Monday Jul 11, 2022
LODHRAN: PTI Chairman Imran Khan warned the rulers Monday that no matter where they go, the people of Pakistan will call them “thieves and traitors”.
Addressing a rally in Lodhran ahead of the by-polls scheduled to be held on July 17 in Punjab, the former prime minister referred to the incident that took place with Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, where he was heckled and called a “thief” by PTI supporters last week.
“You (Iqbal) say that Imran Khan has taught people to misbehave. Ahsan Iqbal, this isn’t indecency, this is the truth: you are a thief,” Khan said as he lashed out at the federal minister.
A day earlier, the family that called out the federal minister at the fast-food restaurant on Friday apologised to Iqbal in person at his residence, where they expressed “remorse and embarrassment”.
But the PTI later blamed the PML-N for pressurising the family into apologising to Iqbal. However, a member of the family Osama Sher said that there was “no pressure” on them and they apologised to the federal minister “willingly”.
Khan further told the jalsa that Iqbal and other PML-N leaders like him blindly follow party supremo Nawaz Sharif despite their “corruption”.
The PTI chairman claimed that after coming into power, the incumbent rulers had “stolen” Rs1,100 billion from the nation — and they would continue this since they are “corrupt”.
“People will utter two words wherever they see you: thieves and traitors. You overthrew a government with the backing of the United States,” the PTI chairman said.
The former prime minister alleged that the money of people in Sindh is “moved to Dubai in the name of politics”.
Khan further said that he had prepared the cases against PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah. "I tried my best to punish these thieves," he added.
He said that Zardari and his “group” did not even prepare before the rains hit the province.
"They used to mock former CM Punjab Usman Buzdar, however, water has not accumulated on roads in Lahore because of the underground tanks," Khan said, highlighting his party’s performance.
Intense rains in Karachi have left more than a dozen people dead, with the heavy downpour bringing the country’s largest city to a standstill today (Monday) as the roads across the metropolis were inundated with water.
Moving on, the PTI chairman asked his party supporters to ensure that his candidates win in the July 17 Punjab by-polls, which will determine the future of the province.
“No matter what they do or how much they rig the elections, we must ensure that we [PTI] win,” Khan told his supporters.
Twenty provincial constituencies are on the ballot after the Election Commission of Pakistan unseated 25 MPAs for voting against party lines. Of the 25, five lawmakers were on reserved seats and 20 on contestable seats.
Political pundits are expecting a tough contest between opponents PML-N and PTI in the by-polls as the majority of the 20 defecting PTI MPAs have hitched their wagons to the PML-N.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the 2018 general elections, of the 20 MPAs who won the polls, 10 contested as independent candidates and later joined the PTI due to the efforts of businessman and politician, Jahangir Khan Tareen.
Later, while addressing another public gathering in Muzaffargarh, Khan said that these by-polls on July 17 are not just mere elections, but this is a “fight for real freedom”.
“No matter whatever they do to rig elections, the passion among PTI supporters cannot be defeated,” he said, adding that if these turncoats win elections “the future of this country will be in the hands of thieves.”
He warned that the names of all those people and officials who are “illegally” helping Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz and PML-N are being noted. “Only seven days left be prepared, your accountability will begin from next Monday,” he asserted, adding these people are plunging Pakistan towards “anarchy”.
Khan further said that the election commission should make sure the polls are conducted “freely and fairly” so that the people can accept the results.