RE - Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan has said if the Americans attack Waziristan, the entire nation will stand united against the US forces.
Addressing a big public meeting at spacious Liaquat Bagh, Gujranwala on Sunday the cricketer-turned-politician said Pakistan did not need US financial assistance and would prefer to live within its own means.
Imran Khans address comes at a crucial time when US-Pakistan relations are touching a new low amid Washingtons allegations that Islamabad is exporting terror to Afghanistan and Haqqani network is a veritable arm of the ISI. The PTI chief said the US was busy in Afghanistan to fight so-called terror war, a country which had never bowed to the British or the Soviet rule. He said the Afghans would never tolerate foreign forces in their country at any cost. He reiterated that the country needed a brave leader, and the war on terror was benefiting the government instead of the people. He said the US was blaming Pakistan for its own failure in Afghanistan. Referring to President Zardari, Khan said the nation needed strong leadership unlike the present one that was not standing up to the US, despite all their allegations levelled recently.
Imran said the perpetrators of suicide attacks believed the government was fighting the so-called war on terror taking money from the US as reward. He said once Pakistan stopped receiving financial assistance from the US and quit the war on terror, those targeting the innocent people would also give up their deadly activities. He was critical of what he called 'dollar worshippers who had brought Pakistan to a position that US officials were hurling threats, forgetting the sacrifices the Islamic republic had rendered over the past one decade. He said the US allegations reflected the failure of those in power.
Imran said at a time when 140,000 US troops were in Afghanistan it was simply not possible for some people from Pakistan to cross over to the war-ravaged country and hit targets there.
Critical of the performance of the PPP-led coalition, the PTI chief said that the days of the present setup had been numbered. The time for your departure has come, he said referring to President Zardari.
Referring to the long march for the restoration of judges, which was called off at Gujranwala after signals from Islamabad that the government had agreed to reinstate all judges sacked by Gen Musharraf, the PTI chief said the wind of change had started blowing and it would not stop at Gujranwala.
The PTI chief said he would go the whole hog to bring about the real change.
Imran said once the PTI came in power, it would not take loans and would instead exploit the national resources to meet all requirements. The US will be told in plain terms that its aid is not required, he said.
About the situation in Karachi, he said PTI alone was in a position to restore peace there as, unlike the PPP, MQM and the ANP, it did not have a militant wing. He said a law would be enacted to rein in all militants without any discrimination.
He pledged that the PTI would set up a neutral police force.
Expressing his resolve to uproot corruption and launch a fair accountability process, Imran said he himself and other PTI office-bearers would be the first to face it. Thereafter, he said, the net would be extended to all others.
He believed that no major party was in a position to go for an indiscriminate accountability because their leaders had accounts in foreign banks. He named President Zardari and Nawaz Sharif in particular for this purpose.
Those who cannot hold themselves accountable cannot be expected to proceed against others, the PTI chief said.
He said the PTI would collect taxes from all the taxable and would ensure everybody declare his assets.
He made his supporters commit that they would not vote for any leader who was keeping his assets abroad.
Our staff reporter from Ferozewala adds: Addressing a gathering in Muridke on Sunday while on his way to Gujranwala, PTI Chairman Imran Khan called for holding mid-term elections in the country for, according to him, the present rulers had lost their credibility among the people.
Accompanied by a huge convoy, Imran said rulers, due to their unwise and unrealistic policies, had plunged the country into chaos.
Dengue fever, disastrous floods and US govt pressure are due to the rulers senseless policies, he said.
They are busy in plundering the national wealth, besides making no policies for the betterment of people and the country, he added.