ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan has said that his political rallies against his rivals will continue even when the crisis-hit country is severely affected with devastating floods as his fight was for 'haqeeqi azadi' (real freedom).
Speaking at a rally in Jhelum district of the most populous Punjab province, Khan, 69, on Saturday said that he is waging war against the "thieves" who looted Pakistan for 30 years and also fighting for the supremacy of the law, the Dawn newspaper reported on Sunday.
"I am waging war against these thieves who looted the country for 30 years. I am fighting for the supremacy of law. I am fighting for a country which was supposed to be an Islamic welfare state," he said during his address to the public gathering.
Khan has been criticised recently for holding public rallies when Pakistan is reeling under a severe flood that has claimed the lives of over 1,000 thousand people so far.
The floods caused by the torrential rain since June 14 on Sunday took the lives of another 119 people, inundating a vast swathe of flat land in the south and southwest of the country. During the rally, Khan said that a massive campaign is being run against his rallies.
"Massive campaign is being run through newspapers, friendly media, journalists and one particular media house that always protects the thieves. They are saying that this is not the time to hold rallies," said Khan.
Khan denied that he was indulging in politics at the time of the tragedy and instead called it a "fight for haqeeqi azadi".
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led ruling coalition, Khan said he is being asked not to hold rallies during floods, but the government continues to "push the country's largest political party against the wall."
"A terrorism case has been filed against me. They even came to arrest me. This news was reported all over the world. They called Pakistan a banana republic. We were mocked," he said.
Khan was recently booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism) for "threatening" a female judge and senior police officers at a public rally in Islamabad. However, he was given interim bail till September 1 in the matter.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, has been targeting powerful institutions, including the Pakistan Army, since his government was toppled in April.