Ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan calls off march to avoid ‘chaos’ | News

In the first public rally since the assassination attempt, Imran Khan announced that his party would withdraw from state assemblies.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called off a long march to the capital Islamabad and announced his party will withdraw from state assemblies, pushing for early elections in the run-up to the polls.

“I have decided not to go to Islamabad, there will be assassinations and the country will lose,” Khan said in his first public address in Rawalpindi, near the capital, since the assassination attempt. Moon

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said Khan had told his supporters that “chaos” was not in Pakistan’s interest and that Khan was facing an economic crisis.

The South Asian country is facing a dire economic situation with inflation and a fluctuating rupee. To avoid default, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) needed a loan by August.

Ever since the cricketer-turned-politician and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party were ousted as prime minister in a no-confidence vote in April, protests have been held across the country to push the government to hold early elections. He said he was removed as part of a US-led conspiracy. Earlier this month, In a major U-turn, he said the US was not behind his ouster.

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The marches will culminate in Islamabad, which is set to worsen political unrest in the nuclear-armed nation facing an economic crisis. A rally by his supporters in Islamabad in May was violent.

Supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’ party attend a rally in Rawalpindi. [Anjum Naveed/AP Photo]

PTI withdrew from state assemblies.

One of his biggest announcements was his plan to resign from two state houses and two executive departments.

“We will not be part of this system. We have decided to quit all the assemblies and get out of this corrupt system,” Khan said while addressing thousands of his supporters.

The PTI has withdrawn from the Union Parliament but remains in power in two states and two administrative units: Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

An Al Jazeera reporter said Chen’s decision to resign from the Punjab state legislature was aimed at pressuring the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to hold snap elections.

“Abolishing state assemblies has created a major crisis, something Khan has been calling for since he was ousted as prime minister in April, leaving the country with no option for early elections,” Hyder reported.

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“The ball will now be in the government’s court.

Khan delivered his speech on Saturday from a crowd of around 25,000 to 30,000 hundreds of meters away, separated by barbed wire and buffers of police officers.

In the Nov. 3 assassination attempt, Khan’s open container truck was fired at close range on a busy street in the Punjab city of Wazirabad.

A police official told local television channel Geo TV that security was tight and a total of 10,000 personnel were deployed for the event, along with snipers at various locations to secure the hall.

Both the government and the army have denied involvement, even though a senior military officer has been named as prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and a senior military officer for plotting to assassinate former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif. Sharif called for an open inquiry. One person has been arrested in connection with the incident and it is said that he committed the crime alone.

Khan did not provide any evidence to substantiate his claims.

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Supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Khan delivered his speech on Saturday from a crowd of around 25,000 to 30,000 hundreds of meters away, separated by barbed wire and buffers of police officers. [Anjum Naveed/AP Photo]

‘Red Alert’

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, whom Khan has accused of involvement in the assassination plot, issued a red alert on Friday, warning of security threats at the rally.

The government said the assassination attempt was the work of a lone wolf now in custody.

The rally on Saturday came two days after the government named a former spy as its next army chief.

The appointment of Gen. Syed Asim Munir ended months of speculation over a perceived position of de facto power in the nuclear-armed Islamic State of more than 220 million people.

Munir served as the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency under Khan, but was dismissed after about eight months.

The PTI leader, who was allegedly ousted by the army, welcomed the new army chief. He praised the military as a professional force, but said that the constitution must be followed.

Pakistan’s military, the sixth largest in the world, wields considerable influence in the country and has ruled for more than three decades, staging at least three coups since independence in 1947.

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and opposition leader Imran Khan.
In an assassination attempt on November 3, a gunman opened fire at close range on Khan’s open container truck as it drove by on a busy road in the Punjab city of Wazirabad. [Anjum Naveed/AP Photo]


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