Pakistan's Imran Khan leads protests march towards Islamabad
The protest began in Lahore and will continue to Islamabad.
Former Pakistani premier Imran Khan is leading a march toward the capital, Islamabad, in demand of a snap parliamentary election, local media reported on Friday.
The protest began in Lahore, east of the country, and is expected to reach the capital on November 4 after passing through a number of Pakistani cities, as announced by Pakistani broadcaster Geo TV.
"[The march's] only aim is to free my nation and turn Pakistan into a free country... The time has come to start the journey for real freedom," Khan told Geo TV during the protest.
Khan was ousted back in April by the opposition through a no-confidence motion, as lawmakers from his party, Tehreek-e-Insaf, boycotted the vote.
Since Khan's ousting, there has been a plethora of nationwide protests calling for a snap election as the country sinks further into economic devastation - particularly after floods took the lives of hundreds and destroyed numerous infrastructures.
The Election Commission of Pakistan said the new election will not be held until May 2023.
The Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman announced in May that his party’s “battle for real freedom” march toward Islamabad would take place on May 25.
He considered that "there was a foreign conspiracy against Pakistan from the US. In this regime change, they used locals the most corrupt people, who were ready to become part of any conspiracy to save their corruption."
The demonstrators considered that the US had installed the new government, calling for new elections and the return of Khan to power.
On April 11, the Pakistani parliament announced the election of Shahbaz Sharif as the new prime minister succeeding Khan, who resigned after a fierce pressure campaign that led to the withdrawal of confidence from his government.