Vote for the party whose leader is 'honest and trustworthy', PM Imran tells AJK youth

Published July 18, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses an election campaign rally in Bhimber, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses an election campaign rally in Bhimber, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday urged people to ask themselves and others whether they were voting for "honest" and "trustworthy" political leaders on the day of the July 25 election in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing an election campaign rally in AJK's Bhimber district, the premier said: "When you go to vote on [July] 25 you have to ask a question from the rest of the voters that whether the parties they're voting for have honest and trustworthy leaders or not."

He said the world respected honest individuals who did justice, pointing to the example of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who, according to the prime minister, was similarly respected by his political opponents.

The premier stressed that if party leaders weren't trustworthy then it did not matter if their candidates were trustworthy. However, he said, if the leader was trustworthy and the political candidates were do number (dishonest) then the latter would be afraid of committing any illicit acts due to fear of being caught and stopped.

At another rally in Mirpur later, Prime Minister Imran reiterated this point and said it might have been "possible that the PTI nominated a sketchy candidate — I can't say, but I assure you that whoever comes under [me], if I myself am not stealing and making money then how will I allow them to?"

He called upon the people to vote irrespective of familial, friendly or tribal bonds on July 25.

"The vision is bigger, just look at one thing that whether the leader of the [candidate] you're voting for is sadiq (honest) and ameen (righteous) or not."

Muslim world proud of Kashmiris

Prime Minister Imran lauded Kashmiri bravery and said the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) didn't lose courage in the face of India's actions to revoke Kashmiri autonomy on August 5, 2019.

"Today I say with pride that the Muslim world sees them and feels proud of the bravery and passion with which they (Kashmiris) challenged Narendra Modi's injustice.

"We pray for them and there was never any doubt in my mind that we will see occupied Kashmir free in the coming days," the premier said.

At the Mirpur rally, Prime Minister Imran said he had been "surprised" that India hadn't considered Pakistan's reaction to its actions over Kashmir.

"And then it came to my mind that they were thinking that Pakistan would quietly [accept it] as before when pellet guns were used to blind Kashmiri youth and they were killed in extrajudicial killings."

Imran blasted PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif for his approach towards occupied Kashmir, saying he had forbidden criticism of India and didn't meet Hurriyat leaders during his visit to India to avoid angering Modi.

He said Modi was under the impression that Pakistan would "quietly accept" the actions of August 5 the same way it remained silent during Sharif's tenure because he (Modi) thought any incoming Pakistani leader would prioritise their own personal interests.

"But thank God I am a free human being."

Prime Minister Imran said he was "proud" of the way he had raised the Kashmir issue at international forums and alerted the world to "this RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) government in India".

"The step that Modi took on Kashmir on Aug 5 is because they don't consider Kashmiris as equal humans and citizens," he added.

He said the whole world was witnessing India's attempts at demographic change in IoK that constituted war crimes according to the Geneva Convention. He stressed that India would "fail" in its efforts and Pakistan would continue to raise the issue at every forum.

'Courts are free'

During both of his addresses, the prime minister railed against leaders of the opposition PML-N and PPP who he said were abroad and didn't appear in their court cases. He questioned why they didn't appear in their cases when the courts in the country were free and had sent government ministers to jail as well.

Prime Minister Imran further said he did not leave the country when "politically motivated cases" against him were taken up by the Supreme Court and provided every piece of evidence asked for.

"I gave every answer in court [and] I didn't run abroad because I didn't commit theft — they ran abroad because they were looting the country for 30 years."

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