GHOTKI: Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has formally announced his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) at the Ghotki rally.
Addressing a rally of around 40,000 people, Qureshi announced that he was joining the party which was "working towards justice and change". The former foreign minister announced that he would be attending the PTI rally in Karachi on December 25.
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Shah Mahmood Qureshi joins the PTI.
"I join the party that is working towards justice and change...I am now part of Imran Khan's party."
Qureshi announces he will join the Karachi rally.
"Will I see Sindhi topis and Ajraks at the Karachi rally?"
Qureshi also said that Pakistan's nuclear program is not safe as long as Asif Ali zardari is in power. He said he would speak on this further at the PTI's Karachi rally.
Qureshi blasts Zardari and the PPP, claims Benazir Bhutto would never have run the country like it is being run now.
Qureshi outlines major issues in Pakistanis economic situation and in the education, agriculture sector.
Qureshi says the youth of today is looking towards Imran Khan because he is looking for a new solution to Pakistan’s problems.
“I ask you, is it time to get rid of these [political] crooks? Are you with me?”
Qureshi says his path changed when he refused to “sell Pakistani blood” in the Raymond Davis issue.
“In front of Kayani and Zardari both, I said, here is my resignation.”
Qureshi says his second major step was deciding his future political affiliation and leave the National Assembly.
“A new wind of change will come from Khyber to Karachi” says Qureshi.
“Pakistan ka matlab kya? La Illaha Illalah” shouts Qureshi as he leads a rallying cry.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the Ghotki rally.
The former PPP stalwart says this is the start of great change in the country.
“I know there are many watching this rally…Asif Zardari is watching this rally from Islamabad. Zardari said Shah Mahmood Qureshi would not hold a rally or enter Sindh. Today we have shown him Sindh is owned by Sindhis.”
Imran Khan speaks upon arrival at Ghotki.
He formally invites Shah Mahmood Qureshi to join the PTI again -- terms Qureshi a "clean candidate" worthy of PTI.
"I wish to say from the PTI's side, that we are not a family-based party. Whoever works hard for the party will rise. Imran Khan's children will not rule over this party."
Commenting on the Nato attack that killed 24 Pakistanis, Khan said it was time to stop the US War on Terror.
"We have no idea where this war will lead, and neither do the Americans" says Khan.
The PTI Chairman urged the government to pursue the killing of Pakistani soldiers with the UN.
“It is time to make a new plan, a new direction for Pakistan…one of justice. Our tsunami cannot be stopped by any political party. This tsunami which has reached Sindh will reach Karachi on December 25, and then I will teach people how to drop two wickets with one ball.”
PTI Chairman Imran Khan has arrived at the Ghotki rally. He is being seated next to Shah Mahmood Qureshi on-stage.
Large caravans loaded with PTI supporters are showing up for the Ghotki rally as well.
Marvi Memon is also joining the rally shortly. Her latest tweets read:
Welcome at sindh border by pti sindh team n pti sindh prez Naeem
Dawntv seems to have broken a news that I havnt even decided on. Interesting! anyway we r enroute the jalsa. Ghotki c u soon
Express 24/7 correspondent Owais Jafferi reported that about 20,000 supporters have gathered in Ghotki, while more caravans are en route to the venue.
Around 5,000 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) workers have already showed up to support Qureshi and are chanting slogans such as “Long live Imran Khan!”.
Supporters from as far as Balochistan have come to attend the rally in Sindh.
Prominent leaders Mir Mumtaz Bhutto and Ghinwa Bhutto have also been invited to attend the rally.
Sindh President of Pakistan PTI Naeemul Haq sais that party chief Imran khan will also attend the rally in Ghotki. He said that a large number of PTI workers would also attend and his party’s flags would be displayed prominently during the public meeting, hoping that it will be a “mixed show of supporters of Qureshi and the PTI”.
The former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart has also conveyed his decision to both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and PTI chief Imran Khan and has asked PTI to join his gathering in Ghotki. Qureshi’s close friend and member of PML-N Asghar Ali Rind informed Sharif of his final decision.
Sources also said that Shah Mehmood Qureshi made his decision after two days of consultation with friends inside and outside the country, who “strongly recommended” it.