Pakistan: Imran promises ruthless accountability on return to power


LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan castigated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday for destroying the economy and asked the rulers to bring back the country’s “looted money” stashed abroad.

Addressing supporters via a video link, Imran vowed to hold the incumbent rulers accountable.

“In the past, these rulers escaped the law but in the future they would face the consequences for violating the Constitution and fundamental rights,” he said.

The PTI chief said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was asking people to give sacrifices, but instead he himself should give sacrifice by bringing “your looted money back from abroad”.

Imran criticised the prime minister’s post-cabinet meeting press conference saying that Shehbaz was preparing the nation to get ready for inflation after an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I thought there would be a big decision, they must be worried about the nation,” he said, advising the government to stop fooling the people by sharing plans to cut down the number of government vehicles and selling land.

He warned that “the economic situation would not improve by the government’s cosmetic measures, because during this government’s tenure, Pakistan faced inflation three times higher than the tenure of his government”.

“The coalition government claimed to fix the economy within 10 months, but they have actually destroyed it. Even the enemy could not have done what has happened in the country in the last 10 months,” he added.

The PTI chief held the current rulers and their ‘facilitators’ responsible for all the wrongdoings in the country.

“After coming to power, they had only one objective that is to quash their corruption cases,” he added.

Speaking about the election in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Imran urged the masses to come out and defend the Constitution if the election would not be held in 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

“If polls are delayed after 90 days, then the nation will have to step outside to defend the Constitution. Our goal is to ensure implementation of the rule of law and the Constitution in the country, not the law of jungle,” he added.

He warned that the caretaker government could not exist after 90 days.

While criticising Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for not issuing the election schedule, he maintained that Article 6 [treason] should be applied to him.

At the same time, the PTI chief paid tributes to his party workers and supporters for participating in the party’s ‘Jail Bharo’ [court arrest] movement, which kicked-off earlier on Wednesday.

He averred that the nation had become fearless after the launch of the movement.

“It is initiated to break the shackles of fear and the nation is now ready for a revolution,” he said.

He praised the people of Lahore and the PTI senior leadership for courting arrest.

Imran also thanked the people for being there when he appeared before the Lahore High Court (LHC) two days ago, seeking protective bail in the case pertaining to protests outside offices of the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP)