Islamabad: Imran Khan has expressed gratitude to his followers for attending protests across Pakistan and overseas to protest his resignation as prime minister and the establishment of a “US-backed administration” in Islamabad.
On Khan’s demand, protest demonstrations were staged in various Pakistani cities after 9 p.m. on Sunday and lasted for several hours.
“Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support & emotions to protest against US-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafars to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail. Shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this,” Khan tweeted on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, ousted prime minister Khan tweeted that “today marked the beginning of a freedom struggle” against what he said was a “foreign conspiracy of regime change” in Pakistan.
In an attempt to galvanise his supporters, he said “it is always the people who protect their own sovereignty and democracy.”
PTI supporters, including women and children, demonstrated their support for Khan during a demonstration in Lahore that began at 9 p.m. on Sunday and ended till 3 a.m. on Monday.
Other areas in Punjab province, such as Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Vehari, Jhelum, and Gujrat, have also reported large crowds. PTI supporters gathered in large numbers in Islamabad and Karachi.
Protests against Khan’s removal were also conducted in Chicago, Dubai, Toronto, and the United Kingdom.
The demonstration was led by the PTI’s local leadership. Workers and supporters of the party were screaming slogans against the United States, which Khan alleges is orchestrating his government’s overthrow.
They also chanted slogans against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, who is expected to be elected as the country’s new prime minister on Monday; Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zaradri; and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for allegedly plotting against Khan’s government at the US’s request.
Most placards carried by the protesters read “Imported government not acceptable.”