Thousands of Imran Khan supporters flocked to the streets across Pakistan on Sunday to protest his ouster from his time as prime minister due to a no-confidence resolution brought by the opposition.
At one of the demonstrations held by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders against Imran Khan’s removal as Prime Minister, the phrase “Chowkidar chor hai” was heard.
Meanwhile, during the electoral campaign for the 2019 general elections in India, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi used the phrase “chowkidar chor hai” to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Moreover, the slogan was initially used in India against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and was then used in Pakistan against the army for supposedly stealing Imran Khan’s mandate.
Meanwhile, the crowd protesting Khan’s removal at Lal Haveli, Punjab province, referred to the Pakistan Army as “chowkidar,” or gatekeeper, and called them “chor,” or thieves.
Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid, on the other hand, was observed attempting to dissuade protestors from chanting anti-Army slogans.
In addition, he said, “Don’t raise slogans… we will fight with peace.”
However, after several delays caused by the Speaker’s refusal to take up the subject despite the Supreme Court’s decision, Khan was deposed as Pakistan’s Prime Minister in a midnight vote on a no-confidence motion.
Further, after the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker tendered their resignations late Saturday night, a total of 174 MPs voted in favour of the motion to remove Imran Khan from office.
Sheikh Rashid warned, referring to the no-confidence motion, “If you want to save your country then don’t make a decision in the dark of night but in daylight.”
“On 29/4 there will be Eid. Be ready we will take the jail bharo movements from Lal Haveli daily. I myself will take it from Karachi,” he vowed, adding that he would ”tell all the Sindhis that they (then opposition) are thieves, docents and robbers.”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf held rallies in many cities in Pakistan
The PTI held rallies in Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, and other cities on Sunday, with protestors yelling anti-opposition slogans.
Protest marches were held in the country’s capital, Islamabad, as well as towns including Karachi, Peshawar, Malakand, Multan Khanewal, Khyber, Jhang, and Quetta, with people screaming anti-opposition slogans.
Following Imran Khan’s ouster, the city of Karachi was lit up.
The demonstration in Islamabad began at Zero Point, with PTI members gathering and waving flags while chanting slogans in support of the former Prime Minister.
According to sources, the rally disrupted traffic flow on the Srinagar Highway, resulting in long traffic lineups.
While speaking to the media in Islamabad earlier in the day, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry urged people to stage protests after Isha prayers. He claimed that Khan’s failure to lead a large-scale protest would be a “betrayal of the country’s politics and Constitution.”
“Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support and emotions to protest against US-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafar’s to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail. Shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this,” Imran Khan tweeted.
Khan had previously stated that his removal signalled the start of a “freedom struggle” against an “international conspiracy of regime change.” “It is always the people who safeguarded their own sovereignty and democracy,” the ousted PM stated in an effort to appease his followers.
“Pakistan became an independent state in 1947, but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change. It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty & democracy,” he stated in another Tweet.
On Monday at 2 p.m. The National Assembly will convene to pick a new prime minister.
National Assembly to pick new Prime Minister of Pakistan
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistani Joint Opposition and Shah Mahmood Qureshi of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have both filed nomination papers for the contest. With the numbers on his side, Sharif is the most likely candidate to become Pakistan’s next Prime Minister.