LAHORE, March 22: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan is set to give a call for political fund-raising to finance the election campaign aimed at creating a ‘New Pakistan’.
“No one can do politics without money. The catch should be whether the money is ill-gotten or given by public voluntarily,” he said.
Imran will be making the fund-raising appeal to the masses at the PTI’s well-trumpeted public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan. It will start off hectic election campaign till the second week of May, when general elections are scheduled to be held. He said he had always criticised the election campaigns funded from taxpayers’ money. “The media should criticise those who get huge money from big businesses and then shower favours after coming into power,” he suggested.
Speaking to reporters at an informal meeting at Gymkhana on Friday, Imran parried a question about his expectation to win seats in general elections. He said: “Being a sportsman, I always stepped in the ground with a bent of mind to win.”
“If we don’t emerge as winners in the general elections, we will fight out any prospective situation,” he said.
The PTI chief said almost 90 per cent of the Pakistanis wanted change. “When people will see on March 23 that the PTI has the potential to bring about change, no force will be able to stop the party from sweeping the general election,” he asserted.
He said he was expecting some 500,000 people at the public meeting. “People are fed up with the traditional politicians and want a change. Now, they do not even want to look for lesser evils in the election,” he said. “Besides diehard voters, the PTI will also get all swing votes,” he added.
Explaining his party’s stance if it wins the election, Imran said he would create only 18 ministries which would be given on merit instead of facilitating everybody by creating scores of ministries. He also made it clear that politicians’ job was to legislate and not to do development works in streets.
“No politician will be given development fund, which will actually go to local bodies,” he said. “We will bring in a new governance system to save and sustain Pakistan, wherein politicians will transfer power to others,” he claimed.
About seat adjustments with different political parties, he said the PTI would not go for any such arrangement with those parties which were in assemblies during the last five years. “All politicians, who were in national and provincial assemblies, had looted the nation and the PTI will not meet any of them for seat adjustments,” he said.
He, however, said the party would go for alliance with the Jamaat-i-Islami, the Awami Muslim League and Nawab Salahuddin of Bahawalpur. He said the PTI, when in power, would set country’s governance system on the right path within the first 90 days. “The first 90-day period of any government is most powerful that sets the stage for a change in a country,” he averred.
As for the award of party tickets, he said the districts’ committees would recommend at least three candidates for each constituency and then the provincial and central parliamentary boards, owing to time constraint, would hold joint meetings to decide award of party tickets.
Parrying a question about his plan to contest election from certain constituencies, he said the party’s parliamentary board would decide his candidature. He said the party would field candidate on each and every seat in the country.
Answering a question about the issue of creating new province, he said it was a very complicated matter and needed serious debate, and not political gimmickry. He also described the Pak-Iran gas pipeline as a gimmick played by the PPP government in its concluding days but added “still it is a good project that will give public affordable energy.”
PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, secretary-general Pervaiz Khattak, Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry, general secretary Dr Yasmin Rashid, Jahangir Tareen and Shafqat Mahmood were also present.
JOIN PTI: Hindu community leader and former nazim Lal Mani from Umerkot (Sindh), along with his community members, joined the PTI at a meeting with party chief Imran Khan.The PTI chief said he was ashamed of extremism being committed against minorities in the country. He said the PTI would fulfill the Quaid-i-Azam’s promise of safeguarding the rights of minorities in the country.