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Parvaiz Rashid is a scapegoat, nation demands more: Imran Khan


Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Sunday said former Information Minister Parvaiz Rashid, who was asked by the prime minister to step down from his post, has been made a scapegoat but the nation “demands much more”.

Talking to reporters as he emerged outside his Bani Gala residence, the PTI leader hit out at the information minister. Invoking a metaphor, Khan said, “The nation wants the sacrifice of a horse, not a mule.”

Rasheed was asked to step down as the government was forced to launch a probe into Dawn’s story “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military”, which reported details of a high level civil-military meeting discussing the issue of Pakistan’s banned outfits. The military has demanded action as it views the leak from the meeting as a “break of national security”.

The developlent has given Khan, Nawaz Sharif’s rival and most vocal critic, another opportunity to take aim at the incumbent government as his party gears up for what they have vowed is a “lockdown” of Islamabad on November 2.

“Rasheed could not speak without a signal from “his masters” to do so. He could not dare to anything on his own. He just obeyed instructions,” Khan added.

“People are not ready to accept the sacrifice of an associate,” he said. “We want to know who was the one from the ‘royal family’ who directed this entire drama.”

He also reiterated his ongoing criticism of the government for its actions in the days leading up to his scheduled November 2 protest, and said it has “gone out of its way” to restrain the party from exercising its constitutional right of protest.

He also said the Islamabad police did not spare female protesters of PTI but there was no Section 144, an order which bans public gatherings, for Defa-e-Pakistan Council.

Khan hits out at judiciary — again

Khan said the credibility of judiciary was at stake as, according to him, the government was violating laws and had committed contempt of court.

*Read more: ‘Does the judiciary in this country only stand with the powerful?’*

“I want to tell the judiciary that it is their trial, not mine.”

A day earlier, Khan had said the country’s institutions for justice are controlled by “a corrupt leader”.

“What will people think? You passed orders but everyone can see what is going on,” he said, in an apparent reference to shipping containers that have blocked routes to Islamabad despite an order by the Islamabad High Court to keep the city open.

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