Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has quashed ‘rumours’ that he is abandoning the long march to hold talks with the government, saying no dialogue will be held until authorities announced a date for snap elections.
The long march dubbed as 'Haqeeqi Azadi March' began on Friday.
On its second day on Saturday, the marchers failed to reach their promised destination in Kamoke where Mr. Khan was scheduled to address his supporters.
The rumours of Mr. Khan abandoning the march spread after he returned to Lahore when the long march reached Kala Shah Kaku.
His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s Secretary General Asad Umar said that their Mr. Khan left for Lahore to attend a ‘very important meeting’.
Mr. Khan took to Twitter to quash rumours that a high-level meeting was being held in Lahore between PTI and the government.
“For all those spreading rumours about my meeting in Lahore, the reason we returned was because Lahore was closer and we had already decided not to move at night. The only demand I have had for six months is a date for early fair and free elections. That will be the only demand if talks are to be held,” Mr. Khan, the PTI chief, tweeted on Saturday.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told Bol News channel that the movement of protestors was slow because ‘thousands of people’ were walking alongside Mr. Khan’s container.
“No PTI leader is holding any talks with the government as this task has been entrusted to President Arif Alvi. We will accept the consensus or solution Dr. Alvi finds out,” he said.
Mr. Chaudhry also said that the talks would be held with the powerful establishment and not the government and the focus of the talks would be elections. “Dialogue will happen only when the coalition government accepts the demand of snap polls,” Mr. Chaudhry added.
As the marchers were set to embark on the third day of the long march on Sunday, former commerce minister Hammad Azhar said that the plan is to reach Gujranwala by the end of the day.
Mr. Khan has already announced that the marchers will reach Islamabad on November 4 to hold a rally for which the government has so far not issued permission.
He has been regularly targeting the establishment along with the government in his speeches.