SHIKARPUR/SUKKUR: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has alleged that instead of addressing the issues of poverty, health, education and law and order, the Sindh government has compounded people’s problems and encouraged a culture of corruption in the province.

Addressing a press conference at the residence of PTI leader Iftikhar Ahmed Soomro in Shikarpur on Thursday, Mr Khan in a thinly-veiled reference to PPP said that people had voted to Sindh leaders to power to solve their problems but they utilised their energy only to make money through corruption and buy properties in Dubai and other countries. The rulers have no interest in improving the socio-economic life of the people and eliminating poverty from Sindh.

Mr Khan expressed concern over the rulers’ `ill-attitude’ towards development and said that about Rs900 billion had been allocated by the provincial government for uplift schemes but it was not known where such big funds were spent.

Answering a question, he said the flood threat had subsided while reaching Sindh, otherwise embankments in the province were not in a position to withstand the flow of floodwaters. Funds released to strengthen the embankments had been embezzled by the irrigation department, he alleged.

He said his party would hold public meetings in the province to mobilise people to actively participate in the coming local government elections so that their problems could be solved at the local level.

He said the PTI believed in genuine democracy in which people could get their constitutional, financial and social rights. This is possible only through free, fair and impartial elections by an independent and honest election commission.

Mr Khan said that during a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, the chief election commissioner had assured him that technical mistakes made in the 2013 general elections would not be repeated in future polls. But, he said, he would hold a public meeting in Islamabad on Friday to chalk out a future strategy and press for free and fair elections.

He said it was because of his party’s continuous protest movement that the judicial commission had been formed to look into allegations of rigging in the last general elections.

The PTI chief invited Rangers to come to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and carry out operation against the officers and elected representatives if they were found involved in corruption so that the province could be free from this menace.

Earlier, Imran Khan was warmly welcomed by PTI workers when he arrived in Sukkur on a two-day visit to Sindh. The party workers and journalists were kept one kilometre away from the airport for security reasons.

Sources said that during Mr Khan’s visit some important people were expected to join the PTI, including Khalid Khan Loond and former Sindh minister Haji Sardar Khan Chachar.

Talking to journalists at the Sukkur airport, PTI leader Arif Alvi said that people of Sindh were frustrated with the PPP and that was why they were joining the PTI.

Mr Alvi said PPP was confused because of the PTI’s popularity in Sindh. He alleged that PTI workers across the province were being harassed and fake cases registered against them and warned that such tactics would not be acceptable.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2015

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