Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that the apprehensions of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah have become a reality in present-day Pakistan, which has been plagued by more challenges than any other struggling country in the world.
Speaking during a programme on a private television channel, the PTI chief said, “We have initiated our membership campaign with the intention to win the 2018 match.”
He said that the membership data collected through the campaign would be used to gather and compile opinions of party members ahead of the general elections. “We plan to consult all our workers before going ahead with the selection of party candidates for the general polls,” he added.
Talking about Dr Amir Liaquat’s inclusion in PTI, Khan said, “He would prove useful for our party in Karachi city where he has a healthy vote bank. This time, we would give party tickets to 1,000 candidates.”
Regarding the criticism directed at PTI after allowing Liaquat to join the party, Khan said, “Amir Liaquat is not an angel and neither am I. This criticism is not new to us as we were also criticised when Fawad Chaudhry joined our party.” He said that the whole party had welcomed Liaquat with open arms.
He also said that anyone who was not corrupt and stood against mafias in the country would be welcomed into the party.
Speaking about the Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections, the PTI chief said, “If Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had won the Senate elections, it would have passed a bill to legalise corruption in the country. This is why we supported a Senate chairman from a smaller province.”
He also rejected any alliance with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), saying, “Our party has not entered an alliance with them.” Clarifying his stance further, he said, “Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari are the same as they have led Pakistan towards destruction. They are a direct threat to national security.” He also said that Nawaz’s tenure was worse than Zardari’s.
Answering a query on horse-trading in Senate elections, the PTI chief said, “All members who sold their votes would be investigated and would be expelled from the party if they were found involved in any wrongdoing.
“Our party would not issue a ticket to anyone until we are completely satisfied with the candidate. I would exercise my veto powers while issuing party tickets to candidates for the upcoming elections,” he added.
Commenting on the general elections, Khan said, “The caretaker prime minister should ideally be an economist who could remain impartial under pressure.”
While criticising the Sharifs, he said, “In the absence of a strong judiciary in the country, these rulers would have looted every last penny of this nation. Just take the example of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif who made a lot of money in the Metro bus projects.”
He also rubbished talk about a political alliance and said, “Our experience has not been good when it comes to forming political alliances in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Our workers were trying to use the wrong methods applied by our allies in order to justify their own wrongdoings.”
The PTI chief reiterated that there was no possibility of his party forming an alliance with PPP before or after the general elections.