ISLAMABAD: A day after announcing an end to ‘dharna politics’, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan promised a ‘Naya Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’, pledging to redouble efforts to improve governance in the province where his party is in power.
“Now, all our energies will be focused on improving governance in K-P. We will prove it to detractors that governance in K-P is better than other provinces,” he said while addressing a ‘Dharna convention’ in Islamabad on Sunday.
Imran had called off his party’s 126-day-long dharna at Islamabad’s D-Chowk following the December 16 massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar in order to lend support to the government’s counterterrorism efforts.
He reiterated on Sunday that the PTI would not create any difficulties for the government in its fight against terrorism. “We have decided not to create any difficulties so that the government could succeed in the war on terror,” he added.
Outlining his good governance agenda, Imran said a cleanliness drive would be launched in the province followed by a tree-plantation campaign, while steps would also be taken to improve the functioning of state-run hospitals and educational institutes and supply of safe drinking water would be ensured across the province.
Referring to the local government (LG) elections, the PTI chief said the provincial government was ready to hold the polls but the Election Commission of Pakistan was dillydallying. “The real change will come through the LG system,” he said, adding that it would lead to the devolution of power to the village level.
Talking about the change he has promised to his supporters, Imran said in a lighter vein that a change has also come in his personal life. “Tabdeeli to mere ghar mei bhi agayi hai (change has occurred within my house as well),” he said referring to his marriage with Reham Khan.
Imran said his party’s D-Chowk dharna gave him an opportunity to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his party. We have decided to reorganise the party at the district level. People who are not performing will be replaced,” he added. “We have to make the PTI a democratic party.”
Reiterating his earlier stance that the 2013 elections were the most rigged polls in the parliamentary history of Pakistan, the PTI chief ‘thanked’ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for “giving me 126 days to awaken the nation”.
He added that no one should have any misconception about his party’s stance, saying “the PTI will not budge an inch on its principled stand on the rigging investigation.” He also censured former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah, vowing to hold him accountable for his party worker’s killing in Faisalabad. “Listen, Rana Sanaullah, you will find yourself in jail this year.”
Taking a jibe at the government for the current petrol crisis, he said, “We were going for a nationwide shutdown but the PML-N government itself has shut the entire country by creating the fuel crisis.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2015.