LAHORE, Sept 26: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf Chief Imran Khan has said a recent report of Stanford University, California, USA, has confirmed that almost 90 per cent people being killed in US drone attacks in Waziristan are innocent citizens.
“The Stanford University report has indirectly confirmed that the Pakistan government is conniving with the US government, expecting it will help it come into power again in the next elections,” Mr Khan said at a news conference at his Zaman Park residence on Wednesday.
At the press conference, former MNA and Sheikhupura District Nazim Sahibzada Mian Jalil Ahmad Sharaqpuri announced joining the PTI along with his supporters.
Mr Khan said he had been asking the federal government to give names of the “alleged terrorists” being killed in drone attacks but it never revealed their identity.
“The government is pursuing hypocritical policy by condemning US drone attacks on one hand and facilitating the US government in such strikes secretly,” he added. Fearing its hypocrisy would be exposed, he alleged, the government was denying visas to international human rights activists and journalists.
He said international observers would raise voice against drone attacks in the West, but “apparently it does not suit the present government”.
The PTI chief said the Stanford University report also established that the “war against terrorism” was counter-productive in Pakistan as it proved instrumental in multiplying terrorism in the country. He said all Pakistanis must join PTI’s ‘Waziristan Peace March’ to play their role in eradicating terrorism in the country.
Stating the present government had ruined the small farmers by raising prices of goods and services and lowering the value for agriculture produce, Imran Khan announced launching a ‘civil disobedience’ campaign from all villages in Pakistan. He said the small farmers were no more able to pay bills for their tube-well’s electricity and diesel.
“The government should stop squeezing poor citizens by raising prices of essential items including diesel and petrol and instead collect taxes from millionaires and billionaires, including Asif Ali Zardari,” he demanded.
To a question, the PTI chief said two types of politicians – ideological and opportunists – had joined his party after Oct 30 public meting in Lahore. “The (joining by) top politicians helped PTI grow strong and now the departure of opportunists is also strengthening the party base,” he added.
Saying more such (opportunist) people would soon leave the party, he added: “The PTI will win on the basis of its ideology and not the candidates”.
To another question, he said, the PTI was fighting against two media cells – one of Punjab government and the other of centre – that created doubts about the party and lowered its popularity graph for the time being.
He said President Zardari was never available to the Pakistanis even when they were caught in floods or terrorism. “The PTI has given its policies to make Pakistan a true welfare state,” he added.