NOWSHERA: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday the episode with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was over after Altaf Hussain’s apology but reiterated that the 2012 Baldia factory fire was a serious and unpardonable matter.
Action must be taken against those named in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report into the deadly conflagration that claimed over 250 lives, Imran said while talking to reporters at the Nowshera Elite Police Training Centre after witnessing training rehearsal of a special combat unit of the police. “At least 257 poor workers were burnt alive, so mercy should not be shown to those involved in this crime,” he added.
The PTI chief said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was duty bound to contact the British government in light of the JIT report.
He said the K-P police was imparting commando training to about 2,200 policemen, including women. “I would make a recommendation to increase allowances for the special combat unit and ensure best training for its personnel,” he added. He commended the inclusion of women in the force.
Imran said though terrorism was a national issue, K-P was its worst victim. Before the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the federal government had promised to help the K-P government with funding. However, the promise was not fulfilled, Imran lamented, adding that the provincial government was left with no choice but to foot the bill of anti-terror actions from its own kitty.
He, however, noted with a palpable sense of relief that terror incidents had declined significantly in 2014 compared to the past four to five years.
Upper House elections
To a question about the upcoming elections for the upper house of parliament, the PTI chief said money had always been used in the polls for the Senate [to buy loyalties], and that his party would put an end to this practice. Imran said that PTI lawmakers have rejected, even if such offers were made to them.
He said the PTI lawmakers stood with their party and were setting new traditions. Imran called for conducting the Senate polls through open ballot to curb corrupt practices.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, PTI general secretary Jehangir Khan Tareen, PTI K-P chief Azam Swati, General Secretary Khalid Masood, Naeemul Haque and IGP K-P Nasir Khan Durrani were also present on this occasion.
Meeting with lawmakers
Meanwhile, during a meeting with his party lawmakers, Imran said hundreds of appointments made in the province’s different departments would be cancelled and would be filled through the National Testing Service (NTS). The lawmakers told The Express Tribune that Imran asked the chief minister to cancel the previous inductions and make new appointments on merit through the NTS.
Later, the PTI chief paid a visit to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) to inquire after the health of student Ahmed Nawaz who was injured in the December 16 APS attack, and assured him of government support for his treatment.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2015.
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