Thursday Jul 26, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, who is poised to become prime minister as his party leads in the poll count, delivered a victory speech laying out the future government's policy on domestic and foreign affairs on Thursday.
Addressing the concerns of opposition parties regarding rigging in the July 25 polls which will see Imran come into power, the PTI chief assured, "These have been the cleanest elections in Pakistan's history."
"I will fully cooperate in scrutinising as many constituencies as opposition parties want," he added.
Shifting focus to foreign affairs, Imran stressed that he wants improved relations with all neighbouring countries, including India.
"If India takes one step towards us, we will take two steps towards them. Right now, it is one sided where India is constantly just blaming us," the PTI chief said while inviting India for dialogue.
"The leadership of Pakistan and India now need to come to the table to resolve this and end blame games. We are stuck at square one," he asserted.
Imran also shared that he "believes that to improve the economic situation in the sub-continent trade between India and Pakistan is important". "This will be beneficial for both the countries," he added.
The cricketer-turned-politician continued, "Kashmir remains our biggest contention and the people of Kashmir have suffered massively."
Speaking about Indian media's coverage of his electoral campaign, Imran said, "I was disappointed with how Indian media portrayed me in the past few weeks. I felt like a Bollywood villain."
Imran stressed, "Foreign policy is a huge problem for us as a country right now. We need better relations with our neighbours so we can focus on nation building."
As far as the US is concerned, Imran said, "We want to work on a policy that is mutually beneficial. Not a one-way relationship as there needs to be balance."
Turning to China, the PTI chief said, "We will strengthen and improve our relations with China. We want to work towards success of CPEC. We also want to send teams to learn poverty alleviation from China."
He also said that Pakistan can learn from China regarding "how they curbed corruption".
The PTI chief, whose party was in power in KP but has never gotten a stint at premiership, also said, "We want to improve our relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia both. We want to work as a reconciliation facilitator in the region. That country that works towards ending wars rather than being used for them."
Regarding Afghanistan, Imran said, "We want to work in every possible way to ensure peace in Afghanistan. I would love an open border system like the EU with Afghanistan. Afghanistan is that neighbour of ours that has seen the most human misery and damage in the name of wars. The people of Afghanistan need peace, and Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan."
Further, he vowed to the nation that "he will be the same Imran Khan" who pledged to protect citizens' money and change the system of elite governance.
"We will focus on education and vocational skills to empower our youth. Our focus will be on human development," he maintained.
Imran upheld, "We have to work with our businesses, facilitate them so they are able to facilitate jobs. So my second pledge is to collect and reform taxes."
The PTI chief also said that the Prime Minister House may be turned into an educational institute. "Our government will decide what we will do with the PM House. We want to turn it into an educational or public institutions," he said.
"We will convert governor houses into public spaces that are able to collect revenue," he added.
Speaking about the current economic situation of the country, the PTI chief said, "In our history we have not seen such a big fiscal deficit, the rupee is at an all-time low."
"We want to strengthen institutions so they fix the governance system of our country, otherwise we will never be able to combat the challenges we are facing especially those pertaining to the economy."
Imran also shared, "We want to set an example that the law will be supreme. The West is ahead of us purely because of these principles and this must become our guiding principle."
The PTI chief assured that accountability will begin from him and his ministers and then trickle down.
"We will not allow political victimisation of anyone happen. No one will be above the law — this is our aim. And for these checks and balances we need strong institutions," he asserted.
Imran also thanked the nation for stepping out to vote in the July 25 polls.
"We are witnessing the strengthening of democracy in Pakistan. The election process was completed successfully despite many terror attacks," he added.
The PTI chief further said, "I came into politics because I wanted Pakistan to become the country that Jinnah had envisioned. This has been a historic election. I especially want to thank the people of Balochistan who despite terrorism came out in huge numbers to vote."
The cricketer-turned-politician who began his political struggle 22 years ago added, "God has given me the chance to make my dream come true."
"All my policies will focus on strengthening the weak," he asserted.