Updated Aug 29, 2018 10:00am

Aamir Liaquat accuses PTI leadership of neglecting Karachi

Dawn.com

Televangelist and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Aamir Liaquat on Tuesday issued multiple berating statements against the party's senior leadership including Prime Minister Imran Khan, voicing concerns that the representatives from Karachi were being allegedly sidelined.

Liaquat launched into a tirade against the party during a talk show on Samaa TV. He complained that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not nominate anyone from Karachi and completely ignored the province for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

When asked what the premier should do to address his grievances, Liaquat said: "They [Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf] have no movement in Karachi. The 'winds of Imran Khan' were blowing in Karachi which brought them success in certain constituencies, while in others certain personalities secured victory for them."

"I told Imran Khan we need to focus on forming a concrete movement for Karachi at ground level because local body elections are to take place after 17 months. If you want to win, you will have to work on the union council level," the MNA said.

He protested that the government is not extending the lease for Martin Quarters, complaining that the people of Clayton Quarters were forced to live under the open sky. "Moreover, the residents of Press Quarters lost their homes today as they were torn down, while the people living in FC Quarters are in utter despair," he maintained.

Here the show host pointed out, "But isn't it true that PM Khan has said he feels the pain of Karachiites and is even fielding a candidate of presidentship from Karachi?"

On this, Liquat flew off the handle and said: "Was Mamnoon Hussain from Lala Musa? Was Pervez Musharraf from Jhelum?"

"What a strange point you have raised," he said rebuking the show host.

"This is [tantamount to] throwing dust in people's faces if one says 'he [PM Khan] is bringing a candidate from Karachi'," he said in vexation.

"What begs more attention than 'austerity' is the fact that you dig out all the money sitting comfortably in the bellies of thieving crocodiles who have stolen it," he asserted.

"Saving costs on '18 cars and teacups' will not bring about simplicity," he said disdainfully.

"Feeding people is a tradition of the Prophet (PBUH). No one was left with an empty belly from the Prophet's home," he said while criticising the austerity measures announced by the PTI government.

"For now, they should bring their own house to order and address the grievances of their own who are unhappy."

When asked by the show host who else is unhappy besides him, he responded while chuckling: "You think I am so naive that I would tell you how many people I have who stand with me?"

He went on to steer the conversation back to the issue of Karachi, saying that the city had been sidelined. "I was not invited to a meeting held by the Sindh governor today. Imran Ismail sahab did not invite me."

Liaquat said that stories alleging that he [Ismail] did not have my number were concocted whereas "just one minute prior to coming on your show I was on the phone with him".

"He [PM Khan] is not ready to talk on these basic issues because 'I am a stranger and an outsider'," the PTI lawmaker claimed, convinced that he was being ignored due to his specific background.

The show host then pointed out that many people were from the outside including the Punjab Assembly Speaker, to which Liaquat responded by saying: "There is a lot of difference between those outsiders and this outsider."

The host interjected by saying: "Imran Ismail brought you into the party's fold himself with a lot of affection."

"I am not going to say anything to Imran Ismail, however, I will say about Faisal Vawda, who has given a beeper on Samaa TV, that he should keep his wits about himself.

"He [Vawda] said we don't take Aamir Liaquat seriously. Well, you will soon take me very seriously," warned Liaquat.

"Take care of your own food and your life. Worry about where you are eating nowadays," he continued to warn Vawda.

"I am saying all this to him [Vawda] 'between the lines' because given what he has said I could have responded with much more than this but I do not wish to drag this matter any further than this."

When asked if Liaquat plans on "moving left or right" the show host was told that there was no question of such a thing.

"I will remain in PTI and its Karachi chapter," said Liaquat resolutely.

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