PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday evening claimed that the "imported" government was trying to push his party out of the political arena through the foreign funding case, therefore, for the sake of fairness, the court cases against PPP, PTI, and PML-N must be heard together.
Addressing a massive public gathering at Karachi's Bagh-e-Jinnah, Imran thanked the people of the metropolis for coming out of their houses to show support for him, saying that the purpose of his visit to Karachi was not in the interests of the PTI but it was for the sake of Pakistan and the future of its children.
At the beginning of his address, Imran asked his supporters to listen to him carefully so that they could determine whether his ouster from power was an “interference” or a “conspiracy”.
The PTI chairman also asked the charged crowd to raise their hands and show whether they believed his removal was an “interference” or a “conspiracy”.
"A major international conspiracy was carried out against this country," said Imran, adding that throughout his tenure, he was not against any country and stood with humanity.
The former prime minister also shared that since a “strong and powerful” Pakistani community lived in the United States, he believed in establishing congenial relations with all countries.
"My Pakistanis, I want friendship with everyone but I cannot allow our country to become a slave to anyone," he maintained, adding that before coming to Karachi, people were telling him that his life was under “threat” as “mafias” were after him.
"Nonetheless, I decided to come here as my life is not as important as your freedom. This conspiracy is to make you slaves to foreign powers. One Mir Jaffer has been imposed on us via a conspiracy," he said, referring to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The PTI chief then went on to explain to the crowd who Mir Jaffer was.
My request to all those attending our jalsa in Karachi is to carry our Pakistan flag as this is now a fight for Pakistan's sovereignty & haqeeqi (real) democracy, & against US-instigated regime change, supported by local Mir Jafars. #امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 15, 2022
Explaining the alleged conspiracy against him that led to his ouster as the prime minister, Imran told the people that he learned three to four months ago that the US officials had started meeting the leaders of the then opposition parties along with the dissident PTI MPs and journalists at the American embassy.
Imran said that after those meetings, when the US State Department official Donald Lu met the Pakistani ambassador, he knew that the no-confidence motion was being tabled against his government.
The PTI chairman claimed that the official had “threatened” the Pakistani envoy that if the motion was not successful “then it will be very difficult for Pakistan”, adding that he said Pakistan would be “forgiven” if the no-confidence motion was “successful”.
"Tell me what more disappointing threat can be issued to 220 million people? And who are they threatening? The country’s elected prime minister," Imran said.
The former prime minister shared that after the meeting, his dissident MPs and the allies started parting ways with the government.
"Tell me Pakistanis, whether it was a conspiracy or not? Which country is threatened like this?" Imran asked.
He said that when former National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Suri learned about the “threat” letter, he adjourned the session scheduled for voting on the no-confidence motion.
"After that, the Supreme Court issued a verdict, so we accepted the decision because our hands were tied," Imran said.
The PTI chairman said that the courts were opened at 12am on the day of the vote of no confidence.
"I want to ask what crime I was committing that the courts were opened at odd hours. I am a Pakistani who named his party after justice," Imran said.
The former prime minister claimed that he had not broken “any Pakistani law so far” and told the crowd that he was the “only politician who was declared Sadiq and Amin” by the Supreme Court.
"I knew the match was fixed. But what hurt me the most was that the courts, out of fear that I would violate the Constitution, had to open their gates at 12am. This pain will remain in my heart for the rest of my life," the PTI chairman said.
The former prime minister also asked the Supreme Court why it did not investigate the diplomatic cypher that was cited by the former deputy speaker.
"They (US) knew who was to assume power once I was ousted. Mir Jaffer was ready with his Achkan. He is an expert in polishing boots. Once the cherry blossom [came to power] he got the order to do more," Imran said, talking about Prime Minister Shehbaz.
The former prime minister said that he understands “Americans and Europeans better than these politicians”, adding that whenever the West saw a leader standing for his/her country, they tried to pressurise that person, but deep down, they “respect” such leaders.
“When you polish their boot with cherry blossom, they do not respect you,” the PTI chairman said, targeting PM Shehbaz.
The former prime minister also asked the judiciary why they did not take suo motu action when the PTI MPs were “betraying their mandate and selling themselves”. He urged the masses not to forgive those who sold their “conscience”.
"If this conspiracy is successful, no prime minister will be able to stand against America’s threats," Imran claimed.
The former premier then explained to the people how Pakistan got involved in the war against terror. He explained the issue, mentioning the soldiers martyred in North Waziristan a day earlier.
"I ask America what problem you have with me?" the former prime minister said, asking what could be more “disrespectful” for a country than having a man, who is on bail in a corruption case, as the prime minister.
"They have high standards for themselves but have made a criminal our prime minister," Imran said, adding that western powers made criminals head of the government as they were easily sellable.
