ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday asked the ruling PTI's office bearers and workers to work for achieving Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's vision of making Pakistan a modern Islamic welfare state as the PTI marked 24th anniversary of its foundation day.
Unlike the previous year when the PTI had held country-wide celebration with “full fervour and passion”, the party did not organize any function in view of the coronavirus outbreak and the PTI leaders took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share their messages for the day.
In his tweet, the PM said on this day 24 years ago the PTI embarked on its mission of achieving Quaid Azam's vision for Pakistan as a modern Islamic welfare.
“To achieve this we had to achieve the following: Rule of law where all are equal before the law and the powerful are brought under the law. Break the stranglehold of the elite capture of our state and of our nation's resources and redistribute these resources more equitably in order to lift our poor out of poverty. Ours has been a long and arduous struggle – more than any other political party.”
Imran Khan also remembered the PTI's founding members who passed away over the years. “Today I want to remember our founding members who are not with us anymore – Naeemul Haq, Ahsan Rasheed and Saloni Bokhari,” he wrote.
Following the premier's message, Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari tweeted: “It takes a whole generation's struggle to change established beliefs of a nation and a strong leader to change mindsets of that generation.”
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said: “Today marks #24YearsOfPTIstruggle, a party which fought for the rights of people and for an Islamic welfare state.”
In his tweet, Punjab Minister for Food Abdul Aleem Khan said the day marked “the 24th year of a movement that began with the ideology of justice, humanity and self-esteem.” Under Imran Khan's leadership, he said, “we will take Pakistan to new heights.”
Senator Faisal Javed Khan thanked Imran Khan for “motivating the youth of Pakistan and making them realize that they have a pivotal role to play for the establishment of a welfare state.”
Minister for Planning Asad Umar took to the micro-blogging site to reminisce the party's journey saying the PTI is not just a political party but a movement.
The PTI was founded on April 25, 1996, in Lahore. The party had won its first seat in 2002 general election when Imran Khan was elected to the National Assembly from his native Mianwali.
The party had boycotted the 2008 elections but in 2013 it received 7.5 million votes – the second highest in the election. Subsequently, the party formed government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
In 2018, PTI emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly and formed a coalition government in the center. The PTI is also in power in the K-P and Punjab provinces and is part of the coalition government in Balochistan.