LAHORE: Admitting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf did not contest the 2013 general election with full preparation, chairman Imran Khan claimed the party was now ready to take the “Sharif mafia” by the horns.
“I am impatiently waiting for the big match – general election 2018,” he said at the party’s social media summit as well as a women’s convention here on Saturday.
Mr Khan asked his party’s social media team to expand itself and bring a change by introducing new ideas and developing public opinion against the “mafia” that, he alleged, looted national wealth and stashed it abroad.
“The PTI volunteers and their passion must defeat the paid (social media) mafia of the Sharifs’ PML-N,” he said, adding the next general election would decide the fate of youth in Pakistan.
Responding to the activists’ questions, the PTI chief said no one should worry about new people joining the party, adding that the tickets for 2018 poll would be given on merit – popularity in respective constituencies. He said the party would be holding its parliamentary board meeting within a fortnight.
In case of more than one candidate in a constituency, he said, surveys would be conducted to gauge their popularity.
“Since three to four candidates are in the run in most of the constituencies in the country, those refused party tickets will be reconciled,” he said.
He said the PTI managed to defeat the PML-N candidate for Senate chairman slot, otherwise the Sharif family would have been allowed to loot the nation through legislation. He also acknowledged chief justice of Pakistan’s notice barring Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s picture on the government advertisements.
About the situation in Karachi, he said: “Former MQM chief Altaf Hussain would have been getting people killed in Karachi even now, if I had not dared and spoke against him.” He added that fear landed people in slavery and slaves had not done anything great in the world history. He urged the youth to break the shackles and empower people with knowledge.
He rapped the PML-N government for launching big projects to mint money and cited Multan Metro as well as roads and bridges as an example. He said the public money needed to be utilised for human development.
Stating that the human development remained the lowest priority of the government, he cited international agencies reports that Pakistan was on the top with regard to children’s deaths because of non-availability of clean drinking water.
PTI leader Jehangir Tareen and party’s central Punjab president Abdul Aleem Khan also spoke.
Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2018