"Americans have imposed him [Shehbaz] on us. People who were looting the country for 30 years have been imposed on us once again," Imran said.
The PTI chairman also claimed that action would be taken against officers who were involved in the cases of PML-N leaders.
"Look, the thieves have returned to power," Imran said.
Turning his gun towards former premier Nawaz Sharif, the PTI chairman claimed that the PML-N supremo was behind the conspiracy against his government.
"He ran away by lying twice. Now, he is preparing to return," Imran said, warning that the incoming leaders would “loot again”.
"You have to come out on the streets, in cities, in villages. If you accept the conspiracy, your children will not forgive you," Imran said.
The former prime minister also said that there was no “third way” and one could not be “neutral” in such circumstances.
"If people want this Mir Jafar then come and win election," Imran said. However, he told the crowd that he believed that the incumbent government would not go for elections.
Talking about the foreign funding case, the PTI chairperson said that the case had been filed to get him “out of the game”.
"I say foreign funding and his (Shehbaz’s) corruption case should be heard together," Imran said, alleging that “false cases” would be made against him and his former cabinet in the FIA and NAB.
"If you push us against the wall then you will be harmed, not the country. We have to remain peaceful, this is our police, and our institutions," Imran told his supporters.
Qureshi demands judicial inquiry into lettergate scandal
Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has demanded a judicial commission to probe the issue of ‘threat letter’ “if anyone was in any doubt about its legitimacy”.
"Maryam and Bilawal say the document is fake but the people [coming to the public gathering] have proven that it is not fake and legitimate… if you are in any doubt then you can form a judicial commission and the truth will come out," he added.
Imran has always said yes to Karachi: Umar
Former planning minister Asad Umar said that Imran never said no to any request for development of Karachi. "Whenever I asked for funds for Green Line or K4, he always said yes," he added.
کراچی کے لیے جو مانگا عمران خان نے کبھی انکار کیا، عمران خان کسی ایک صوبے، علاقے، نسل، قوم کا نہیں پورے پاکستان کا لیڈر ہے۔ @Asad_Umar
#امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور #KarachiJalsa pic.twitter.com/bg2uRFK0Gp
— PTI (@PTIofficial) April 16, 2022
He said that Imran gave the biggest budget worth Rs625 billion for the port city.
"Imran Khan is the only leader of Pakistan who does not represent any ethnicity but he's the leader of the entire country," he added.
PTI to form next govt in Sindh: Ali Zaidi
Former federal minister for Ports and Shipping Ali Zaidi said that his party would form the government in Sindh after the next election.
Ali Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI ) addressing the charged crowd of Karachi!! #امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور #KarachiJalsa pic.twitter.com/HdjIMnDZ3B
— PTI (@PTIofficial) April 16, 2022
He said that Imran would never compromise on the sovereignty of Pakistan and never let his nation down.
PTI can close down Karachi in 30 minutes: Ismail
Former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, while addressing the rally, claimed that the PTI could "close down Karachi within 30 minutes". "Imran, just let us know… we can close down Karachi in 30 minutes as we have that much power here… we will come out on roads and will let them know," he added.
میں نے عمران خان کو سوائے اللہ تعالیٰ کے کسی کے سامنے جھکتا نہیں دیکھا۔ @ImranIsmailPTI #امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور#KarachiJalsa pic.twitter.com/tk60rqcXur
— PTI (@PTIofficial) April 16, 2022
Imran to remove ‘imported govt’: Rashid
Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, while addressing the participants, said that Imran would remove the incumbent imported government from power before May 31.
Addressing the country’s military, he said that they were with him. "We have to bring Imran Khan back… if that doesn't happen, we will fill all the prisons," he added.
While some PTI leaders were in Karachi ready to welcome Imran, other prominent leaders including Hammad Azhar and Shafqat Mehmood were currently at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk where the PTI supporters had come out on Imran’s call.
Earlier, PTI Karachi President Bilal Ghaffar, during a news conference, said that even the volunteers of the PTI would outnumber the participants seen in the rallies of the “imported government”.
He said that foolproof security arrangements were made for the public meeting as per which a separate enclosure was set up for families.
Vehicles would be parked near the society office after which families may reach the venue through shuttle service.
In addition, parking arrangements were made at four locations. The PTI Karachi chief said that Imran’s security plan was shared with the institutions.
He also said that DG ISPR confirmed the presence of the embassy letter and regarded its contents as external interference.
PTI Sindh Information Secretary Arsalan Taj said there was a lot of excitement among the people after the announcement of the public meeting.
A day earlier, Imran had urged the participants of the public gathering to carry Pakistan's flag as it was now a fight for Pakistan's sovereignty.
The PTI had earlier announced a public meeting in Karachi on Sunday April 17 as part of a countrywide protest campaign against the removal of its government. However, the party leaders pulled the date a day back on weekend.