Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for “freedom” protests nationwide after his dramatic arrest on Tuesday triggered deadly protests across the South Asian nation.
“Freedom does not come easily. You have to snatch it. You have to sacrifice for it,” the 70-year-old leader said in a speech broadcast on YouTube on Saturday night a day after he was released after the intervention of the Supreme Court.
He called for supporters to hold protests “at the end of your streets and villages” across the country on Sunday evening for one hour starting at 5:30pm.
“I kept Pakistan’s flag high world over. Never has ISPR made such a statement. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have jumped into politics. Why don’t you make a political party,” Mr. Khan said in an hour-long maiden speech after the Islamabad High Court gave him blanket relief in all 145 cases registered against him.
His remarks came in response to ISPR Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry’s statement in which he called Mr. Khan a “hypocrite”.
A triumphant Mr. Khan returned to his Zaman Park home in Lahore on Saturday after having locked himself in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises for hours for fear of re-arrest despite being granted bail on Friday.
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Before leaving for Lahore, the 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief hit out at the “imported government for kidnapping” him despite the IHC granting him bail in all cases.
Khan blamed Army chief General Asim Munir for his “abduction”.