Imran Khan supporters at ‘azadi-march’ had assault rifles – Pak minister: Report | World news

Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif claimed on Monday that some of the supporters of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan – thousands of whom marched in the capital Islamabad last week as part of ‘Azadi rally ‘, triggering violent clashes with police – were carrying automatic rifles and other firearms. Asif reported that Pakistan’s Geo News weapons were carried out on behalf of Imran Khan.

“Imran Khan is right … his party workers not only carried guns, but they also had automatic firearms. Imran Khan had asked Protestants to bring weapons … however, the government was aware of that,” he told Geo News in a interview in response to a question about Imran Khan who canceled the rally.

According to Geo News, cricketer politician Imran Khan called off the march because he feared his presence would further incite violence among those carrying weapons.

Khan did not specify if he had asked his supporters to come armed.

Planned for May 26, Imran Khan’s ‘azadi rally’ besieged cities and territories en route to Islamabad and reached the city early that morning. The city soon resembled a battlefield with tear gas fired by police, set in motion by reported acts of vandalism by workers of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

TO READ: Imran KhanAzadi‘March in Islamabad, city becomes battlefield

The Pak army was called upon to protect the Red Zone of Islamabad, which consists of government offices and structures such as the Supreme Court, the residence of the Prime Minister, and other important buildings.

TO READ: Tensions are rising in Pakistan after Imran Khan pledged to challenge the ban – Report

Imran Khan reached D Chowk of Islamabad that morning.

Shortly afterwards, however, he called off the march and gave the Shehbaz Sharif government a six-day deadline to announce new national elections.

TO READ: Imran Khan gives 6 days to the Pakistani government to announce polls

He claimed he was returning because the government used the march to make a difference between the public and the police.

Insiders, however, told the Paki newspaper Dawn that the end was abrupt and that there were people pulling the strings at the command of the army.

TO READ: Imran Khan some ‘azadi ‘ March after talking to 3 people – Report

A cricket star who became a politician, Khan served more than three and a half years as prime minister until he was ousted in April by a vote of no confidence.

He has since remained defiant and has claimed that his removal was the result of a US-organized plot in collaboration with his successor Sharif.

Both the US and the current Pak government have denied the allegations, but that has not silenced Khan, who has claimed threats against his life. The conspiracy is being carried out in closed rooms inside and outside Pak, he said.

With input from PTI

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