ISLAMABAD: As the stage is all set for Thursday's protests by former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan against the Election Commission of Pakistan, former Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that if the government uses force against the protestors, the nationals will siege Islamabad and there will be "severe consequences". This comes as Imran Khan announced to protest outside the ECP head office in Islamabad. The political party will also stage protests outside ECP offices in Lahore and Peshawar which will be attended by PTI lawmakers and a large number of activists, reported ARY News.
The ruling by Pakistan Election Commission against Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), that the party received funding from prohibited sources, has irked Khan. Moreover, Rasheed threatened that if Imran Khan is jailed than there will be a massive resistance against the ruling government. These remarks came during a Live TV broadcast of ARY News' programme 'The Reporters' today.
Boasting about Imran Khan's fearlessness, the Interior Minister said that Khan was receiving threats but he was independently roaming around the whole country without getting afraid. Comparing the current leaders with Imran Khan, the Interior Minister said that the current rulers could not even visit their constituencies due to public outrage. He asserted that the undeserving ruling coalition has in fact given rise to Imran Khan's popularity. Sheikh Rasheed also added that now Imran's popularity stands how it used to be before the no-confidence motion. Rasheed said that 65% out of 75% of nationals were backing Imran Khan.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and arch-rival Imran Khan for creating chaos in the name of the protest against the Election Commission of Pakistan and expressed worry over reports about a possible attack against the commission by the PTI workers on Thursday. The foreign funding case against Imran's party was pending since November 14, 2014, and it was filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar who had alleged that there are some financial irregularities in the PTI's funding from Pakistan and abroad.
ECP in its verdict revealed that the money received from the foreign countries was used by Khan to fund PTI and he made false declarations in 2018 before the elections. As the decision of the Commission is based on facts it could trigger constitutional, criminal and civil cases against the PTI and its leadership, reported ARY News. The show cause notice issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on prohibited funding to PTI is likely to put Imran Khan's leadership in danger as the funds received by the PTI Chief from foreign countries including the US, UAE, Australia and UK could lead to several numbers of cases against the party.
During PTI's National Council meeting on Tuesday, Imran Khan announced to hold a protest outside the ECP office and demanded the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). "PTI will hold a peaceful protest out ECP office on Thursday against the conduct of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja," he said and reiterated his demand for the immediate resignation of the election commissioner.He accused the CEC of being "partisan and dishonest" and alleged that Sikandar Sultan Raja tried to sabotage the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). "Countries like India and Iran are using electronic voting machines but unfortunately our ECP chief has denied holding polls through EVMs."