‘Haqeeqi Azadi’: Imran Khan’s Power Show in Lahore (Pics, Videos, Comments)
OCT 14, 2022; 1:15 AM — Ousted PM and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan announced Saturday at his rally in Lahore that he will launch a fresh round of public rallies and processions across the country as part of his campaign against ‘imported government’. He said he would hold rallies in Rawalpindi, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, and all other major cities in the coming days and define what ‘real independence’ is to the nation. He said the coalition government was playing a ‘dangerous game,’ which could draw adverse consequences.
COMMENT: “The (Lahore) rally is an indication of the popular support to Khan Sahib and a big blow to Shahbaz and his cohorts who are now gagging the press. I hope nothing drastic is done by them, for it will harm Pakistan,” says a Gulf analyst.
COMMENT: London-based entrepreneur Amjad Pervez tells DesPardes, “Khan sahib has to get back in power, so these tactics of pressure are understandable. But have they or will they formulate short term, medium, and long term strategic policies to develop the nation without interruptions? That’s the key question. We need stability for the next 20 years like Bangladesh did.”
COMMENT: “Today marks the formal surrender of PML(N)’s citadel Lahore to PTI. The center of gravity of Pakistan’s political landscape has tilted decisively in favor of PTI”, a defense & security analyst who is also an astute politician observer says.
AUG 14, 2022; 12:55AM PST — Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan said that the purpose to disqualify him was to strike a deal with him to nullify Nawaz’s lifetime disqualification so that both can compete in political arena. “Under the conspiracy Nawaz will be brought back to the country by the end of September… and a character assassination campaign will be launched to malign me.” “Don’t compare me with a dacoit… listen to me conspirators, no matter what you do I will not strike any deal,” he remarked. The former prime minister said pitting the PTI against the army was part of a “foreign conspiracy” to cause harm to the country. “Imran Khan will never want the army of this country to be weak… those who run movement for real freedom always want strong army and my criticism is always positive.” Imran also announced launching a mass contact campaign under which he said he will stage rallies in various cities of the country including Karachi, Rawalpindi and others. He said his movement for “real freedom” has entered into its decisive and final stage. “When they toppled my government they thought people would distribute sweets but millions of people took to the streets to protest against my ouster.” Imran said the incumbent rulers were trying to instill fear among the masses through intimidation and asked people not to be scared of their intimidation tactics in order to achieve “real freedom”. (Express Tribune)
12:40 AM PST: Khan said a plot was being hatched to disqualify him in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases to pave way for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return from London. “They have made a new plan to register new cases and disqualify Imran Khan in Toshakhana, and prohibited funding cases,” he said on Saturday.
AUG 13, 2022; 11:55PM: Imran Khan says “we need an independent state, we can’t go from British slavery to Hindu slavery.” Khan plays the video clip of PM Shahbaz Sharif saying, “Beggars can’t be the choosers.”
COMMENT: An Islamabad-based veteran of international media and strategic communication terms Khan’s ongoing rally “successful”. A security analyst tells DesPardes, “Don’t take these loud popular politics too seriously.” To me, Khan is divisive, a senior official says.
AUG 13; 11:25 PM PST — Khan while addressing the rally at Lahore’s Hockey Stadium says the elite of the country has not come out of inferiority complex. He says will show some video clips to the crowd that will make clear what true freedom is, and what is needed to maintain freedom. “People fearing death could not achieve anything in life,” he says. Reiterates that he was not against the US nor any other country. But he added, that they want friendship with every nation but not slavery…
AUG 13: Khan at the rally. “This is humongous, RECORD BREAKING”, an observer says.
AUG 13; 10:30 PM PST: : Turnout before Khan’s arrival. “Yesterday, he said the worst that could happen in struggle for Haqeeqi Azaadi (Real Freedom) is that we’ll fail…”
AUG 12: Khan invites all Pakistanis, specially youth, to join his party PTU’s rally on 13th August night in Lahore for ‘our Haqeeqi Azadi’ jalsa and celebrations marking 75 years of Pakistan.
AUG 12: “Tomorrow Pakistan is going to echo under one flag, one anthem, one nation, one leader,” Imran Khan
Honorary DesPardes contributors: Arif Mirza, Bawar Tawfik, Khalid Sharif, Masroor Ali, Tariq Chaudhry, Usman Nazir, Zafar Alam