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JHELUM: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has accused the government of doling out Rs2.7 billion to the Intelligence Bureau to ensure failure of his party’s Nov 30 rally in Islamabad by buying media personnel, columnists and analysts.

He said he did not know how much money had been given to whom (journalists) but had documentary proof that the PML-N government had enhanced the annual allocation of the IB from Rs200 million to Rs2.7bn.

He was addressing a large public meeting at the Zameer Jafari cricket stadium on Sunday evening.

Mr Khan said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was so scared of the PTI’s planned Nov 30 rally that his government had also enhanced the volume of advertisements to buy favours of owners of media houses.

He claimed that Rs3bn had been spent each month on newspaper ads and TV commercials since the beginning of the Azadi march, adding that taxpayers’ money was being used to save the PML-N government.

He reiterated that he would not end his sit-in without achieving the goal of “justice against rigging” in the 2013 elections even if it took another 90 days.

The PTI chief said that he would break the Nawaz-Zardari ‘collusion’ to liberate the nation from the ‘corrupt system’.

He said that since the disconnection of power supply to his residence, he had been using candles because even the UPS was not working.

He vowed to change the system and said that his agenda of change required only 200 efficient and honest people to head government institutions and corporations to steer the country out of the corrupt system. “It is a tough job but not an impossible task to achieve.”

He said youths were the biggest asset of Pakistan unlike European countries where a major portion of population comprised senior citizens, adding that he would make best use of the youth power by focusing on education and technical training.

Mr Khan claimed that the KP police had been made the best police force of the country only in one a half years by curbing political interference. Inspector General Nasir Durrani had introduced reforms which were being carried out in letter and spirit. Even the PML-N parliamentary leader in the KP assembly, he added, had to accept on the floor of the house that the police force in the province were much better than in Punjab.

He commended the Motorway police and vowed to reform the Punjab police after coming to power and bring it at par with the KP force.

“I will not make my son the head of the Rs100 billion government-funded scheme after becoming the prime minister.” He alleged that a person, who should have been behind the bars in a drugs case, had been made the head of Rs 50bn metro bus scheme in Rawalpindi.

Claiming that his party was being cautioned by some elements against carrying out political activities in Sindh, he warned them that he would come to Larkana on Nov 21 to liberate the poor and exploited people of interior Sindh.

He also said that he would challenge the ‘Gullus’ and ‘Pomies’ on Nov 23 in Gujranwala where PML-N workers had attacked his party’s Azadi march on August 14.

Condemning the firing on the participants of a PTI rally in Jhelum on Sunday, he said that the PML-N government would not be able save itself with such violent tactics because his workers were ready to face such situations to get rid of the corrupt system.

He claimed that general public were not allowed to watch a cricket match between Pakistan A and Afghanistan A cricket teams on Saturday because of the fear that the slogan of “Go Nawaz Go” would be raised in the presence of Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the process of resignation from government positions by members of the ruling family had started with Maryam Nawaz quitting the office of the head of the youth loan scheme. It would be followed by resignations of other members of the family, he said.

He called upon the judiciary to take notice of the appointment of the heads of corporations like PIA, Baitul Maal, Evacuee Trust of Pakistan, etc.

PTI leaders Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Dr Yasmeen Rashid also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2014