Karachi by-polls are ‘referendum’ to decide fate of country, says Imran – Pakistan

PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that the by-elections held in Karachi on Sunday were actually a “referendum” aimed at deciding the “fate” of the country.

Secondary votes in two Karachi National Assembly constituencies, NA-237 (Malir-II) and NA-239 (Korangi-I), will be held the day after tomorrow.

Addressing a rally in Karachi’s Shah Faisal neighborhood today, Imran called on his supporters to pronounce their verdict on the by-elections and reject the “imported government”.

“I am going to launch the largest march in the history of the country and a sea of ​​​​people will come out with us and give a verdict in our favor,” he said.

Calling Karachi the “financial engine of Pakistan”, Imran said the city led the country on the economic front, adding that its people were sensible and politically aware.

He also subjected his former ally MQM-P to criticism, pointedly asking them, “Are you happy with Zardari? Has he solved all of Karachi’s problems?

The former prime minister said that his government started the Karachi Loop Railway project together with the Green Line Bus service. “We also started the K4 project that was in the background for 14 years.”

Imran said his next stop would be inside Sindh where he said he would lead a campaign to “liberate people from the clutches of Zardari”.

The head of the PTI called on the participants in the demonstration to “take responsibility” in their “fight against corruption”, saying that “it is not my job just to fight corruption in the country”.

Earlier, he also accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his family of “plundering the nation’s wealth and hiding it in overseas properties.”

It was the first PTI rally in Karachi addressed by its chairman after the April 2022 public meeting, which was held in Bagh-i-Jinnah days after his government was ousted in a no-confidence vote.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, along with other federal ministers, on Friday rejected PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan’s recent statements about the Sharif family’s acquittal, describing the lead lawyer as a “traitor”.

In a chat with the media earlier this week, the top PPP leader alleged that the “establishment” helped the Sharif family clear up corruption cases against them.

“Bajwa sahab he has rescued them (the Sharif family) from conviction in the cases and has committed a great crime,” he had said.

He further stated that the cases against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and their daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif were open and closed and their conviction was clear.

Flanked by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, State Oil Minister Musadik Malik and Prime Minister’s Advisor Atta Tarar at a news conference in Islamabad today, Asif, without naming the PPP leader, he said his comments stemmed from “personal frustration.”

“Someone claimed that a phone call was made and then the verdict was delivered. It was said by a popular leader of the PPP […] I’m not sure if it still is or not. […] so I’ll call him an expert in law because he was my teacher.

“He was the first man to free Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was elected in a rigged election during Ziaul Haq’s term. He has been a traitor ever since,” the minister said.

Asif assured that in recent years the PML-N has shown with its actions and posture that it does not want to violate the judicial system.

“From Nawaz’s appearance before the JIT (joint investigation team) to Prime Minister Shehbaz’s appearance in court, all this happened and the courts delivered verdicts that served justice.

“Unlike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the accountability offices were closed and the billion tree tsunami case was neglected, we went through all the processes, got jailed and then got bail,” he said, adding that Despite this, the PML-N had protected the prestige of the courts and has repeatedly shown its respect.

“And I hope everyone in office continues to do the same. We are victorious. This is a personal frustration if someone claims that ‘xyz’ made a phone call to get wish verdicts.”

In response to a question about whether Ahsan would be charged under article 6 (high treason) of the Constitution, the minister said: “A man whose political value is not even equal to a penny […] there is no use in making it politically relevant by force.”

The purpose of the PPP leader, Asif claimed, was to attract attention. “This is his status and this is his credibility.” However, the minister added that the government will “definitely” retaliate and take action against him under the law and the constitution.

The minister also said that he was quite aware of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s opinion on Aitzaz Ahsan.

‘There is no possibility of early elections’

Meanwhile, in his response to another question, Asif said that new elections would be held in time.

“Even for early elections, only the Shehbaz-led government and the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) coalition will make a decision,” he said, stressing that no decision will be made by dictation.

“We have discretion. […] the Constitution allows elections to be held early. But there is no possibility of it.”

Supporting Asif’s position, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said two of Pakistan’s provinces, Sindh and Baluchistan, were facing a disastrous situation due to flooding.

“There is no point in holding general elections in those areas in the next six to eight months because we have challenges in restoring normalcy there. Also, if someone calls for elections in those areas, people throw stones at him,” he added.

Leave a Comment