FAISALABAD: In a whistle-stop tour that took him across several towns and cities in central Punjab on Sunday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan broke new ground on Sunday with pledges to create a pluralistic, terror-free society in the country. Imran also vowed to change the destiny of ordinary people, introducing a qualitative revolution in all spheres of life.
“We pledge that after coming into power, we will protect the life and property of all minorities including Christians, Hindus and Sikhs and uphold all their other rights in consonance with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh),” said PTI chief Imran Khan to a crowd that cheered in response.
The PTI chief addressed more than a dozen rallies on Sunday. He began in Lahore, then stopped at Khushab, Chiniot, Bhowana, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, and finally reached Faisalabad, where the largest gathering of the day was held at Iqbal Park’s Dhobi Ghatt ground. “Those who destroyed the system through bad governance cannot bring any change or betterment. They can only weaken the state institutions,” said the PTI chief to a crowd of over 20,000 in Faisalabad.
The PTI will closely follow the fundamental principles of an Islamic welfare state, as spelled out by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) after the conquest of Makkah. “I want to convert Pakistan into a real Islamic welfare state and provide basic amenities to the oppressed classes, and provide for orphans, widows, the disabled from the state exchequer, as was done by the Holy Prophet (pbuh)”. “These are the golden principles for ruling an Islamic state.”
The PTI chief said that the unrest and anarchy prevailing in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and manifesting itself through separatist movements in Balochistan resulted from injustice and favoritism. “The root causes of lawlessness and terrorism are injustice and favouritism.”
“PTI will save the country from the menace of terrorism, lawlessness and will change the ordinary man’s destiny.”
On the PML-N
Criticising PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Imran said that the former premier had corrupted state institutions to “achieve his nefarious designs” and to “enact dictatorial rule by hook or by crook”. Nawaz had tried to subordinate the top court for a “personal vendetta.”
“How can such a man respect principles?” asked Imran.
Moreover, referring to tape aired by television channels of a conversation between Justice (retd) Malik Muhammad Qayyum and former chief minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Imran Khan said, “This tape has exposed the true face of those pressing for the rule of law; those are making empty promises for bringing justice to all.”
“Nawaz Sharif claims that he will introduce a bullet train and establish a chain of motorways — but I will convert Pakistan into a respectable nation,” said Imran. “A nation that can live with dignity, honor and grace.”
Meanwhile, former federal minister for water and power Raja Nadir Parvaiz announced to join PTI on the eve of the Iqbal Park meeting.
“I will not seek loans from any foreign country,” said Imran, as the crowd applauded. “Rather, I will collect taxes from those who have to pay on the basis of their income, without enhancing the tax rate.”
Expressing confidence in PTI’s victory, Imran said: “On May 11, the entire nation will celebrate PTI’s victory after offering prayers of thankfulness – I, myself, will join the crowds With additional input from news wires
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2013.