GILGIT: In a last minute bid to expedite the party’s electioneering before Gilgit-Baltistan’s poll showdown, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan urged the region’s people to vote for change and determine their own fate.
During his second visit to the region on Wednesday in the run-up to G-B polls, Imran addressed a sizeable audience at a rally in Astore Valley. Earlier, Imran had flown to G-B, accompanied by Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed, to campaign for his party ahead of the June 8 legislative assembly elections.
The PTI supremo said it is time the people stand up for their rights. “No one can help you if you yourself refuse to take the initiative,” he told the rally’s attendees.
“If you do not cast your ballots sensibly, rulers like Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari will continue to usurp your rights,” he added.
There has seldom been an occasion in recent times when Imran did not lambast Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in a public meeting. “PML-N wants to buy voters off and is offering good money for it,” he said. “Take the money that they are offering, it is yours only, but vote for PTI only,” he quipped.
After the Astore rally, the PTI chief flew to Chilas town, headquarters of Diamer, where another mammoth crowd was awaiting his presence. “The region is gifted with resources in every sector but the people have deliberately been deprived of education and financial opportunities,” he said.
The PTI chief expressed regret that previous governments did not tap G-B’s tourism and power generation potential for the benefit of its people. “The area has never been a priority for rulers,” he said.
Imran reiterated he was ready to hold re-election for local bodies in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa under the supervision of the army if opposition parties ask for it. “I’m ready because I have not rigged the polls as was done by Nawaz Sharif,” he said.
Praising the Pervez Khattak administration in K-P, Imran said K-P has better education and justice systems and the most efficient police force in the whole of Pakistan. “The situation in K-P is better because we believe in merit.”
The PTI chairman is scheduled to visit Gilgit and Hunza on Thursday (today).
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2015.
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