The upcoming by-election in Lahore’s NA-120 constituency will decide whether the people stand with the judiciary or with those who looted this country, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday.
Speaking at a public gathering in Chakwal, Imran said the by-polls will be decisive in proving the nation’s patriotism. “We salute the Supreme Court and the nation stands with the judiciary,” he added.
Irman said accountability of the influential has begun for the first time in Pakistan’s history. “This is Naya Pakistan,” he said.
The PTI chief praised the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the Panama Papers case, for apprehending the “biggest culprit” and said that such a competent JIT was rare even in the West.
In an apparent reference to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the cricketer-turned-politician said that the “godfather of corruption” was responsible for destroying state institutions. Imran also criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for failing to curb rampant corruption in official ranks.
“Asif Ali Zardari is also a big fish like Nawaz Sharif and the nation will never forgive the NAB chairman for giving him a clean chit,” he said.
Earlier this week, an accountability court in Rawalpindi acquitted Zardari in several references involving alleged possession of assets beyond his known sources of income.
Accountability Court Judge Khalid Mehmood Ranjha had absolved the former president after the prosecution failed to establish charges levelled against him 19 years ago during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s second term.
In the references, Zardari and his slain wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, were accused of acquiring assets through illegal means and beyond their known sources of income.
Speaking in Tuesday’s rally, Imran also vowed that he would also file NAB references against Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for what he was claimed was Shahbaz’s alleged involvement corruption of Rs1.75 billion in the Multan Metro Bus project.
The PTI chairman said he has spent eight days in the prison but couldn’t find any influential people imprisoned for their crimes. “I only found people who had stolen motorcycles or the cattle,” he said. “Big thieves on the other hand can be found in the National Assembly.”
Speaking separately at a women’s convention, Imran said he has been voicing his concerns about corruption being the biggest issue of the country for the last 21 years. He, however, assured his party workers that nothing of this sort will ever happen in his ‘Naya Pakistan’.