FILE PHOTO: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (not pictured) at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists and supporter took to the streets on Sunday night in nearly all major cities of the country against runaway inflation, according to sources, as the PTI Chairman Imran Khan warned any bid to rig the election would push the country towards anarchy.

Pakistan is looking towards the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restore a $6 billion package agreed upon in 2019. So far half of the promised money had been given, and yet the two sides have to come up to an agreement.

The major protests were held at Islamabad’s F-9 Park, Karachi’s Shahrah-e-Quaideen, Lahore’s Liberty Chowk, Faisalabad’s Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Rawalpindi’s Commercial Market, Multan’s Shah Abdullah Chowk and Peshawar’s Hasht Nagari Gate, including some other cities of the country.

Khan addressed the public gatherings through video-link from Bani Gala, telling his supporters that he would soon give a call for peaceful agitation, which would end only with the announcement of an election date, as The News reported.

The PTI chairman warned that if the present rulers further stayed in power, they would dump all the state institutions as they had already buried NAB and FIA, according to reports, emphasizing the situation would deteriorate in the country if general elections were not free and fair.

“The direction in which the country is moving with exports plunging by 10 per cent and remittances falling, I fear that we are heading on the path of Sri Lanka, which did not have money to buy oil,” said Khan.

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In April, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, where the opposition parties brought a motion against him for bad governance and economic mismanagement.

Speaking with the journalist, Khan called for a huge rally to protest his downfall on Wednesday, exclaiming he would still run for the office at the next election due in October 2023.

“Whenever the next elections take place, not only will we run, but I can predict that this will be the biggest party in Pakistan’s history, because people are so incensed and feel insulted that these criminals have been foisted upon us,” Khan told CNN, referring to Pakistan’s new government.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif – who now is the Prime Minister – said Pakistan and its parliament were “finally freed from a serious crisis”, adding in a tweet: “Congratulations to the Pakistani nation on a new dawn.”

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