SWAT / ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that it was the responsibility of the entire nation to come out of their homes and stand with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Islamabad on March 27, against “the three thieves” to tell the world that they are against the “hypocrites and the allies of the United States”.
The PM also said his happiness knew no bounds, as no other politician, not even Maulana Fazlur Rehman who claims to be champion of Islam, could ever speak against Islamophobia, while the United Nations adopted a resolution on combating Islamophobia and designated March 15 as the International Day against Islamophobia due to his own efforts.
The premier expressed these views while addressing a huge gathering in a Saidu Sharif ground. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Senator Faisal Javed, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed and all lawmakers from Swat.
PM Khan said that neither the Maulana nor any prime minister in the past could ever speak against Islamophobia, because they all were allegedly the “slaves of the west”.
“It was I, who for the first time raised the issue in the OIC meeting and asked all the Muslim countries to stand united against Islamophobia. I kept continuing my efforts and spoke against Islamophobia in my speech in the United Nations,” he said, adding that the entire Muslim world was congratulating him for the landmark deed.
This was the first landmark achievement in this regard after the declaration of the Ahmadis as a religious minority in the Constitution, 1973, Mr Khan said.
He said the ‘three thieves’ looted the country with both hands and were making all-out efforts to eliminate the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) because they were afraid of the corruption proceedings against them. “They are sitting in Sindh House with a heap of money to buy the MPs. They are trying to buy the conscience of the elected representatives by the unconstitutional act of horse-trading,” the PM said, asking the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take action against the alleged horse-trading.
He said the PTI not only saved the country from coronavirus but also saved its economy. “With our wise policies and decisions during the Covid-19, we surprised the world and now every country acknowledges our policies,” he said.
He also recalled the government achievement of record tax collection with the result that that he lowered the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs10 and power tariff by Rs5 per unit at a time when many countries were facing record inflation.
Also, “it is due to our good policies in agriculture and IT field, the farmers and youth earned record high money and we are ahead of the thieves in every sector,” Mr Khan said, asking the youth of Swat to vote for bat in the local government elections.
Earlier, CM Mahmood Khan welcomed Mr Khan to Swat and thanked the huge gathering for welcoming the prime minister with zest and zeal. Minister Saeed also addressed the gathering.
Meanwhile, sticking to its decision to hold a “mammoth” public meeting at D-Chowk here on March 27, the government formed a high-level committee to finalise the arrangements and submitted a formal application to seek NOC from the local administration to hold the rally at the same venue where PTI had staged the country’s longest sit-in against the PML-N government.
The decision to form the 30-member core management committee was taken at high-level meeting presided over by Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, said a press release.
Three PTI leaders — Shehbaz Gill, Kanwal Shauzab and Zahid Hussain Kazmi — submitted an application with Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat, seeking an NOC for holding the public meeting at D-Chowk. “We are here to submit our application so get NOC for holding Jalsa,” said Shehbaz Gill while presenting the application to the deputy commissioner.
The deputy commissioner accepted the application and told the applicants: “We have received your application and will issue NOC in 48 hours after receiving reports from the quarters concerned.”
Following submission of the application, the three PTI leaders held a press conference outside the DC Office, giving reasons for holding the public meeting despite having the required number of votes in the assembly to defeat the opposition’s motion against the prime minister.
Mr Gill said the opposition could also hold its Jalsa in Islamabad, but not at the same venue [D-Chowk]. Asked if government MNAs would attend the no-confidence session, he said: “It is yet to be decided by the party leadership.”
Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2022