Imran Khan Cancels Protest March to Avoid Chaos in the Country

Islamabad: Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, in his first public appearance since being injured in a gun attack earlier this month, said on Saturday he was cancelling his protest march to Islamabad because he feared it would cause havoc in the country.

Khan has been holding nationwide protests to push the government for early elections since being removed from power in April. The protests were to culminate in a march to Islamabad, which threatened to worsen political disturbance in the nuclear-armed country which is battling an economic crisis.

“I have decided not to go to Islamabad because I know there will be havoc and the loss will be to the country,” Khan said while talking at a gathering of thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad.

Tight security was in place for Khan’s appearance. A police official told local television channel Geo TV that a total of 10,000 personnel had been deployed for the event, with snipers positioned at various points for his security. Khan was shot in the shin earlier this month when his anti-government protest convoy headed for Islamabad was attacked in the east of the country in what his aides said was an apparent assassination attempt by his opponents. was.

He named Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and a senior military officer in the plot to assassinate him, but both the government and the army have denied involvement. Sharif has demanded a transparent probe. A man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is said to have acted alone. On Saturday, Khan reached the dais using a walking frame and addressed the crowd from behind bulletproof glass. He said that various security sources told him that his life was still in danger.

Khan said he was consulting his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to consider the possibility of resigning from all provincial assemblies to hold fresh elections. The PTI has already resigned from the federal parliament but remains in power in two provinces and two administrative units.

By Archana

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