Imran, Maryam make last-ditch effort to woo voters

Published July 16, 2022
PTI chairman Imran Khan addressing a public gathering in Lahore.—Murtaza Ali / White Star
PTI chairman Imran Khan addressing a public gathering in Lahore.—Murtaza Ali / White Star

LAHORE: PTI chairman Imran Khan on Friday warned Mr X, the chief election commissioner and the civil administration that any attempt to rig Punjab’s by-elections tomorrow would lead the country towards a situation worse than in Sri Lanka, where the prime minister’s house was set on fire and the president had to flee.

Explaining the conseque­nces of any rigging attempt, Mr Khan stressed that the Sri Lankan government faced the wrath of 12.5 million people, whereas Pakistan was a country of 220m.

Insisting that Pakistanis would never accept a rigged poll, he said: “I will prefer to embrace death than accepting slavery of looters and thieves imposed by their foreign masters.”

The nation had decided to wage a “jihad” against corrupt elements and the looters of public wealth, the former prime minister said, adding that any attempt to stop people from getting rid of an “unconstitutional government in Punjab” would lead to serious consequences.

PTI chief warns CEC, Mr X and admin ‘rigging’ will make country worse than Sri Lanka

While expressing the hope that the PTI would win most seats, Mr Khan asked the youth and polling agents to stay alert on the polling day and ensure that no one rigs the elections.

The PTI chairman on Friday made whirlwind visits and addressed public meetings in by-election constituencies in Faisalabad (PP-97) and Lahore (PP-168, PP-167 and PP-170) as the election campaign concluded at midnight, a day before the by-elections in 20 constituencies in 14 districts across the province.

He launched a tirade against Chief Election Com­missioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and asked him to resign after the commission admitted in the Lahore High Court that millions of voters had been declared dead beca­use of a computer mistake.

The PTI chairman also chided the CEC for continuously visiting Lahore and “bowing before unconstitutional CM Hamza Shehbaz” and “all-time liar Maryam Nawaz”. Mr Khan also sho­wed different video clips of former premier Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and CM Hamza Shehbaz and asserted that all these were prone to corruption.

The PTI chairman also warned that the DIG (Ope­rations) Lahore and CCPO Lahore would soon be brought in the dock for their “illegal actions” against peaceful PTI workers, who marched on Islamabad in May.

Referring to “neutrals”, Mr Khan said they should explain that how a watchman could stay neutral when thieves and dacoits attacked the home being guarded by him.

Addressing the last mass public meeting in PP-170, the PTI chairman asked the Sup­reme Court to try him under Article 6, as asked by a jud­ge, and added that he would explain everything surrounding the cipher, no-confidence movement, toppling of his government and the looters and thieves coming to power.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2022

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