- PTI chief promises to restore peace in Karachi, calls upon all communities to unite against oppressors as around 50,000 gather near Quaid’s Mausoleum for PTI’s rally
- PTI Vice Chairman Qureshi flays Hashmi for ‘siding with Sharif’, says PPP is no longer Bhutto’s party, vows bringing PTI to interior Sindh
Addressing a crowd of more than 50,000 supporters in Karachi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Sunday vowed to continue his campaign to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as he called upon the people from different communities in Karachi to unite against the oppression of the incumbent rulers.
Addressing the participants in front of the Quaid’s Mausoleum, Khan said that he had come to Karachi to unite all communities to counter the incumbent rulers’ strategy to divide the people for political gains.
“I have come here to bring together Sindhis, Mohajirs, Pakhtuns, Baloch and Punjabis as one nation,” said Khan.
Telling the participants of the rally to promise not to tolerate oppression, the PTI chief said, “We will build a nation as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.”
Sindh Home Department Sindh had allowed PTI to hold the rally near Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum in Karachi.
Strict security arrangements had been put in place by PTI. A large number of policemen were deployed at the rally and walk-in scanner gates were also installed at all entry/exit points.
Senior PTI leaders including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jahangir Tareen, Arif Alvi and former cricketer Javed Miadad, former Olympian Samiullah Khan, and even DJ Butt was present at the rally.
Citing various problems faced by the residents of Karachi, particularly the law and order situation, Khan alleged that target killings could not occur without the involvement of the government.
“We will arrest target killers in Karachi within months,” he claimed, adding that there would be no prosperity without justice and rule of law in the country.
Referring to PTI’s ongoing sit-in in Islamabad which had reached its 39th day, Khan said that the people of Pakistan are struggling to make “Naya Pakistan”. He called upon his Sindhi brethrens – whom he said had been cheated in the name of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for too long – to embrace PTI.
‘NAWAZ WILL HAVE TO GO’:
As participants of the PTI’s rally chanted slogans of “Go Nawaz Go”, the party chief assured them that he would win the war against the prime minister.
“God has trained your captain to compete and I will compete,” said the former skipper, adding, “Nawaz Sharif, you will have to resign!”
Lashing out at the premier, Khan said, “The United States, Saudi Arabia and Gullu Butts will not be able to save you. No one can save you. Nawaz Sharif, you will have to go. You have been taking turns for 30 years.”
Vowing to end dynastic politics in Pakistan, Khan said that his sons would never join politics.
“PTI is not a party of wealthy people or feudalists,” he said, adding that his party would empower youth to turn Pakistan into a thriving country and a time would come when people would queue outside Pakistani embassies to obtain Pakistani visa.
Lamenting that all elections in Pakistan were rigged except for the elections of 1970, Khan called upon his supporters to recognise their “fundamental right to elect leaders through votes and not through rigging”.
KHAN DENIES ‘THIRD FORCE’ INVOLVEMENT:
Refuting claims that he has been staging the sit-in on someone’s directions, Khan questioned the cheering crowd if they were directed by someone to attend his rally.
Lashing out at Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Fazlur Rahman for uttering abusive remarks against Pakistani women who were attending PTI’s sit-in in Islamabad, Khan said, “Neither I nor Pakistani women will forgive him.”
PTI would reform three segments of society: education, police and judiciary, besides holding local bodies elections across the country, he said.
“In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police is selected on merit. We will bring impartial police in Karachi too,” he said.
Khan said that the police would be made impartial and apolitical and judges’ and teachers’ salaries would be increased so that they would resist bribe or any pressure of influential convicts.
QURESHI TAKES A SHOT AT HASHMI:
Earlier, addressing the rally, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi minced no words in lambasting Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and even the estranged PTI President Javed Hashmi.
Qureshi flayed Hashmi for distancing himself from PTI’s “Azadi March” and “siding with Sharif” and also challenged any member of the sitting cabinet to count the number of supporters who turned up in Karachi on PTI’s call.
Lashing out at PPP, he said, “Sindhis are disengaging from PPP,” adding that PPP is now seen as Zardari’s instead of Bhutto’s party.
“Sindhis will come out on the streets to oppose Zardari’s power,” Qureshi said as he promised to hoist the PTI flag in interior Sindh.
Shah’s outburst attracted PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s ire who tweeted that his party had rejected the “test-tube” politicians of dictators.
Earlier, Awami Mulsim League Chairman Sheikh Rasheed addressed the rally and alleged that the PM had destroyed the country’s economy, industries and peace.
“The government is claiming double the electricity bills from the inflation-hit masses,” he said, adding that when the people of Karachi take to the streets, the whole country takes to the streets.
PTI’S SUPPORTERS WANT MORE, GET ABUSIVE:
Scores of women and children with painted faces and PTI-themed wristbands flashed victory signs and said, “We believe Khan is the only leader who can bring change in Pakistan,” when Pakistan Today asked them why they had come to attend the PTI rally.
A few disapproved of the skipper’s address calling it too short a speech by Khan “who addresses the sit-in in Islamabad for hours”.
PTI supporter Waseem Ahmed who had come all the way from Kemari to listen to his leader said, “Many there were wondering if the speech was over. Some said Khan had to catch the flight. Others guessed that Khan might have been alerted of a possible bomb blast.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan Today observed that many PTI supporters, mainly youth, used derogatory language against PML-N besides making below the belt comments about PM Sharif.
Moreover, the charged PTI supporters also grilled journalists for their organisational affiliation.
A middle-aged man demanded a photo journalist standing atop a chair in the midst of thousands of PTI supporters to show his press card.
“Show us your press card. Which organisation are you from? Are you from Geo?” the man asked the working journalist.
Upon showing surprise, the photographer was told, “Actually, we have boycotted Geo. It is okay if you are from Samaa (TV).”