Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Monday he would wind up his 68-day sit-in if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif honestly declared all of his assets, softening his stance of staying put at the D-Chowk with his supporter till the premier resigned.
The announcement follows a shift in the PTI’s focus from its sit-in near the Parliament House to holding public gatherings in different cities to compel the government to announce re-elections over allegations of rigging in the last year’s polls.
“I will call off the sit-in if you, Mr Nawaz Sharif, are ready to declare your ‘real assets’ before the nation,” he said while addressing the participants of the sit-in. “I believe Nawaz Sharif may himself not be aware of all of his huge assets in and outside the country,” he said. Addressing PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he said: “I will recognise you as leader if you ask your uncle Nawaz Sharif and your father Asif Ali Zardari to declare before the nation their `real assets’ which they earned after a lot of`hard work’. If you fail then I will perform this task.”
He said Mr Zardari was raising questions about the funding of the PTI’s sit-in and rallies. “Your party spent a huge amount for its recent public meeting in Karachi. The same amount will be enough to carry on the PTI sit-in for three years,” he said. He said, “We just use a container and a sound system” and the PTI’s supporters participated in gatherings without any pressure. Mr Khan invited a TV channel and its anchor facing suspension of licence by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and a ban on the directives of a Lahore High Court judge to run their programme from his container.
He demanded a Rs15 decrease in petroleum prices and announced that his party would protest on Wednesday outside district press clubs across the country against a hike in electricity tariff. “My dear supporters, your training is under way during the sit-in and it is possible that someone among you may become the chairperson of the PTI in future,” he said. -dawn