Pakistan's Opposition leaders on Friday launched a determined bid to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying the time has come to get rid of his "fake" government that came into power through "blatant rigging" in the 2018 general elections.
The much-hyped 'Azadi March' led by influential right-wing Pakistani cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) reached its final destination Islamabad on Thursday after it set off from the Sindh province and left Lahore on Wednesday.
Along with Fazl, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People's Party (PPP), and Awami National Party (ANP) participated in the march held to topple Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government led by Prime Minister Khan.
"The time has come to get rid of this fake government. "We will not let Imran Khan Niazi go free until Pakistan gets rid of [the prime minister]," said PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif while addressing the huge gathering attended by tens of thousands of people here.
"You started this container politics, you said you will burn down the Parliament, you said something about me. I will not respond to you in your language. Despite such blatant rigging, for the benefit of the nation, we said we are ready for a charter of economy. He rejected our offer with extreme pride and arrogance," he said as he delivered a fiery address at the joint opposition rally.
The joint opposition can stabilise the country's economy within six months if given a chance, Sharif said, adding that he has never seen a worse state of affairs in the country's 72-year history.
"If given a chance, we along with the joint opposition will fix Pakistan's economy within six months, [otherwise] you can rename me as 'Imran Niazi'," he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the opposition parties will not rest until the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government has been "sent home".
He said the first and foremost demand of the 'Azadi March' protesters was the resignation of Prime Minister Khan.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)