Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has said Pakistan can only progress by establishing a fair judicial system that can dispense justice on merit.
“Pakistan will not progress by having a magnificent army or a prosperous economy. We need a permanent transparent judicial system to provide justice on merit. This will keep Pakistan alive and sovereign till the end of this world,” he said on Tuesday.
Imran Khan was addressing a huge public rally in Okara where a by-election will be held on October 11 for the National Assembly’s NA-144 constituency. Imran, however, claimed that he had not come to Okara to ensure victory of the PTI candidate Ashraf Sohna in the by-polls.
“My aim is to change the system and youth of Pakistan has to come forward against the status quo of politicians, who have taken the people and the country hostage,” he said.
Praising the people of Pakistan, he said the masses had given him more respect than the presidents and prime ministers of Pakistan. “Whether I become the prime minister or not, this great honour given to me by the people of Pakistan will stay with me,” he said.
The PTI chief alleged that Punjab’s provincial election commissioner Justice (retd) Riaz Kayani, in collaboration with the provincial government, would try to ensure that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) wins in the by-polls. “However, they will fail,” he said.
“Despite the corrupt system, in which umpires, police and election commission of Punjab are serving the ruling PML-N, we will win both at NA-122 in Lahore and NA-144 in Okara,” he said.
Referring to the Judicial Inquiry Commission that probed alleged rigging during the May 2013 polls, Imran said the JC investigation was different, its findings were different and its decision was different. “However, we were given justice by the election tribunals,” he said.
Imran Khan strongly criticised the ruling party and its chief Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom he called ‘the most corrupt person of Pakistan’ and accused him of laundering money, tax evasion and corruption.
“Even the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is better than Nawaz Sharif in terms of governance and corruption,” he said.
Obliquely referring to the British Police’ investigation against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, he said, “If there can be an investigation in London for money laundering, then it can also be done in Pakistan against Nawaz Sharif.”
He quoted the PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan, who in a recent statement in Senate said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid only Rs477 in taxes from 1994-1996.
He said the PML-N’s newly announced Kissan Package was a bluff with farmers. “Of the total 14-point agenda, 9 points were used in slogans during the 2013 general elections by the PML-N. If Nawaz Sharif served the people of Pakistan rather than fearing me, there would be a different Pakistan,” he said.
Blaming the government for levying illegal taxes on the people of Pakistan, he said 50% GST is imposed only on diesel and rates of the electricity have been increased twice by the government for their luxuries. “In India, farmers pay 97 paisa per unit while in Pakistan, they pay Rs20,” he said.
Making further comparisons with India, he said the per kilometre cost of erecting metro bus service in India’s Ahmedabad was $3 million as compared to Lahore, where per kilometre cost of a similar project was $11 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2015.