LAHORE - Federal Information Minister for Senator Pervaiz Rashid has accused PTI chief Imran Khan of making attempts to derail democracy and harm Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries.
“Instead of staging protest in Lahore, Imran should concentrate on improving lives of the common people in Peshawar”, he asked the PTI chief while addressing a news conference at PML-N’s Model Town office here.
Criticising Imran for blockade of Nato routes, the information minister said PTI’s policies would harm Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries like Turkey and UK, both members of the Nato alliance. “The members of the EU have recently supported GSP plus status for Pakistan that would boost the country’s exports to the European markets and the trickle down effect would benefit the working classes”, he said, adding that Imran was leading the country towards destruction.
Pervaiz also grilled the PTI chief for asking his party workers to start making preparations for the general elections in August 2014. Terming the statement anti-democratic, the minister alleged that Khan was conspiring against the present political order which in his view must complete its stipulated period to give democracy a chance to flourish.
He said Imran was bent upon derailing democratic system to hide his poor performance and win a few union council seats in the local government elections. “Such policies would again take the country towards destruction,” he said, adding that next general elections will be held on time and PTI should wait for it. He urged Imran Khan not to take such steps which would derail the democratic system in the country.
The federal minister said the PTI chairman had chosen a small place (The Mall) for his December 22 protest gathering, fearing a lukewarm response from the public. He claimed Imran was not in a position to amass good number of workers at Minar-e-Pakistan after losing the people’s confidence and support.
He said Imran Khan had confined the tsunami to a small place like The Mall in the city. He threw a challenge on the PTI chief to hold a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan to prove his popularity among the masses, adding he should hold a rally in Peshawar rather than Lahore.
Pervaiz Rashid said the PTI chairman had failed to fulfill his election commitments of revolutionising the police and patwari systems, once voted to power, adding he could not implement these even in KPK where the PTI was in power.
Stressing there was no point in holding a protest rally in the Punjab, the minister said people of Peshawar faced the worst transport problems as transport system was non-existent there whereas Lahore did not have such problems. He said Imran Khan should inform people of the KPK government’s achievements on the economic front, saying how much revenue had been collected by it, including the property tax and agriculture tax.
He said Imran Khan could not even levy agriculture tax on the landlords in that province. He recalled Imran Khan had promised to wipe out corruption in 90 days after being voted to power. The PTI chairman should now enlighten the masses how many such cases were registered in KPK, he added.
About the performance of the PML-N-led government in the last six months, Rashid claimed that 17 percent more revenue had been collected from taxpayers as compared to the last year. Similarly, he added, the stock exchange had crossed 25,000 mark. “When the present government took over‚ there was energy crisis‚ economy was in bad shape and law and order situation was also worse”, he observed.