“I assure you that the future of Pakistan is bright and this will someday be the country giving loans to other countries rather than the one living on them,” said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan, while addressing a gathering in Shujabad, Multan on Saturday.
Khan expressed his hopes for the future of the country and condemned the impact that the US war on terror has had in Pakistan. “I assure you that if my government comes to power we will not take orders from the US like the zombies sitting in the power annals of Islamabad and Lahore,” Khan said. “I envision a Pakistan that provides employment not only for all of its own people but also for the people who right now are working abroad. This will be the place people will come to work and study,” he added. “No citizen of Pakistan will go abroad to look for a better life because they will be able to find it here,” he said. Khan addressed told that the ‘tsunami of change’ had already begun and they would all be carried along with it. “I will not only finish corruption, I will eradicate it from the root,” he said, adding that the present government was run by corrupt people at all levels.
Khan said that military action was not the solution to any of the problems that Pakistan is facing. “The people of Pakistan should support me to end nepotism and root out the culture of bribery that prevails in this country,” he said.
Khan also condemned the Saturday attack of NATO forces, adding that the Pakistani government had wasted 70 billion dollars belonging to the Pakistani people on fighting the wars of others. “I know that the government will not do anything except issue some silly comments against brutality even after this attack. I do not issue comments, I believe in taking action,” he said.
Khan said that the political fight between Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif was like watching a pre-planned wrestling match. “Neither has any skill or talent and both are corrupt,” he said.
Organisers of the rally had expected 30,000 people to show up but the turnout was much lower. “The crowd was smaller than expected and despite preparations for a much larger rally, the total number of people present hardly amounted to 3,000,” said Mubashar Khan.
“We expected to see people from all over Southern Punjab but that wasn’t the case. The total number was probably 2-3,000 people,” said a Punjab special branch official. More than 20 Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) members announced their intention of joining the PTI over the weekend. Imran Khan is scheduled to attend the rally organised Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Ghotki today.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2011.