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KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has alleged that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a “mafia don and godfather of corruption” in the country.

He reiterated that the Supreme Court verdict (in Panama Papers case) had confirmed that Mr Sharif was corrupt and, therefore, he had no justification to retain the office of the prime minister.

The PTI chief was addressing the “Karachi rights rally” which was taken out from outside the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam to Jail Chowrangi here on Sunday.

Referring to the verdict in the Panama Papers case, he said that the report by the joint investigation team would determine whether Pakistan was a great and justice-dispensing country or a country of thieves and plunderers “like Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari”.

Addressing youth, women and the entire nation, he asked them to rise and say “Go Nawaz go”. “Our protest will continue until Mr Sharif quits the office,” he declared.

He asked the Pakistan Peoples Party where funds (allocated) for Karachi and Sindh were being spent and answered the question

PTI chief asks Karachiites to rise for their rights

himself by saying that the money, after being stolen, was being transferred to Dubai through people like (model) Ayyan Ali.

He warned that if problems of people were not solved and powers were not given to local bodies’ representatives, the Sindh government “should brace itself to face our protest”.

Referring to problems being faced by the people of Karachi, Mr Khan exhorted them to take to the streets. “Why Karachi, which used to rise for Pakistan before other parts of the country, is not rising for its own rights,” he asked.

“Sixty per cent of the national revenue is generated from Karachi, which was called in the past the city of lights, where no one had any threat to his life and property and where Shaikhs spent their holidays. But now the city has been littered with garbage.”

He said had the people of Karachi taken stand the very first day when their rights were usurped, the problems they were confronting now would not have been there.

He asked the countrymen to pledge before Allah that they would not tolerate repression any more.

Mr Khan said that if the police system was not set right, the people would take to the streets. He compared the police reform carried out by the PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the police performance in Punjab and Sindh and criticised both the PML-N and PPP for their failure in introducing the reforms.

Earlier talking to the media on arrival at the airport, the PTI chief said that he would not like to name the person who had offered him Rs10 billion because he lived in Lahore. “If I mention his name, he will be victimised by the Sharif family.”

He said that Rs10bn was an initial offer and the person who had made the offer had told him that the amount could be raised. He said he was happy to hear that the Pakistan Muslim League-N was taking the issue to the court. “The day I will be called to the court, I will name the person who came with the offer from Dubai and request the court to ensure that he is provided protection.”

In 1999, all associates of Mr Sharif had abandoned him, except Kulsoom Nawaz, he said and added that this time also, when it would dawn on PML-N leaders that Mr Sharif was about to quit, they would stab him in the back and part ways with him.

He said that Mr Sharif should be ashamed of the remarks he had made about women on Saturday. “He has forgotten that when he was arrested, it was his wife and no male leader of his party who had led protest against his arrest.

Paying tribute to Benazir Bhutto, the PTI chief said that she had rendered valuable services to the country and stood up against the dictator. Referring to the controversy over a report published in Dawn, he demanded that the entire report of the inquiry commission be made public.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2017