Imran Khan thanks supporters for protesting against 'US-backed' regime in Pakistan
Lahore: Imran Khan has thanked his supporters for their participation in rallies held across Pakistan and abroad to protest against his ouster as prime minister and the formation of a "US-backed regime" in Islamabad.
Protest rallies were held in different Pakistani cities after 9 pm on Sunday and continued for several hours on the call of Khan.
"Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support & emotions to protest against US-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafars to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail. Shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this," Khan tweeted on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, ousted prime minister Khan tweeted that "today marked the beginning of a freedom struggle" against what he said was a "foreign conspiracy of regime change" in Pakistan.
In an attempt to galvanise his supporters, he said "it is always the people who protect their own sovereignty and democracy."
The charged PTI supporters, including women and children, showed their solidarity with Khan during the rally in Lahore that started at 9 pm on Sunday and lasted till 3 am on Monday.
Big gatherings were also reported from other parts of the Punjab province, including Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Vehari, Jhelum and Gujrat districts. Islamabad and Karachi also witnessed major gatherings of PTI supporters.
Protests were also held abroad, including in Chicago, Dubai, Toronto, and the UK against Khan's ouster.
PTI's local leadership was leading the protest. The charged workers and supporters of the party were chanting slogans against the US, which Khan claims to be behind the ouster of his government.
They were also shouting slogans against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, who is expected to be elected as the new prime minister on Monday; Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zaradri and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for allegedly plotting against Khan's government at the behest of the US.
Most placards carried by the protesters read "Imported government not acceptable."
Former federal minister and PTI senior leader Shireen Mazari said in a tweet: "Such amazing scenes from across Pak and from abroad --- Pakistanis have rejected US instigated regime change. Two of my favourite individual placards! #ImportedGovernmentRejected #RevolutionBlackedOut."
Despite the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Government's hectic efforts to avoid voting on the no-confidence motion against Khan, the joint Opposition succeeded in its month-long efforts to oust Khan from the Prime Minister's office as 174 members of the 342-member National Assembly voted against him after a day of high drama.
Khan, 69, became the first premier in the country's history to be sent home after losing the trust of the House.
In a live address to the nation last week, Khan discussed a 'threat letter' and termed it as part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was not acceptable for following an independent foreign policy. He named the US as the country behind the threat letter against his government.
The US State Department has firmly rejected Khan's remarks over Washington's role in an alleged foreign conspiracy to oust him from power.
America also asserted that it did not send any letter to Pakistan on the current political situation in the country as it sought to refute allegations of America's involvement in the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led government.