KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said that July 25 is the day to change the destiny of the nation and, therefore, people should come out in large numbers to cast their vote.
He said that those people who were raising cries of foul play even before the elections had broken all records of rigging in the 2013 polls.
These views were expressed by the PTI chief during his hectic tour of Karachi on Sunday in which he addressed a public meeting at Jinnah Garden near the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam and spoke at a function hosted by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce of Industry. He also held a meeting with his party’s leaders to seek their input about the PTI election campaign.
Speaking at the public meeting, the PTI leader said that a conspiracy had been hatched against the army and the country.
Accuses Nawaz of defaming army to appease ‘international establishment’
He said that those criticising the army and accusing it of pre-poll rigging were following the propaganda of Indian media and appeasing the international establishment which desired to pitch India against China and Pakistan and wanted Pakistan to accept India as “SHO of the region”.
He said [PML-N supremo] Nawaz Sharif was defaming the army to convey to the international establishment that he was loyal to them and wanted to control the army.
In an apparent reference to the memogate, he said PPP leader Asif Zardari through Hussain Haqqani had sent a message to the US to “save us from the army”. “Is it not treason?” he asked and replied his own question by saying, “In fact they [Zardari and Sharif] are Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq and traitors of the country.”
He said the people of Karachi should ponder how peace could have been restored in the city without the army’s role as police were unable to protect life and property of people and officials like Rao Anwar had been given free hand.
The PTI chief urged the people to vote for ideology instead of taking into account the candidates and personal friendships and relationships.
He said the enlightened people of Karachi should realise that the city had been pushed to a level where conditions prevailing here were not different from those in the interior of Sindh. “Even 5,000-year-old Moenjodaro is in better condition than many localities of Karachi.
Mr Khan said that he wanted to see an end to “occupation of Sindh by Zardari and that of Punjab by the Sharifs. “We do not have competition with democrats but with money laundering mafia which plundered national wealth and took the money abroad making Pakistan heavily indebted.
He alleged that Mr Zardari had got houses around Bilawal House vacated at the gun point and taken them over.
He said that Sindh had been ruthlessly plundered during the last 10 years but Allah had provided (people) with this opportunity (elections) to get rid of the two political parties whose charter of democracy was a charter of corruption.
Mr Khan said that when he was a college student, princes of Middle East used to come to Pakistan to study and the country’s civil service was the best in Asia but now the situation had worsened to the extent that five organisations, including Wapda, the PIA and the Pakistan Steel Mills, had incurred a loss of Rs3.5 trillion over the last five years. “This loss was due to inability of the rulers to improve the organisations while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was destroyed by the war of terrors, my party’s government has reduced poverty by 50 per cent and health and education system is better than other provinces.”
Addressing the KKCI function, Mr Khan said that power struggle had decimated Karachi, adding that had this issue been resolved all other problems confronting the city would have been solved.
Comparing KP with other provinces, the PTI chief said that today KP was far ahead of other provinces. “There is no allegation of corruption against me” Imran Khan said and asked the audiences whether he had built palaces after his party remained in power in KP for five years.
Earlier, talking to media on his arrival at Karachi airport, he said that the PTI had held public meetings in Kirk and Bannu despite receiving threatening letters that “two terrorists want to target me”.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2018