LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday concluded his election campaign in the city of resolution with a pledge “to make Pakistan an egalitarian, just and economically prosperous country”.
While addressing gatherings at Jallo Mor, Data Darbar, Wapda Town and Bab-e-Pakistan, he criticised the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) provincial government for ‘gross mismanagement’ of taxpayers’ money.
He said that in Lahore alone Rs350 billion was allocated for the development of the city which is three times more than the total development budget (Rs110 billion) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Khan alleged that this money was stolen by the Sharif family and stashed away in London.
He highlighted the improvements PTI government made in K-P in social and economic sectors during its five-year tenure.
Moreover, Khan observed that in comparison with the manifold budget of K-P no improvements have been seen in the provincial capital of Punjab.
He claimed that former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif misused funds for self-publicity through advertisements featuring his picture. “In a city with huge population, there are not enough colleges, clean water is not available and schools are in bad shape. Where has the money gone?” he asked rhetorically, adding that the Rs350 billion were either spent around Raiwind or taken to London,” he alleged.
“It is an irony to note that the persons [Sharif and Maryam] who misappropriated Rs350 billion are portraying themselves as victims of injustice, and now he is complaining about bad conditions and mosquitoes in the jail,” he added.
The PTI chief was certain that the people of K-P will again vote for his party to show their approval of the work it has done in the province including improving the local government system.
“If we are elected on July 25, we will also improve the local government system in Punjab and thus empower the people,” he added.
Imran criticised Shehbaz for using the Punjab police for personal benefits.
Misuse of the police has led to its deterioration. “I know what problems the people of Lahore face at the hands of police and we will fix it,” he assured.
Imran held the PML-N government responsible for the economic chaos in the country.
He said that when he was a child, the dollar was at Rs30 and now it has depreciated to Rs130. “The inflation is high, poverty has increased and unemployment is high; the economy is in a shambles.”
Contrary to all the previous campaigns, this time Imran turned his focus on India, saying: “I want peace in Kashmir and the Indians should listen to the will of the people of Kashmir”.
India is afraid of me and they know that I will not betray my country, he added.
He stressed he was not against friendship with India but it will not be acceptable at the expense of the Kashmir cause.
He also came down hard on Sharif for disclosing information about the Mumbai attacks, which in his opinion has left the country in a predicament.
Imran told the crowd that the opponents are giving a wrong impression that the PTI will mistreat the minorities when they come in to power. This, he said, is false propaganda.
“In the history of Pakistan, this election is the most important election, as it will decide the direction of the country,” he added.
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