Despite ECP warning, Imran addresses rally in Lodhran

Updated February 10, 2018

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LODHRAN: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan addressing a rally held here on Friday as part of campaigning for by-election in the NA-154 constituency.—Online
LODHRAN: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan addressing a rally held here on Friday as part of campaigning for by-election in the NA-154 constituency.—Online

MULTAN: Violating the code of conduct for by-elections and ignoring a warning issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) earlier in the day, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Friday addressed a public gathering in Lodhran in connection with the election campaign of his party’s candidate for NA-154 by-poll — Ali Khan Tareen, son of disqualified party leader Jahangir Tareen.

The ECP had written letters to both Imran Khan and Ali Tareen advising them to abide by the code of conduct which stated: “The prime minister, chief ministers, federal ministers, provincial ministers and advisers to the chief minister, members of the National Assembly/provincial assembly or any person on their behalf shall not visit the constituency or a polling station after the issuance of schedule of by-election till the completion of poll.”

However, the PTI chairman not only visited the constituency of NA-154 but also addressed a public gathering there.

In his speech, he urged the chief justice of Pakistan to constitute a judicial commission on extrajudicial killings.

PTI chief asks CJ to constitute judicial commission on extrajudicial killings

“During the tenure of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, police have killed as many as 870 people in encounters. Amir Boxer had stated that he used to kill people on the directive of Mr Sharif,” he alleged.

Mr Khan said that for the last 21 years he had been struggling against a mafia which was “occupying the country”.

He said that Jahangir Tareen had never been involved in money laundering and corruption rather he was a politician who was paying maximum taxes. “He is not like the Sharifs and Zardari. He even pays full price of sugar cane to growers.”

He said that Shahbaz Sharif had refused to cooperate with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with Multan Metro Bus Project investigation though the bureau chairman had asked him to do so. “The Punjab government is not responding to NAB while the sons of Nawaz Sharif are not responding to other institutions saying that they are not Pakistani citizens”.

The PTI chief said that when he highlighted the Panama Papers leaks, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government instituted many cases against him and Jahangir Tareen to blackmail them. “Eleven cases were filed against me over taking former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to court in the Panama Papers case while the same motive was behind the filing of a case against Tareen. But we accepted the verdict of disqualification against him,” he said.

Mr Khan alleged that Hassan Nawaz lived in a house worth Rs6,000 million.

He said that the rulers were involved in corruption and they (PTI) were making them accountable. “Nawaz Sharif has already been disqualified and now it is the turn of Shahbaz Sharif.”

The by-election for NA-154 Lodhran is scheduled to be held on Feb 12. The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Jahangir Tareen, former general secretary of the PTI.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2018