- Says fair investigation of Panama Leaks will change the fate of the nation
- Announces rally in Faisalabad next Sunday, says workers should stay ready for a march on Raiwind
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Sunday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will go to jail if the judicial commission investigates his involvement in offshore companies independently.
The PTI staged a rally in front of Punjab Assembly at the Charing Cross, Lahore on Sunday with the party’s traditional enthusiasm once again on display.
Khan also announced a rally for next week in Faisalabad.
Addressing tens of thousands of participants who had come to attend the party’s anti-corruption rally despite searing heat, Imran Khan vowed to never go back on the promises he had made with the nation.
SHARIF WILL GO TO PRISON, NOT HOME:
The PTI chairman said the government is trying to hoodwinks the nation over the Panama Papers issue, adding that if a fair investigation is done of the Leaks, it would change the fate of the nation.
Khan criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech in which he said that he would go home if corruption allegations are proven against him.
“Mian sahib! You will go to jail if you are found guilty of these corruption charges,” he said.
Khan reiterated that the prime minister is facing several charges, any of which could land him in jail.
He also criticised the ruling family’s contradictory statements regarding their offshore properties.
He said that instead of clarifying his position, Nawaz Sharif launched Mansehra gas pipeline for the fourth time.
LABOURERS AND FARMERS:
Starting his speech by mentioning the Labour Day which was marked in much of the world yesterday, Khan said that the Pakistani society consists of a large number of labourers who have been forgotten by the society. He said there are 5.2 million unemployed people in the country with 1.5 having lost their jobs since the Nawaz Sharif government took over. He said the farmers are also suffering as they have no support from the government and have to sell their wheat at rates even lower than those set by the government.
“The society cannot progress if we do not value our labourers and go on oppressing them,” he said, adding that the PTI will follow all the international conventions on labour rights.
“We will follow them not because they are international conventions or they will give us votes but because of humanity and because this is the way to create a new Pakistan,” he said.
He vowed that the PTI government would never privatise national assets because it will deprive the country of its wealth.
He said that he would stand with the farmers and that he would launch a campaign in villages across the country and mobilise farmers to stand up for their rights. He said he will start visiting the villages once he is done with the Panama Papers issue.
FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN:
The PTI chief said that corruption ruins whole societies and the Pakistani nation needs to understand how corruption creates its own ecosystem.
“I was offered $100,000 for myself for buying a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH), but if I had done that, the managing director (MD) would surely have known and then how would I stop him if he embezzled funds from the hospital? How would the MD stop his subordinates if they did the same thing?” Imran Khan said and added that the old Chinese proverb was indeed true that the fish rots from the head down.
He said that with Nawaz Sharif in the chair, the whole system has become corrupt.
Imran said the prime minister had taken his brother, Shehbaz Sharif, on board to support him regarding the Panama Leaks investigation.
“PM’s cheeks turn red whenever there is talk of accountability,” he said and questioned how a country can prosper if its leaders are corrupt. He said that the prime minister will have to answer the allegations against him as this is not a dictatorship.
Imran Khan said that the Western societies hold their leaders to a higher standard than normal. He said British PM David Cameron had been ruthlessly criticised by the members of the parliament after he was named in the Panama Papers. He added that American president Richard Nixon had to resign after he was caught taping the phone calls of his political rivals.
“All of our phones are being taped, but that won’t even make the news here,” he lamented.
He said Bill Clinton had to face the wrath of the American public after he lied in the Monica Lewinsky case.
He said the country’s debt was rising because the government had failed to collect taxes as the biggest evaders were sitting at the top.
He said the prime minister needs to be held accountable before the 200 other people mentioned in the Panama Leaks. He added that the PM has no moral authority to stay as the country’s prime minister any longer.
“Allegations against the PM have been proven in the Panama Leaks,” he said, adding that the party workers need to be ready as he may give them a call to organise a sit-in outside the PM’s residence in Raiwind after he is done with rallies in other cities.
The PTI chief said that PM Nawaz will be the first one to be held accountable and added that this is the time to strengthen the institutions of the country.
Imran said that Rs 11 billion were spent in the construction of the Raiwind estate, adding that six camp offices of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif are being operated with the taxpayer money. He said 2,700 policemen are deployed in Jati Umra for the security of the Sharif family.
GOVT’S MISPLACED PRIORITIES:
Imran Khan criticised the federal ministers, especially Khawaja Asif and Pervaiz Rashid, over the statements they have issued since the release of the Panama Papers.
“Who will answer for the Rs 500 billion corruption in WAPDA [Water and Power Development Authority]?” he asked, and added that nations are not built with roads or underpasses, they are built with justice and equality.
Khan lamented that 250,000 children die due to unsafe drinking water ever year and 25 million children do not go to schools in Pakistan while the rulers are busy building useless projects like the Orange Line Metro Train.
“I want to ask Mian sahib if any nation can progress without educating its children,” he said.
He said the ruling party is so fond of these projects because it helps them embezzle funds for themselves