FAISALABAD/JHANG: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has asked the journalists why they have been portraying former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has plundered billion of rupees from the national kitty as an innocent person.

He asked why such journalists are not thinking about the future of their children rather than trying to save a criminal.

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He said it took him 22 years to make the masses realise that corruption was dangerous and it had destroyed the economy of the country, leading to price hike and increase in the foreign debt manifold.

“Foreign debt of the country was Rs6,000bn a decade ago which was now Rs27,000bn and the masses have to pay the price for the debt as the PML-N government had imposed taxes to pay the installments of the debt,” he said while addressing a gathering at the Dhobi Ghat ground on Sunday.

Imran raised questions over utilisation of the debt, asking whether any dam was built with it.

He said the salary of a person was Rs200,000 in the US and Britain but in Pakistan it was getting only Rs15,000. He said per unit price of electricity was Rs2.13 a decade ago while it was Rs9.86 (an increase of 400pc) now, per unit gas price also increased from Rs150 to Rs573 which had badly affected the textile sector.

He referred to other essential commodities like flour, pulses and milk whose prices had increased manifold.

Before the address of Imran, some PTI workers standing in front of the stage clashed with each other and resorted to violence through uses of chairs and fists.

Addressing a public rally at Mai Heer Stadium at Jhang, Imran alleged that the PML-N had introduced and strengthened the commission mafia and a corrupt governing system.

He made a pledge that the PTI government would introduce a comprehensive public-friendly local government system as a better local bodies system was the key to change the lives of people.

“The maximum resources were spent for corruption-based development projects by ignoring the needs of the people living in small cities of Punjab. Multan Metro Bus project is a proved example of corruption.”

Criticising former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for making the police corrupt, he said the PTI had a plan to make department non-political and change thana culture.

Imran said that after coming into power, his party would introduce real democracy, empowering public institutions and the masses would be involved in making decisions for development projects.

“The state resources will be distributed equally to small towns and cities during his rule,” the PTI chief added.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2018