Pakistan’s Imran Khan Escalates Fight for Independence, Calls on Youth to Peacefully Protest
April 2, 2022 (EIRNS)—On the eve of the no-confidence vote against his government scheduled for April 3, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan once again addressed the Pakistani people, this time urging the youth to actively join the fight to prevent his ouster as Prime Minister as demanded by a foreign power [the U.S.] because of his insistence that Pakistan have an independent foreign policy. Barring some last-minute shift, the opposition has the votes lined up to oust him tomorrow. The nation’s top military commander, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, also signalled his backing for the opposition on April 1, demanding Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine be stopped immediately and emphasizing Pakistan’s “long and excellent strategic relationship with the U.S.,” making clear he differs with the government’s “neutrality” policy in his address to the Islamabad Security Dialogue yesterday.
The war party’s expectation that Khan would resign in the face of the fix has proven wrong. Khan held an hour-long, live question and answer session, broadcast on television, radio and digital media today, reiterating that Pakistani officials were told that “if you remove Imran Khan, your relations with the U.S. will get better.” He called the leaders of the no-confidence vote the “Mir Sadiqs” and “Mir Jafars” of today, a reference to two of the most notorious “Benedict Arnolds” traitors in India’s history, who aided the British Empire’s conquest of the Indian subcontinent.
He again raised the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the only Prime Minister under whom Pakistan has had an independent foreign policy, he said, and urged the nation’s youth to join the fight for independence by taking to the streets—peacefully. In a message to nationalists within the military, Khan told people firmly that no one should be attacking Pakistani’s military, which he called critical to defending the country, especially in light of the attacks on Muslim nations as suffered by Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
The following account of the discussion is adapted from the report published today by Pakistani daily, The Dawn. He began:
“Before taking your telephone calls, I want to talk to the people of my country for five minutes because right now Pakistan is standing on a decisive point. This is a war for the future of the country. There are two routes we can take. Do we want to take the way of destruction or a path of pride? There will be difficulties in this path but this is the path of our Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him. This path is for our good. This path brought a revolution in the country.
“The politics of Pakistan has reached a point today where the nation has to decide where you want to take the country today. A society that stands with honesty and justice takes a new life. But when a society becomes neutral, it begins supporting the bad.
“There’s a conspiracy against the government right now and it has been proven that politicians are being bought like goats to topple the government. The conspiracy started abroad and here Mir Sadiqs are helping these people abroad.
“History never forgets those. And I want Pakistan’s history to not forget these traitors either. It is your responsibility....
“Except under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, our country has never had an independent foreign policy. And then too, Mir Jaffers such as Fazlur Rehman [head of an opposition party formed against Imran Khan] and [former Prime Minister] Nawaz Sharif got him killed by conspiring with foreign powers.”
To the youth of the country, Khan said:
“You don’t have to sit silently [because] if you stay quiet, you will be on the side of the bad. I want you to protest and speak up against this conspiracy—not for me but for your future.... I want you to come out and protest today and tomorrow. Come out for peaceful protests.”
To questions about those criticizing the Army and claiming he is in a fight with the military, he replied:
“Please remember that there are two things that have kept the country united today. First is the army of Pakistan. It’s a strong and professional army. It is important for the country because a lot of countries are trying to harm Pakistan.
“Second is the PTI [the ruling party] because it’s a party that has kept the country connected.... These people are trying to weaken the party.
“We need this army. It has sacrificed for us. I want you to not criticize the army.... Whoever attacks the army, they aren’t hurting the army but [are hurting] Pakistan.
“This country needs a strong army because [look at what’s happening in] the Muslim world. What happened in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan? We are safe because we have a strong army. We shouldn’t do anything that harms the army....”
“Don’t worry at all. A captain always has a plan, and this time I have more than one plan.... God willing we will win tomorrow. I will defeat them in the Assembly. The nation will see tomorrow ... if they cast the vote tomorrow, they know they will be rejected by the public. You will see that we will win tomorrow.”