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KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Saturday welcomed the Muttahida Qaumi Movement for distancing itself from Altaf Hussain and his ‘militant wing’ and said he was all praise for Muttahida’s resolve for a better Pakistan.

Speaking with the media at the Karachi airport after arriving here from Islamabad, Mr Khan said his party’s recent public meeting in Karachi was to denounce the London-based chief of the MQM for his anti-Pakistan rhetoric. “Altaf Hussain controls the party’s militant wing from London,” Mr Khan said, adding that the militant wing was involved in ‘terrorism’ and running an extortion racket in the country’s largest metropolis.

“We welcome the Muttahida’s leadership for distancing themselves from Altaf Hussain and his militant wing. There are many positive things which my party share with the MQM programme,” he said.

Mr Khan said every political party raised funds from across the world. He claimed that the PTI was the only democratic party that raised funds through democratic means.

Referring to the political situation in Karachi, the PTI chief said: “MQM’s disowning Altaf Hussain augurs well for Karachi.”

“Our party does not take extortion like Altaf Hussain,” he said, adding that his two-day visit to Karachi was to motivate people of the city to take part in the PTI’s march on Sept 30 to Raiwind and he believed a large number of people from Karachi would participate in it.

The PTI leader said his struggle against corruption was for the future of Pakistan. He said the issue of corruption against the rulers would have been dead had he given up the peaceful protest seeking accountability of PM Nawaz Sharif. He added that relevant institutions ‘have already declined to initiate actions vis-a-vis the Panama Leaks’ under the pressure of government citing that they had no jurisdiction.

He said corruption was the worst scourge in society, alleging that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his team were destroying Pakistan’s democratic system through corrupt practices. “Unemployment and poverty are among the various negative indicators which are on the rise because of our rulers’ corruption.

“No country can prosper by building roads and bridges only, the real thing is to strengthen your institutions. Our struggle is to make Pakistan a progressive country with eradication of corruption.”

But eradication of corruption was impossible until PM Sharif and his followers were not made accountable for their alleged corrupt practices, he added.

Mr Khan said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had failed in rooting out corruption and it was time for the superior courts to take cognizance of the corrupt practices.

“We’ll announce our future course of action on Sept 30 during Raiwind march,” he said, claiming that the protest would be peaceful and under democratic norms.

However, Mr Khan added, “If the situation on our borders turns serious, the PTI like all other parties and people will be behind our armed forces.”

Published in Dawn September 25th, 2016