KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) will field candidates against Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in Nawabshah and PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Larkana in the coming by-elections from constituencies to be vacated by PPP’s Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and Ayaz Soomro, respectively.

PTI chairman Imran Khan announced this on Friday in a meeting with the PTI Karachi chapter organising committee and while speaking to journalists on the second day of his three-day visit to Karachi.

He inaugurated a membership drive camp in Landhi and paid a visit to the residence of former PPP home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza to condole the death of his mother.

In the 2013 general elections, Mr Soomro had won from the NA-204 constituency with 50,128 votes, while the PML-Functional’s Mahtab Akbar Rashidi and Moazzam Ali Khan, an independent candidate, had secured 32,006 and 28,745 votes, respectively.

The PPP-Shaheed Bhutto’s chairperson Ghinwa Bhutto was also a contestant but she received 4,936 votes.

Dr Pechuho had won from the NA-213 constituency with 113,119 votes. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Inayat Ali Rind had won 33,874 votes and the PML-F’s Syed Zahid Hussain Shah had secured 25,223 votes.

Addressing the committee meeting, Mr Khan alleged that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had concocted schemes on how to whiten the black money, while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was destroying the country in his lust for money.

The PTI chief termed Panamagate a war for the future of Pakistan, and announced that opposition parties could unite on the one-point agenda of Panama leaks.

If the wealth plundered from Pakistan was brought back and corruption was eliminated from Sindh and Punjab, the education and health system would improve and the country would progress. He said corruption was eating away at the country like termites and therefore the corrupt must be held accountable.

At the membership drive in Landhi, Mr Khan said that people indulged in politics of hatred for the sake of vested interests. If it had not been for extortion and ethnic strife, Karachi would have developed far more than Dubai, he said.

“Now that there’s peace in Karachi, its problems would soon be solved.”

Later while addressing members of the Insaf Professional Forum, the PTI chief said after hearing Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s four demands on December 27, he felt that the PPP chief would cry if the demands were not accepted.

Mr Khan said that the PTI and the PPP were on the same page regarding the Panama Papers case and would therefore prefer not to speak against the PPP. He said the country’s assemblies were filled with land mafia who occupied lands in connivance with the police.

Published in Dawn December 31st, 2016