KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has ruled out entering into an electoral alliance with any political party and said “electable and alliance politics is for power while our politics is to usher a change in the country”.
Addressing senior media persons at a hotel here on Saturday, he said when the final list of PTI candidates would be made public, there would be only a few known faces because his party wanted to give a chance to a new leadership which could deliver and serve people with dedication. “We want to win polls on the wave of change.”
Mr Khan said the PTI would bring youths to the forefront because people wanted to get rid of hereditary politics.
He said his party would select youth below the age of 35 as its candidates and a majority of them could not afford election expenditure, but for that purpose the party had launched a “New Pakistan fund” and raised money from overseas Pakistanis. He refused to be engaged with smaller parties for a couple of seats and give a free hand to the two parties which had come to power one after the other in the past and failed to deliver.
Mr Khan said his party would empower people at the village level through local governments otherwise the grip of feudal system and Thana/Kutchery culture could not be broken.
He said after coming to power his party would implement the land reforms of 1973 in letter and spirit by outlawing all “Benami” transactions.
The PTI chief said he supported representation of women in parliament, but criticised nepotism and favoritism shown in their selection by other parties in the past. He said the next parliament would have to evolve a criterion for election to reserved seats so that only deserving people could enter the assemblies.
In reply to a question, he said the PTI had reached a seat adjustment arrangement with Shaikh Rashid Ahmed in Rawalpindi and the Nawab of Bahawalpur, while negotiations were under way with the Jamaat-i-Islami and Majlis Whadatul Muslimeen.
He said the party had allowed its vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi to contest election as an independent candidate to make breakthrough in Sindh because his win would mean a seat for the PTI.
He said his party would prefer to sit in opposition over joining hands with a party which was part of the government during the past five years.
He said he was opposed to any delay in elections because the country was already at the brink of disaster, its economy was in tatters and the law and order situation was haunting and the only solution to these problems was fair, free and transparent elections.
Talking about the ongoing scrutiny of nomination papers, he said the election commission should concentrate on ensuring financial integrity of candidates. He said without giving details of tax returns, declaration of assets and the source of income no one could think of contesting elections in the West, but 70 per cent of parliamentarians did not pay any tax in Pakistan.
Mr Khan said the PTI had fielded candidates on all seats throughout the country and he was contesting from four constituencies.
He said the law and order situation in Karachi was before everyone. Some PTI leaders had suggested setting up an armed wing of the party in Karachi because they thought otherwise it would be impossible to make way in politics of the metropolis, he said. But the suggestion was turned down as the parties having armed wings would never allow to restore peace and destroy the police force by increasing its influence.
He expressed surprise over the silence of the Sharif brothers about invoking Article 6 of the constitution against retired Gen Musharraf.