Imran Khan to stage a huge protest march

Jonaid Iqbal

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief, Imran Khan, has threatened to lead a march of a million protestors on Independence Day – August 14 and shepherd them to D Chowk of Islamabad, a square cloose to the Capitol Hill.
Khan strongly criticized former chief justice of Pakistan and made four demands regarding the irregularities in the 2013 elections. Obviously, Mr. Zardari used the word in a different frame, as a lesson in good governance. “People elected a prime minister and not a king; so don’t act like one,” he advised Mr. Sharif who could be interfering in provincial affairs, so thought Mr. Zardari. The former president, seemingly backed Imran Khan’s claim to re-do audit votes cast in favor of Pakistan Muslim League-N, in May 11 elections last year.
This time though Khan has borrowed the idea from Afghanistan where presidential candidates – Mr. Abdullah – Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani- agree at Mr. John Kerry’s behest – to audit votes cast in Afghanistan election, and thus take care of each side’s fraudulent vote casting. Khan thinks he can replicate the same idea and succeed in his attempt to become the next Pakistan prime minister.
Perhaps the lackadaisical reason might be the approach adopted by the majority PML-N party, which might be in driving seat, but it is increasingly suffering many reverses in delivering usual daily requirements of the public. Its record might be as dismal as it was during PPP’s previous regime. Certainly PML-N has not delivered on the promise to end power outage, even at Lahore, Nawaz Sharif’s chief city, presently suffering power outage 12 hours each day.
Another question of poor delivery is manifest in public query seeking answers to what the government might have done to curb prices of eatables and goods even during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Public is not readily satisfied with this government claim to haves reduced cost of grocery and fruits in weekly bazaars, by about 30 per cent, in comparison with rates of open market.
According to daily market visitors, the price at the weekly bazaar is still at least 50 per cent higher over last year’s. Retail stores still charge cut throat prices, though they announce 50 % discount, in another trick of 50 per cent reduction, after increasing prices by about 200 per cent. The public wants to know what gains, if any, has come to the common man, after the dollar rates came down to Rs 98 and liquid foreign currency increased to US$ 14 billion?
As for Mr. Khan’s anticipated million marches the programme could have drowned in political cacophony had it not been taken rather seriously by Information Minister Pervez Rashid or Railways Minister Saad Rafique: the PML-N government that announced a separate rally near the same venue – or close to it – on the same Independence day.
The comments of these two government stalwarts could have added fillip to PTI’s project because at present mainstream parties such as the PPP and ANP are not with Imran Khan. They castigate PTI project as dangerous to democracy.
At present, the protest rally does not appear to be an act of fulmination. Some people seem to think that Mr. Khan might enjoy powerful backing from some quarters.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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