NOWSHERA/SWABI: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said on Sunday that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) workers would remove all barriers to reach Banigala from the Swabi Interchange.
Addressing a big public gathering in his hometown Manki Sharif, he said the Islamabad and Punjab police could not stop the ‘tsunami’ of PTI workers from marching on the federal capital.
Mr Khattak threatened to stop Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from entering Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to address public meetings if his cavalcade was barred from entering Punjab for the PTI’s protest planned for Nov 2.
He said the prime minister had recently addressed a public meeting in Kohat and the provincial government had provided him maximum security.
The chief minister said he would lead the PTI caravan by removing all barriers erected on the way to Banigala.
Criticising the road blockades towards the capital, he warned that the rulers were forcing his supporters to revolt, which would not only be harmful for the government but also for the federation.
Mr Khattak reiterated that he would stay in Islamabad till the resignation of Prime Minister Sharif.
He alleged that the prime minister had robbed the national exchequer and now people were out, asking him about the looted money.
He said the Pakhtuns had given their mandate to Imran Khan’s party and they knew how to protect their leader.
The chief minister demanded that the judiciary take action against the prime minister for blocking roads in violation of court orders. “Courts should play their role, otherwise, people will raise questions about their independence,” he said.
The federal government, he said, had usurped the rights of the smaller provinces and when the PTI leaders were raising their voice against this highhandedness, they were being called traitors.
Criticising Awami National Party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, the chief minister said: “A thief should be called a thief.”
He alleged that one Masoom Shah was a frontman of the ANP chief and a former chief minister and had looted the provincial exchequer with both hands. He said he knew all such secrets because he was also part of the former ANP-led government.
Earlier, addressing a gathering at the PTI’s camp office near the Karnal Sher Khan Motorway Interchange between Peshawar and Islamabad, Mr Khattak warned the federal and Punjab governments to desist from stopping the party’s workers from marching towards the capital. A large number of party office-bearers and legislators, including women, shouted slogans against the prime minister on the occasion.
“We want accountability. On moral grounds, the prime minister should have presented himself for accountability after the Panama Papers leaks” about offshore wealth, Mr Khattak said.
He warned Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif against using coercive tactics against the PTI leaders and workers or blocking the peaceful protesters who, he said, wanted justice and accountability of the corrupt leaders.
He asked what wrong had been done by the PTI workers in Islamabad when they were beaten and thrown into prisons, saying the cruel tactics which the PML-N was bent upon using would backfire.
Our Staff Reporter in Karachi adds: Addressing the PTI workers and supporters after leading a procession from the Nursery area to the Quaid’s mausoleum, the party’s Sindh chief, Dr Arif Alvi, said the event was a manifestation of the fact that the people of the city were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Imran Khan in the fight against corruption like other parts of the country.
He said a countdown for a farewell to the prime minister would begin on Nov 2.
Dr Alvi warned that if the PTI chief or any other leader was arrested, there would be a severe reaction in Karachi and the workers and supporters of the party would block the Super Highway, National Highway, Hub River Road and many other main arteries in the city in protest.
He said the nation had witnessed the difference between democracy and dictatorship during the past three days as no obstacle had been put in the public meeting addressed by the prime minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the PTI was not being allowed to exercise its right to hold a peaceful protest in Islamabad through arrest of its leader and workers across Punjab.
He said the prime minister and his cronies had plundered billions of rupees and the names of members of his family were mentioned in the Panama Papers and they could not escape accountability.
Other speakers said that if PTI leaders were detained by the government, the party’s supporters would hold sit-ins across the country.