ISLAMABAD: Even though the Panamagate case hearing has been adjourned till January next year, Imran Khan put on a brave face on Friday, pledging that his party would keep the issue alive by building public pressure on the government.
In the intervening period, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will not ease up on its mobilisation campaign, rolling out a series of public ‘gatherings’ in the hope that the momentum it helped create over the issue remains on the political horizon.
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When the court resumes hearing, the new chief justice, Mian Saqib Nisar, will form a new larger bench to hear the case anew.
“The PTI wants to take full advantage of the three-week break and put in place an aggressive plan under which it will organise at least two ‘big’ public rallies, the venues of which will be announced in a couple of days,” sources in the party told The Express Tribune.
Soon after the adjournment was announced, the PTI chief went into a huddle with his top leadership at his residence at Bani Gala to chalk out the “next line of action”.
“[The] party is planning to organise rallies during this time. Initially, three cities Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar are under consideration where the party plans to organise rallies. However, a final decision will be announced soon,” said a senior party leader privy to the development.
He said the PTI chairman would inform the general public in ‘simple’ words about some new facts unearthed during the last two hearings and the Sharif family’s complete failure to defend their claims about the money trail in the court.
He clarified that the public rallies were not intended as mark of a protest against the SC adjournment of the case. Their sole purpose is to keep up pressure on the government.
When contacted, PTI spokesperson Fawad Hussain confirmed the development, saying the option was “under consideration”, adding “the basic aim to hold rallies will be to sensitise the general public about corruption of the rulers and the country’s fast unfolding political scenario”.
The PTI chief also hinted this while addressing a news conference in front of his residence on Friday. When asked about the PTI’s future course of action, Imran said: “We PTI have been busy in the Panamagate proceedings for the last one-and-a-half months. A political party’s ultimate destination is the general public and the PTI will do the same.”
“I want to make it clear to PM Nawaz Sharif and his N-League that the PTI will not let the nation forget the Panamagate. It’s my promise to the people of Pakistan that I will take the issue to its logical end,” he said.
Imran said though the PTI respected the SC adjournment decision, he was a “bit disappointed”. “We were expecting day-to-day hearings so that the case can end early. Still we respect the Supreme Court and its decision.”
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He took the opportunity to express the hope that “we the PTI hope the same bench [after the inclusion of another judge] will continue to hear the case from the first week of January”.
“Although it will be the prerogative of the new chief justice of Pakistan, it is our desire that these judges continue to hear the case and decide the matter as the case was pretty much clear to them now,” he said while congratulating Justice Saqib Nisar over his appointment as the CJP.
Imran reiterated that time to form a judicial commission had gone. “Forming a commission will be a waste of time. Already this nation has been held captive to this issue for the past seven months,” he said.
He said PM Sharif’s case was simple: he used public office to make money, send it out of the country, transferred it in his children’s name and then absolved himself of all the blame”.
courtesy : Express Tribune