ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf (PTI) took to Parade Ground in the nation’s capital to celebrate Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan’s historic decision of ousting the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers case on Sunday.
In an event decorated with music, speeches, documentaries (some not so), and musical performances ranging from satire to patriotic by re-known artists including PTI member Abrarul Haq, Sher Miandad Khan, Haroon Rashid, Malku and Junoon’s Salman Ahmad, there was one man whose name brought about the loudest roar: Imran Khan.
Khan, who was full of praise for the SC bench, stated that he was against corruption, dishonesty and all such hindrances en route to prosperity, adding that after he is done with Shahbaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbassi, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari is his next target.
“Asif Ali Zardari, I warn you that after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif your turn is next,” said Khan.
Earlier, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in a press conference that he believes in across the board accountability (even if it means his father is next? We shall see)
The PTI chairman also criticized Azad & Jammu Kashmir (AJK) prime minister, Raja Farooq Haider for criticizing SC’s decision saying that people of AJK should take it to the streets to protest against him.
In a speech that saw constant attacks against Pakistan’s former premier, Khan told the audiences to not fall for Sharif family’s innocent faces, adding that if they had the chance, they would not think twice before selling the country to foreign forces.
“Don’t judge them from their innocent faces. I bet they will sell Pakistan to its enemies. The Dawn leaks saga is a testimony to this fact,” he said.
The 1992 World-Cup winning captain also emphasised that he was innocent of any wrongdoing and if the SC court finds him guilty of deception, he will resign from his party membership too.
Khan, talking about how the Sharif’s disturbed his personal life, said that his ex-wife Jemima Khan was deeply hurt by the treatment she got after arriving in Pakistan.
“She converted to Islam when she was 21. She came to Pakistan, and they (Sharifs) accused her of being part of the Jewish lobby. They also registered an FIR against her for false case of smuggling tiles,” Khan said.
Last Friday, after SC announced its decision, Jemima regarded Nawaz’s ousting as “good riddance” on social media website Twitter:
“Good riddance to the man who tried to get me jailed when I was pregnant with my 2nd child on trumped up (non bailable) charges of smuggling,” the tweet said.
Khan, talking about his version of the country, infamously known as Naya Pakistan, said that he dreams his country to be poverty free - to an extent that it provides aid to other countries that are in need of it.
“I will show you how to collect money from Pakistanis and nation will no further beg from foreign countries and international organisations. Pakistan will be made a welfare state,” he said.
The rally was also addressed by Murad Saeed (in his typical emotional aura), Sheikh Rasheed (who thanked Imran for announcing him as a candidate for premiership), Abrarul Haq (who sang a political version of Rashke Qamar), Chief Minister KP Pervaiz Khattak (who continuously said he does not have the vocal firepower anymore), Shah Mehmood Qureshi (in his typical aura too) and Hamza Ali Abbassi.
The gathering was also attended by Naeem Bukhari, Fawad Chaudhry, Dr Yasmeen Rashid and others.
If elections were won based on Jalsas, PTI would dominate, but politics does not work that way.
PML-N is down, but they are yet not out. They hold majority in the national assembly and can, without much worry, field a candidate for premiership. The only chance opposition has is if the PML-N faithfuls turn against their leader.
Khan, nonetheless, has not forwarded his name for the premiership, so we will have to wait till next year’s general elections to know if “Prime Minister Imran Khan” holds realistic grounds or will remain merely a fantasy.