LAHORE: PTI chairman Imran Khan says he struggled for over two years to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which could have removed some 130 ways and means to rig elections.
Speaking to a mass gathering during by-election campaign in PP-158 on Thursday, Mr Khan regretted that the ‘thieves and dacoits’ in connivance with the Chief Election Commissioner did not let the EVMs introduced in elections.
He said it was now a challenge for the nation to defeat the ‘turncoats’ by voting for the PTI candidate. “It is a crusade against the corrupt and criminals. It is not politics but Jihad,” he stressed.
He also targeted the Punjab chief secretary and IGP and asked them to behave as per law instead of becoming slaves of Hamza Shehbaz. He regretted that he had himself posted these two officers in Punjab but now they were not performing their duties honestly.
Khan said the PTI was noting down the names of civil and police officers who either worked against the party or tortured its workers during long march as they would be held responsible one day.
He said the Chief Election Commissioner would be considered a ‘traitor’ in times to come and added that the CEC did not utter a word on massive use of state power and rigging in local government elections in Sindh. He said some 15 per cent candidates could not stand for the local government elections due to pressure and threats hurled by the Sindh police.
Reacting, the ECP rejected Khan’s tirade. “The PTI chief’s allegation against the commission and its head are baseless. The ECP will continue its work according to law and will resist pressure,” a statement by the commission spokesman said.
Earlier, in his speech in Sheikhupura (falling in PP-146), Khan castigated the United States for `installing convicts’ as prime minister and insulting a sovereign nation of 220 million people.
Speaking to a charged crowed, the PTI leader said the US did not appoint a person on bail even as peon but it was continuously supporting the convicts and criminals like Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah and Asif Ali Zardari to rule in Pakistan.
“The US promotes these criminals knowing well that they would remain in its control and never stand in the interest of the country.”
Mr Khan said he too wanted to have peace with all nations but would not accept to become slave of any country. “I will never allow the US to dictate me not go to for Russian oil.”
Mr Khan also lambasted the civil administration as well as the Election Commission of Pakistan for helping `turncoats’ win the by-election scheduled for July 17. He also chided the police for launching FIRs against him, anchor Imran Riaz Khan, journalist Ayaz Amir as well as social media activists. He said the PML-N was buying votes to win the by-poll.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2022