LAHORE - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) displayed a strong show of power at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday, as thousands of party supporters and workers from all over the country gathered at the ground.
Imran Khan addressing the crowd on Sunday stated that inhabitants of Lahore have never disappointed him while vowing to fight for people of Pakistan till the last drop of his blood. He disclosed his 11-point agenda leading towards Naya [new] Pakistan. “Ask yourself why Pakistan had been created”, Khan asked charged crowd while adding at the same time that Pakistan was created on the model of Madina.
Apprising attendants about frisking of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at US airport, he stated that if country’s premier undergoes through such humiliation then how would be a common Pakistani would be treated in the world. “The point I am making is, that we were supposed to be a country who had to tell the world what the justice and humanity is”, stated Imran.
“Pakistan’s loan volume doubled during Zardari’s era. The same augmented to Rs27000 bn from Rs6000bn during Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s current tenure”, he claimed. “The country which is under debts loses its freedom, you become enslaved to the one you are indebted to even without conquering the country”, he stated.
“We are on crossroads today. On one end lies disrespect and on the other lies dignity. Pakistan is the second country with most number of out of the school children, after Nigeria”, Imran told participants. He lamented that today’s Pakistan is neither the vision of Quaid-i-Azam nor Allama Iqbal. Imran, who earlier dubbed it a “Tsunami plus show”, expressed his gratitude to the participants for turning out in large numbers to witness the “historic” gathering.
“Whenever I gave a call to you, you never disappointed me,” he told the crowd. “The Pakistan that Quaid-i-Azam wanted would afford equal rights to all citizens including the minorities, where the Hindu community, Sikhs, and Christians would be equal citizens. This country was to be formed on the model of Madina, where the basis of law was justice,” Imran said.
Quoting Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) example, the PTI chief said, “Prophet (PBUH) brought the entire Muslim nation towards truth and righteousness by way of his own example. The Muslim nation then ruled the entire world for 700 years but as soon as the royal system of kingdoms was established, the poor became poorer and the rich became richer.”
Pointing to the foreign debt situation, he said the country is approaching a disaster. “We don’t have money to pay back loans and we’re taking loans to pay back loans.” Lamenting the state of healthcare in the country, Imran recounted his late mother’s battle with cancer and how it spurred him to build Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. “When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I found out for the first time that Pakistan did not have treatment for cancer,” he said, as he recalled how the tragedy changed his life forever.
It was then that I learned, there were two [divisions] in our society: the rich, who could afford to travel abroad for expensive treatment, and the poor, who watched their loved ones die helpless, he narrated. “It was then that I decided to enter politics, to make a just and equal Pakistan.” “Remember this, an indebted country can never really be free,” he added.
Recalling his party’s struggle, Imran said people used to mock them. “In first election, we got none, in second election we got one seat. But today, we are the largest party in Pakistan. Time will prove that no one can defeat PTI.” Laying out the 11-point agenda which, according to him, will help bring “one system of justice, reduce poverty and elevate the living standards of the poor”, Imran started with education.
“First point: No country can ever flourish without emphasising on the education.. All the Asian Tigers educated their children, the men and the women,” he said. “3.5 crore children study in government schools. Half of Punjab’s budget is being spent on Lahore [alone]. I ask Shehbaz Sharif who’s ruling Punjab for 10 years, how many international-level universities did he establish?”
Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses PTI rally said: “This country saw dictatorship, all kinds of ups and downs.. People gave a chance to PPP four times, elected Nawaz Sharif three times, but is there any change?” “Did people’s lives get any better after repeatedly giving a chance to PPP or PML-N? Now for once, give a chance to PTI and see the difference,” he said.