Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Sunday that his ‘Naya Pakistan’ vision was incomplete without a ‘Naya Karachi’, as he plotted his party’s victory in the December 5 local government (LG) elections in the port city.
The PTI chief also voiced confidence that his party’s candidate would emerge as Karachi’s new mayor.
Addressing a meeting in the city’s Lyari area, Imran said the politics of hate, which, according to him, started 30 years back, had destroyed the city.
“I ask the people to vote for the PTI and give us a chance to work in the city as the ones who are constantly being elected have delivered nothing to it,” Imran said, in an apparent reference to major parties in Sindh – the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Imran said before the mid-1980s Karachi was progressing. “It was the ‘City of Lights’ …people used to roam freely without any fear of targeted killing or snatching,” he said.
He said political forces later divided the city on the basis of ethnic and religious grounds for their own benefit. “I have seen the downfall of Karachi,” he said, adding that Karachi was systematically ruined to shift Karachi’s investment to Dubai.
Denouncing the arch rival MQM’s slogan for the LG election ‘Mayor Tou Apna Hona Chaheye’, Imran Khan asked if he is not from the people. “I hold a green passport and everything that belongs to me is here,” Imran said, obliquely referring to British nationality of the MQM chief Altaf Hussain.
The PTI chief, however, vowed to establish a system of justice and fix the police department for good. “Let us deliver for one more year in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and people will vote for us on the grounds of our governance in the next elections, without any election campaign,” Imran claimed.
He said that in K-P – the province ruled by the PTI – there is no need for Rangers because the police department works so well. “The reason why Rangers were needed in Sindh is because the police department is politicised,” he maintained.
Criticising the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led federal government, Imran said due to the government’s bad governance and faulty policies the poor were suffering and paying huge taxes.
Earlier, addressing another corner meeting at Banaras Chowrangi, the PTI chief announced that his party would end the monopoly of a single party in Karachi. He also urged the party activists to do door to door campaigns and spread the party’s word. “After interacting with the people of Karachi, I can see that Karachi has changed,” he said.
The PTI chief spent a busy day in Karachi, addressing party supporters and workers at different spots. He marched through different areas of the metropolis along with his party leaders in the form of a rally. He also went to the house of the Pakistan Air Force’s martyred pilot Mariam Mukhtar and offered condolence.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2015.