SARGODHA: Pakistan cannot prosper unless there is ruthless accountability of the corrupt rulers who plundered the people’s wealth and stashed their money in offshore accounts, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan said at a public meeting in Khushab, some 40 kilometres from here, on Friday.
The PTI chief said he had visited Khushab some 21 years ago with the agenda to root out corruption from politics in Pakistan, but was astonished to find out that despite having a vision for politics in the country, the people of the area had been unable to move past the dirty politics of “thana, kutchery and patwari”.
He explained that the reason for this was that corrupt politicians wanted the people to remain entangled in their own oppression, so that they could maintain their grip and control over their constituents.
However, the people had been awakened, he said, adding that the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case had laid the grounds for a new Pakistan.
Commenting on the by-election in NA-120 scheduled for today, the PTI urged the constituents in Lahore to take back the wealth stolen from them by the leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He added that the PML-N had mobilised the federal and provincial machinery to campaign for their candidate but if the people rejected the ousted prime minister’s political party, it would send a powerful message to the “looters”. It would be a sign of a prosperous Pakistan, he said, a country in which no one would ever dare deprive the people of their legitimate rights.
The PTI chief claimed that a son of former PM Nawaz Sharif was residing abroad in a house worth Rs6 billion.
He said the house had not been bought with his hard-earned money but had been plundered from the pockets of the people of Pakistan.
Urges constituents in Lahore to send a message to ‘looters’ by rejecting ousted prime minister’s party
He added that the Sharif family had been in power for the last three decades but had failed to set up a single health facility that could treat a member of their family, or anyone else for that matter.
He said it was a matter of shame that the law was quickly implemented against goat thieves, motorcycle lifters and petty thieves, but rarely against looters, land-grabbers or murderers.
He claimed that there were over a hundred parliamentarians in the country’s assemblies who were either corrupt, murderers, oppressors or big notorious dacoits who patronised oppressive rule.
Unless they were put behind bars and their plundered wealth was seized, the country could not prosper, he said.
He said if the accountability process, initiated by the Supreme Court continued, and the country was rid of corruption, everyone would have access to justice and the unemployed youth would get jobs.
He said Pakistan’s economy would improve and investment would increase if the country’s rulers prioritised merit. He quoted the example of Singapore, saying: “If we control corruption we won’t need to borrow money from anyone.”
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2017