Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his anti-government long march will be taken out at all costs, stating that if the Supreme Court refuses to provide protection for his next rally, he will opt for a different strategy and be prepared to deal with any resistance put in front of him by the government.
Imran Khan made these remarks during a lawyers' convention in Peshawar, in which, he said that his party is seeking guidance from the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) to tell them if they are allowed to hold peaceful protest or not.
Imran Khan said a peaceful gathering, rally and protest is a basic right of every citizen and party of the country.
"We remained peaceful throughout in my previous long march. But this government opted to sheer brutalities as it tortured, assaulted and used tear gas on women, children and the elderlies freely," he said.
"I want to ask the Supreme Court if we, as citizens of Pakistan are allowed to hold a peaceful protest or not. If the Supreme Court will not provide my party protection for the next long march, we will make a plan for dealing with the obstacles," he added.
Talking about his earlier long march from Peshawar to Islamabad, Khan said that "we weren't prepared and we got stuck unprepared. This time, we will be prepared".
Terming his long march and ongoing protest against the ruling government, which he terms as illegal imported government, brought into power through a regime change conspiracy led by the United States (US); Imran Khan said he takes his struggle as a Jihad (a fight for religious freedom), reiterating that he will not accept the "imported" government at any cost.
It should be noted that Imran Khan's earlier long march on May 25, which was carried out after a month-long campaign of dozens of massive public gatherings in major cities across the country, was "thwarted" by the government through imposition of Section 144 (restriction on public gathering) and massive deployment of containers, trucks and troops including police and rangers security personnel to stop the protesters from reaching the capital Islamabad.
However, Imran Khan and his protesters forced their way through the blockades and reached the capital, but did not stage the sit-in.
Imran Khan had said that he would march towards Islamabad with at least 2 million people, who he said will not leave the capital until his demand of announcement of date of early elections in the country is not met.
Imran Khan has given an ultimatum of six days to the government to meet his demands and had threatened to take out another long march, which he says will be well-prepared to remove obstacles and choke the capital Islamabad along with other major cities of the country until the Shehbaz Sharif-led government of Pakistan does not announce early elections.