PTI rally: ‘I want investment in education; not bricks’

Eradication of corruption, brain drain high priorities for PTI supporters.

Saeed Rahman March 24, 2013
PTI rally in Lahore on March 23, 2013. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS


Change was definitely the buzzword at Minto Park on Saturday. It could be heard booming from the sound system regardless of who was speaking on stage and every Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporter’s mouth.

All of them, however, had their own interpretation of what the change was and how it could be brought about.

Rashid, a banker who lives in Lahore, said that the change could be seen in the results of the intra-party elections.

Rashid said he was pleased that Khan had made it clear that he would be the chairman of PTI for only two terms, “Imran has turned the party into an institution. Shaukat Khanum runs successfully without him at the helm. So will the PTI.”

Muhammad Ali, 28, said the rally was a celebration of the success of the intra-party elections. Ali is inspired by Khan’s life and his achievements. “Every leader has lived a privileged life. Bilalwal Bhutto studied at Oxford, never lived in this country yet he is the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party,” said Ali rubbishing any criticism of Khan’s lifestyle.

Iqbal Azeem, 32, thinks Khan inspires trust and is sincere to the people. Azeem had flown in from Karachi for the day to attend the rally.  He lives in Jordan but plans to come back to vote for the PTI.

Azeem was pleased with the turn out. He came to the rally at 3 pm and said he had seen the numbers increase rapidly.

“Turkey was called the sick man of Europe when they saw a change of leadership and look at them now,” said Ahmed Najib. The 58-year-old businessman believes that Pakistan has the mineral and human resources to move forward.  “It just lacks leadership.”

The eradication of corruption is a priority for Najib. Ali said that he had joined the party because he thought that with Imran Khan at the helm, the corrupt would be thrown out.

He is not worried about Khan’s two terms as chairman. “A strong foundation must be laid for Imran’s long term goals to come to fruition. And if the people want him to stay beyond two terms, he will stay.”

Raja Azhar Hyatt, too, said that once the political process was strong, Imran Khan excusing himself as chairman of PTI would not hurt the party. 54-year-old Hyatt who works in a private firm had arrived at Minto Park at 2 pm with his family. He believes that PTI will win the elections and Khan will be the next prime minister. “Pakistan will be in competition with Singapore, Korea and China once corruption is eradicated and we will be fine,” he said.

Hyatt said that once the prime minister and the president started paying taxes and their finances become public knowledge, the country could move forward.

High on his change manifesto was the brain drain. “Thousands of people leave Pakistan for the United Kingdom every month because  they see no future here.  We have to provide them with opportunities to make a better life in this country.”

Hyatt said that in the past he had voted for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. The PPP, he added, was too leftist for him.

Nasreen Tanveer also voted for the PML-N a good 20 years ago. For the past 16 or 17 years, she has been voting for PTI.

“I don’t want bricks, I want investment in education,” she said. She believes Khan understands her hopes.

Tanveer had been operated on recently. She said she had wires and plates in her leg but yet had come to the rally. “I am here for my kids. I want a bright future for them. That is on top of my change manifesto.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2013.


Ammad | 10 years ago | Reply

That the most ridiculous substitution he could have come up with .

Aziz | 10 years ago | Reply

Fully agree with IK.

We shall educate ourselves first

We shall go on to the end, we shall 'learn' ..., we shall ' learn' on the seas and oceans, we shall 'learn' with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our 'country', whatever the cost may be, we shall 'learn' on the beaches, we shall 'learn' on the landing grounds, we shall 'learn' in the fields and in the streets, we shall 'learn' in the hills;

ADAPTED : From Churchill's famous speech. Churchill finally won the war. We will too, Insha-allah.

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