LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday led his first election rally in NA-122 where he expressed his “fear” that the PML-N may flee the by-poll arena as it did in the case of NA-154, Lodhran.

Khan led the rally from Islamia Park and visited different parts of the constituency, including Samanabad and Pakki Thatti, besides opening a PTI women wing office. He kept waving the people on the way and addressed the rally participants.

He, however, was not allowed to address public in Pakki Thatti owing to security concerns.

Apprehending that the Election Commission of Pakistan was conniving with the PML-N, Mr Khan said he could not commit that he would accept the upcoming by-election results.

“When umpires are conniving with the PML-N, how can I say that I will accept the election results”, he asked.

Talking to media persons here, Mr Khan said the PTI was not contesting by-election against Ayaz Sadiq but it was contesting against Nawaz Sharif and added that the ECP itself, along with the PML-N and Punjab police wanted the ruling party should win.

PTI Punjab Organiser Chaudhry Sarwar, NA-122 candidate Abdul Aleem Khan and other party leaders were accompanying the party chief.

Mr Khan said Pakistan could not experience “true change” until and unless rigging practices were exposed in the electoral process.

“The corrupt electoral system will continue sending corrupt politicians to assemblies, who will continue looting the national exchequer,” he said. The PTI chief said the PML-N had rigged the general elections in connivance with Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Khalilur Rehman and ECP staff.

He said the PTI had accepted the Judicial Commission and Election Tribunals and eventually respected their decisions but the PML-N ministers threatened Lahore Election Tribunal judge Kazim Malik and eventually removed him from his office. He said the PML-N government removed Mr Malik because he was to also decide the election petitions filed by PTI’s Hamid Zaman and Malik Karamat Khokhar.

In its own capacity, Mr Khan said the PTI was training its polling agents so that the PML-N could not rig the upcoming by-poll as well as local government elections. He stressed that the PTI “tigers” should stay with the ECP staff and ensure no rigging was done.

Answering a question, Mr Khan said the world leaders were hovering around Indian Premier Narendra Modi in New York and according him VIP protocol. On the other hand, ,he said, PM Nawaz Sharif had been only offering army troops for the United Nations to fight the “US war”.

Referring to the changes in China-Paksitan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the PTI chief said hatred was being nurtured in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the federation and Punjab. He said other provinces were now thinking that the Sharif brothers wanted to benefit their personal businesses through the economic corridor. The rulers were considering Punjab alone as Pakistan, he added.

Terming the Nandipur power project as a big scam, he called for its audit by the Asian Development Bank.

During the rally, the PTI workers and supporters continued raising party slogans, besides chanting their favourite “Go Nawaz Go”.

Published in Dawn October 1st, 2015

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