ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, while issuing a terse warning to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, stated on Thursday the federal government would face the same consequences, if the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was toppled.
In his address to a sit-in of legislators and PTI workers in one of the main squares in front of the Parliament House, Khan reiterated his party’s resolve that NATO/ISAF supply routes through Khyber be suspended until the United States gave an assurance to stop drone strikes in the Tribal Areas.
He made it clear that his party’s government would not allow NATO convoys pass through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Khan urged the ruling PML-N to tell the people the truth and give up its dual policies, which according to him, were the reason behind the US not giving due respect to Pakistan. The PTI did not want a war with the US, but wanted to protect the country from foreign aggression, he asserted.
"We all stand united against US drone strikes," roared Khan as his supporters, , who had mostly turned up from KP under the leadership of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, kept chanting slogans against drone strikes.
Khan said he was proud of the KPK government and PTI's allies for taking a bold stand against drone strikes. He also asked the rulers to distinguish between friendship and slavery, saying just because they [PTI] had blocked NATO supply lines, it was being said that Khan was making the US an enemy of Pakistan.
Khan criticised the policies of the ruling PML-N, saying Pak rupee had devalued against US dollar to Rs110. But, he added, the people [rulers and others] whose money were lying on foreign accounts did not care for a bullish trend of US dollar.
According to him, a sum of about $50 million [of the rulers] was lying in foreign banks and due to the increase in dollar value against rupee, that figure had surged up to Rs6 billion only in six months.
Earlier, senior federal minister of Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and PTI senior leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi addressed the protesters.
Besides Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, members of PTI from the National Assembly and provincial assembly as well as its coalition partners took part in the protest.
PTI’s Islamabad chapter leadership also participated in the protest rally that started from KP and ended at D Chowk of the Capital.
Later, Imran Khan along with Pervez Khattak, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and other lawmakers made a march from D Chowk to the Parliament House, where they handed over a plea against drone strikes and violation of the country’s sovereignty to the National Assembly speaker in his chamber.
The petition, filed on behalf of Chief Minister Khattak, said," I (Pervez Khattak) have already written to the prime minister, requesting him to suspend transportation of NATO supplies because we consider it the only way to pacify the people, on one hand and impress upon the NATO allies to stop drone strikes, on the other hand". It said, "The proceedings of this august house, we all expect, would signal a message that we are a nation that is united, determined and prepared to defend its sovereignty at all costs."