ISLAMABAD: “If top Indian politician Jayalalitha can be sent to jail for corruption, then why can’t we ask Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif how he has built a multi-billion-rupee empire,” said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.
Addressing his supporters on Islamabad’s Constitution Avenue, Imran Khan felicitated PTI activists for showing steadfastness in the face of all odds during the last 45 days. “PTI workers have set a new record of staging the longest sit-in which has shaken the power corridors and will end rule and politics of dynasties in the country,” he said.
“I would continue to attack like Mehmood of Ghazni and will hold rallies in major cities but the Islamabad sit-in will not end until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns,” he said referring to the most prominent ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire who had led successful military expeditions into Indian subcontinent from 997 to his death in 1030.
Imran said he could see that Lahore rally, scheduled for Sunday (today) would be a charged one and would prove whether Lahore belongs to the PTI or the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Addressing the prime minister, the PTI chief said he would ask Nawaz Sharif not to resign for some more time so that he (Imran) could wake up the entire nation.
He said the Sharif family had been in power for several decades but the PTI would not let them prolong their rule now.
Imran also announced the launch of PTI’s special wing for children in order to make them true Pakistanis. “I will myself write the constitution for children’s PTI,” he added.
The PTI chief censured the government for blaming the PTI sit-in for the increase in cost of the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metro bus project. “[They say] the cost of the project has increased by Rs6 billion. It is another lie by the Sharif government,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court was going to take up a case against Nawaz for telling lies in the National Assembly.
Reiterating his allegations of rigging in the May 2013 general elections, he said the government had sacked National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) former chairman Tariq Malik so that he could not verify votes.
Malik, he said, had revealed that the NADRA was capable of verifying as much as 100,000 votes in one day. “What is the reason why they [rulers] did not verify votes in four constituencies which we had demanded earlier,” he added.
The PTI chief said Tariq Malik’s family was subjected to threats due to which he left the country. “However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had declared his sacking illegal,” he added.
Earlier talking to Express News’ anchor Shahzeb Khanzada, the PTI chief said he had never imagined that their movement would spread so fast. “It used to anger me that we do not raise our voice against injustice and accept oppression but today the entire nation has woken up,” he said.
He said the more Nawaz Sharif delayed his resignation, the more their movement would spread. “Today [Saturday] people raised the slogan ‘Go Nawaz, Go’ at a gathering where Hamza Shahbaz [Nawaz’s nephew] was present,” he said, adding that anger of people against the government was increasing with time.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2014.
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