We are people, not sheep': Imran kicks off Day 2 of long march

March to move towards Kamoke in Gujranwala

We are people, not sheep': Imran kicks off Day 2 of long march

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan on Saturday delivered another hard-hitting speech aimed at the establishment and said that "we are people and not sheep" as he kicked off Day 2 of the long march from Lahore's Shahdara area.

Addressing PTI supporters soon after reaching the container to lead the march, the former premier claimed that "incidents of torturing people and threats have increased ever since the military officials, named by Azam Swati, have come into power in Islamabad”.

He highlighted that first they "tortured" PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, then journalist Jameel Farooqi and then “75-year-old Senator Azam Swati”.

“Do not treat us like animals,” he warned referring to senior officials, mentioning the oscillating politics of the said institution.

“First you believed Nawaz Sharif was a thief, now he is pure,” he added.

“The DG ISI had said that it was an apolitical press conference, but only Imran Khan was targeted in this 'non-political' press conference,” he furthered.

He also questioned if they could not see the “thieves” who were pardoned for stealing Rs 11,000 billion. “Do you not see the oppression, the violation of fundamental rights?” he asked.

He urged army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to remove the ISI personnel allegedly involved in torture, highlighting that he had removed the Karachi sector in-charge on Bilawal Bhutto’s request.

“They are dishonouring the army, Pakistan and you [Gen Bajwa],” claimed the PTI chief said.

Imran quoted Swati as saying that he would have “committed suicide if he was not a Muslim” and questioned the lengths of torture the PTI senator allegedly endured.

“Human dignity is protected in the Constitution,” he said, imploring the chief justice of Pakistan to take action on Swati’s appeal and “show that we are a human society”. He reiterated that justice was a right.

“General Bajwa, you must investigate these two people and transfer them,” he reiterated.

Ferozewala speech

Addressing the long march participants at Ferozewala, Imran said “Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq” committed treason against the country under ‘foreign conspiracy’ and imposed ‘thieves’ on the country.

“Freedom is not given. Freedom has to be snatched,” he said. “We have to get freedom from those who have enslaved us and imposed a cabal of crooks on the country. We have to liberate our country,” he added.

Imran appeals to people of Kurram

In a video message, Imran “especially appealed” to his supporters in Kurram to vote for the party in the upcoming local government elections on Sunday.

“You must vote for justice, for change”, he said.

He urged that they refrain from voting for the “band of thieves, the PDM”, adding that 60% of the coalition members in the cabinet were out on bail.

Imran said that he could not hold a rally in Kurram and talk to the people there because the march for Haqeeqi Azadi had begun.

'Coalition oblivious to inqilab'

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the incumbent government, despite their call for talks with the PTI, was not ready to talk.

He said that the coalition was a party of “non-serious” people who were oblivious to the inqilab (revolution) that had arrived and compared them to Marie Antoinette telling her people to eat cake if they did not have bread.

“They are blind to the tabdeeli (change) that has already arrived in Pakistan and will unfortunately not be met with a good end”.

The former minister added that the PTI was leading Pakistan towards “peaceful change”.

“It is only because of Imran Khan that Pakistan has not become like Sri Lanka,” he said, alluding to Colombo defaulting earlier this year. He added that it was only because of the PTI that the people were able to protest peacefully.

'No one can stop long march'

Earlier today, the PTI chief said "no one" could stop the long march to Islamabad.

In a short interview with a private TV channel, the former premier said that the people would have to wait for him to reach Islamabad before he revealed his next decision.

Imran reiterated his demand for “immediate fair elections” adding that, “no one could prevent that”.

He also asserted that his party would remain within the bounds of the law and the Constitution during the march. “However, protesting is my right. The Constitution permits me to peacefully protest,” he said.

'People of K-P eager to participate'

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Mushtaq Ghani has said that the people of the province are ready and eager to participate in the long march.

Ghani stated that people were contacting the PTI-led K-P government themselves in an effort to partake in the march and added that thousands would participate from K-P.

“The enthusiasm of the party workers is visible,” he said.

He further said that the statements of Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah reflected the 'cowardice of a corrupt mafia'. The remarks came after Sanaullah said that any untoward situation during the march will be dealt with iron hands as no one was above the law.

'March to reach Kamoke today'

Fawad Chaudhry, in an earlier tweet today, announced that the march would continue to the Kamoke district in Gujranwala today.

“The love that people have shown Imran Khan highlights the political consciousness of the nation,” Fawad said through his official Twitter handle, adding that the PTI wanted to especially thank those women who came to the march with their children.

According to the former information minister, the PTI’s Haqeeqi Azadi movement includes those who wanted “to change the system for the next generation”. He maintained that the movement aimed to empower people and bring “decision-making out of closed rooms”.

“Pakistan's middle class has come out to change the obsolete system and will change this system under the leadership of Imran Khan,” he said.

“This is the biggest freedom movement of the country,” the PTI's official Twitter handle cited the party chief.

In another tweet, the PTI leader said that “on the one hand, the government is satisfied that people are not coming out [to march], on the other hand, media organisations have been receiving threats that they should not cover the Haqeeqi Azadi March”.

PTI kicks-off march

The march had set off from Lahore's Liberty Chowk after Friday prayers. Imran reached the starting point of the long march by a container along with other senior party leaders.

Addressing the supporters, the PTI chairman said that the only objective and demand of the long march was the free and fair elections in the country, which would guarantee true independence in Pakistan.

“The time has come for us to start the journey of real freedom of this country,” Imran said, stressing that he was embarking upon the most important journey in his political career spanning over 26 years.

“My march is not for politics, not for elections or personal interests, but only for the purpose that the nation should be truly free, the former prime minister said from atop the container.

“Our decisions should not be taken in Washington or in Britain, rather Pakistan’s decisions must be taken in Pakistan and for the [benefit of the] people of Pakistan,” he said.

The PTI chairman further said that he wanted to see Pakistan as a country where the people’s rights were protected and everyone was equal in the eyes of the law.

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