KARACHI: Around 73 per cent of the Karachi’s police force is being used to provide protection to VIPs instead of the taxpaying people, said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan at a press conference on Friday.
The Karachi police have been “politicised”, said Khan, who added that the full extent of their powers needs to be returned to them so that they can work towards their main responsibility of combating violence in the city.
He also said that the recent spate of target killings in Sindh and Balochistan is “a deep conspiracy against Pakistan”, which can only be addressed and resolved by the judiciary, should they choose to “save democracy in Pakistan.”
Khan criticised a clause in the 18th Amendment pertaining to judicial appointments, terming it anti-democracy. The battle for the survival of democracy in Pakistan has entered its final phase, said Khan, adding that the verdict of the apex court in the case regarding the 18th Amendment will decide the future of democracy in the country.
If judicial appointments are made with the consultation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan instead of the parliament, it will strengthen the country’s democratic culture, said Khan, adding that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is too “friendly” with the government, despite being the opposition party. He was of the belief that the PML-N was concerned with its own interests and was therefore unsuitable to play the role an opposition party was meant to play.
“In the past, even Maulana Fazalur Rehman has shown firmer opposition, when compared to the farce of the PML-N,” Khan alleged while charging the latter of supporting the military operation in Fata “to toe the US agenda and hide their own corruption”.
He added that there was no opposition in Balochistan as the ministries were being run by all the lawmakers in the province simultaneously, instead of one or two decision makers. Target killings have hit Balochistan very hard and separatist forces are becoming stronger in the province, he noted.
Political parties should form a stronger alliance against the oppressive polices of the government so that the country can be saved from a horrible crisis, he said.
Khan was of the view that the incumbent government has “burdened the people of Pakistan” with more taxes, including the Value Added Tax and the General Sales Tax, instead of imposing taxes on the more “privileged” classes.
The system of taxation should be remade, keeping the real income of the middle class in mind, said Khan, who added that a levy of Rs32 per litre of oil is a “glaring injustice” as it applies to the poor and the rich indiscriminately.
The country is functioning on loans from other countries as the rulers have left it insolvent, said Khan.
Inflation and poverty can be curtailed if the government cuts down on its own “luxurious expenses”, he said, accusing those in power of not honestly declaring all their assets, which, Khan charged, are worth “trillions of rupees”.
He also accused the treasury of hiding their assets in “secret foreign bank accounts” and demanded that the undeclared assets of the members of the assembly be seized.
“Why do these leaders hide their assets in foreign countries when they are involved in politics in Pakistan?” Khan questioned. The country, he said, will have to face “a revolution” if the ways of the corrupt are not checked.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2010.
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