LAHORE: As the campaigning for the by-election at the Lahore’s NA-122 constituency finally came to an end, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Chairman Imran Khan on Friday challenged the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – to a face-off while once again calling him the most corrupt person in the country.
Addressing an electrifying crowd of thousands of supporters at Lahore’s Mozang Chungi, Imran demanded that the prime minister confront him regarding allegations of treason and funding of his party instead of hiding behind his ‘foolish ministers’.
An agitated Imran urged PML-N workers to question their leaders regarding their assets. “Do you have the courage to question their assets and investments which lie abroad?” he said.
Read: NA-122 by-poll: Disgruntled PPP group puts its weight behind PML-N
Imran lashed out at the Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, who, in a recent statement, called him a traitor. “Those who stole Pakistan’s money and invested it abroad are the real traitors,” he said.
The PTI chief referred to Nawaz Sharif’s exile to Saudi Arabia after the October 1999 military coup and said he would not flee to Jeddah in trying times. He said, “I will live and die in Pakistan and that is why I am not a traitor.” “Tame your ministers, Mian sahib!” he added.
Imran also responded to the funding allegations against the PTI and he demanded that the PML-N make its funding audit reports public. Claiming that the PML-N received finances from establishment, Osama Bin Laden and several Gulf states, Imran Khan challenged Nawaz’s cabinet to negate his claims.
Commenting on the by-poll, Imran Khan said his party’s candidate was contesting not against the PML-N’s candidate Ayaz Sadiq, but also against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Punjab Police and the Pakistan Railways.
“Like the MQM [Muttahida Quami Movement] which has a militant wing, Punjab police is the militant wing of the PML-N” he said.
Read: NA-122 by-elections: Dozens of ulema pledge support for PTI
Terming the PTI’s candidate Abdul Aleem Khan ‘a secret weapon’, Imran dismissed the PML-N’s allegations that Aleem Khan was involved in land grabbing. “The PML-N, you are a qabza group. Aleem Khan has won the hearts of the people”.
The concluding jalsa was attended by party’s top tier leadership including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Khan Tareen, Chaudhry Sarwar and the Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, all of whom also addressed the gathering.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2015