Former-Pak PM Imran Khan to file Rs 10 bn. lawsuit against election commission chief for disqualifying him
Islamabad, Oct. 31 (PTI): Imran Khan on Monday targeted the chief of the Election Commission of Pakistan and announced that he will file a Rs 10 billion defamation suit against him for destroying his reputation by disqualifying him, as the ousted premier addressed his supporters at the start of the fourth day of his long march.
Khan has announced that his objective was to gain Haqeeqi Azadi (real freedom) through the march to Islamabad which in his words was possible if free and fair elections are held immediately.
Khan, 70, was earlier this month disqualified from membership of the current National Assembly by a five-member panel of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was headed by its chief Sikandar Sultan Raja.
Sikandar Sultan, I will take you to court so that in the future, you do not destroy anyone’s reputation on someone else’s instructions, Khan said while addressing PTI supporters at Kamonki at the start of the fourth day of his long march.
He alleged that the ECP’s decisions against him in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases were given on the instructions of the incumbent imported government .
You (Sikandar) are friends of thieves and action will be taken, he said.
According to Pakistan’s law, any gift received from dignitaries of a foreign state must be put in the state depository or the Toshakhana.
The former prime minister had earlier announced that he would file a defamation case against Raja. The former premier made the announcement while speaking to a private news channel.
I will file a defamation lawsuit against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja in Toshakhana reference and foreign funding case, Khan said in an interview and reiterated his demand for free and fair elections in the country under the new ECP chief.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief also said he would back out himself if any allegations against him in the cases were to be proven true.
“Whenever courts against me prove that I have done an illegal thing, I will not wait for the court’s decision to be issued and will back out on my own,” Khan said.
He also targeted the powerful establishment, saying that a country’s establishment never stands against the nation .
To those who let this group of robbers (an obvious reference to the country’s rulers) impose on us, I am giving a message with due respect: For God’s sake, listen to the nation’s voice, he urged.
Talking about his criticism of the Pakistan Army, Khan said he criticised them as a Pakistani who lives in and would die in Pakistan .
Khan, who also won a national assembly seat in a by-election held on Sunday in Kurram district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said: See where the nation is standing . He said the country would be strengthened when its institutions were strengthened.
We are coming to Islamabad and it will take us 8-9 days to reach Islamabad, he told his supporters at Mor Eminabad.
Khan said that caravans from Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and other areas of the country were leaving to join them in Islamabad. He also urged the people from across the country to join his struggle for freedom .
Initially the plan was to reach Islamabad on Nov 4 but the new plan shows that it may be delayed by a few days.
He kept up his trademark vitriolic attack against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and alleged that his opponent “polished the boots of those who were powerful and oppressed those who were weak”.
“This boot polisher, Shehbaz Sharif, his corruption of Rs16 billion was caught by the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency). Another case of Rs 8bn was registered by the NAB (National Accountability Bureau). But the powerful sectors helped a criminal (charged with the corruption of Rs24bn) and prevented him from being punished, he said. His (Shehbaz’s) cases were slowed down, judges were pressured and the person who should’ve been in jail has been made PM today, he said.
He also alleged that decisions were taken behind closed doors to impose thieves over Pakistan .
I have won eight elections. The nation has rejected the mafia and thieves, Khan said.
He also said that former premier Nawaz Sharif was waiting for a favourable environment and “understanding with the powerful sectors” to return to Pakistan.
He once again said that people of Pakistan should not be treated as livestock to be sacrificed at will for political objectives.
“If you will force the nation to support these thieves or accept their leadership, then I am warning you today that the nation will turn against you. Institutions are respected when the nation respects them, he said, adding that the institutions ensure their respect through good decisions.
Earlier, Khan took to social media to say that he had witnessed a revolution taking over the country.
The sea of people along our March on the GT Road. For 6 months, I have been witnessing a revolution taking over the country. The only question is will it be a soft one through the ballot box or a destructive one through bloodshed? he tweeted.
Khan’s convoy of vehicles was slowly moving towards Islamabad. The organisers have announced to stay at Gujranwala overnight to relaunch the march the next day.
We will reach Sukkur tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon where caravans from Hyderabad, Hala, Skarund, Moro, Qazi Ahmad, Nawabshah and other areas of Sindh will join us, Ali Zaidi, PTI leader from Sindh, said at a press conference.
In other related development, the government issued a notification to extend Islamabad’s high security Red Zone. According to the ministry of interior, the protestors would not be allowed to enter the Red Zone.
Khan has been demanding early elections and he is leading the long march towards Islamabad to force his demands. The term of the National Assembly will end in August 2023 and fresh elections should be held within 60 days.
Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, has talked about a ‘threat letter’ from the US and claimed that it was part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was not acceptable for following an independent foreign policy. The US has bluntly rejected the allegations.