started baton-charge and [tear gas] shelling. They only wanted to create chaos. I called off the rally because I did not want bloodshed.”

Earlier on Saturday, Khan urged his supporters not to back down “under any circumstances,” and said that “reaction” to the “atrocities done to the PTI” would come from the public at the party’s Minar-e-Pakistan rally tonight, despite a “threat alert” issued by the interim Punjab government, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

The Punjab government stated in the alert that terrorists carrying explosive material have arrived in Lahore and will either target political rallies or law enforcement personnel deployed to secure those events.

The government placed containers on the road leading to Minar-e-Pakistan, making it difficult for people to participate in the jalsa. Prior to the PTI rally, internet outages were reported in Gulberg, Minar-e-Pakistan, Data Darbar, Lari Adda, and surrounding areas of Lahore.

PTI also shared footage on Twitter showing party workers and supporters cramming the venue in anticipation of Imran, who arrived at Minar-e-Pakistan shortly before midnight.