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‘Desperate’ Imran ups the ante

* PTI chief warns government of wheel-jam and shutter-down strikes nationwide if his demand of prime minister’s resignation not accepted in 24 hours

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Sunday warned the government of a nationwide wheel-jam strike and shutter-down as well as adoption of a new strategy if his demand of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation was not accepted in the next 24 hours. 
“This protest can lead towards wheel-jam strike and shutter-down across the country if our demands are not met,” Imran Khan stated while speaking to his enthusiastic supporters who converged at the Constitution Avenue of the capital in the evening hours. Imran also addressed former president Asif Ali Zardari and asked him about the usefulness of his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, recalling that he (Zardari) had himself said the 2013 elections were manipulated by the returning officers. 
“Zardari sahab, you called me when I was admitted in the hospital in the post-election days and you complained about rigging in elections,” Imran said. He pointed out that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s former additional secretary Afzal Khan has alleged that former CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Jusitce (r) Riaz Kiani and Justice (r) Khalil Ramdy were involved in rigging of elections as well as former ECP chief Fakhruddin G Ibrahim who, he said, was afraid of taking action over the “stealing of election”. 
Asking his workers to remain steadfast for “real independence”, the PTI chief said he can already see victory. “Nawaz Sharif is about to surrender,” he predicted. Imran praised his party’s workers for reaching the sit-in “despite placement of hurdles in their way by the government”. He warned the government to refrain from such action, linking it with the resumption of talks for the settlement of the standoff.

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