CHAKWAL: Lashing out at Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PTI Chairman Imran Khan here on Sunday said they looted public money and then laundered it abroad, causing double harm to Pakistan.
“Making money out of corruption and then sending it abroad through money laundering cause double damage to the country,” he said while addressing a public gathering at Tarhada Chowk at Talagang-Mianwali Road near Talagang.
Mr Khan arrived to address a large public meeting in a bid to boost his party’s campaign for a by-election which is scheduled to be held on April 18. The seat of PP 23 fell vacant on February 21 after the death of PML-N MPA Malik Zahoor Anwar Awan. The PML-N has fielded Malik Shehryar Awan, the nephew of the late Anwar Awan, while the PTI has fielded retired Colonel Sultan Surkhru. The PTI is set to give a tough time to the ruling party as it has managed to get the support of the PML-Q, Jamaat-i-Islami and the PPP as well.
The PML-Q enjoys a considerable vote bank in the area and won the municipalities of Lawa and Talagang along with six union councils in the last local government elections.
The PTI chairman said when someone loots their own house the house gets poor. “As Asif Zardari returned to the country, Sharjil Memon, who committed corruption of Rs5 billion, and Dr Asim Hussain, who committed corruption of Rs460 billion, were released,” he maintained, adding the annual budget of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was Rs113 billion while Dr Asim alone allegedly committed a corruption of Rs460 billion.
Making money out of corruption and then sending it abroad through money laundering damaged the country, PTI chief says
“O people of Pakistan it is your money through which schools and hospitals could be built,” Mr Khan said, explaining that in KP the Shaukat Khanum Hospital was built at a cost of Rs400 billion. “He who looted Rs460 billion has also given a share to his high-ups,” he claimed.
He accused Nawaz Sharif of making flats in London by looting money from Pakistan and then laundering it. Mr Khan said when Nawaz Sharif was asked about the looted money he presented a Qatari prince and said he gave him all that money.
“During the next general elections, we would ask Asif Zardari how he made the Surrey Palace and how he stashed away $60 million in Switzerland. Zardari should also arrange a Qatari friend for his support,” Mr Khan quipped.
He asked how those who had their properties, businesses and money abroad could be loyal to the country. He said due to corruption investors were not ready to invest in Pakistan, but “there are long queues of investors in KP just because there is no corruption.”
Criticising the removal of the Sindh police chief, A. D. Khwaja, the PTI chief said Mr Khwaja was not removed because he was doing something wrong rather he was shown the door because he was not allowing to get done something wrong.
“We have improved the performance and image of the KP police to the international standard. For this we did not import police officials from any other country rather did this through our own police officers.” He explained that an honest police chief was appointed in KP who ended the menace of corruption. “We have made the police independent by ending political interference in the department and bringing transparency in recruitments through the National Testing Service (NTS).
Mr Khan said like the rest of the countrymen he was also waiting for the Panama Leaks case verdict. “We stand by an independent judiciary,” he said.
Commenting on the problems of the people of Talagang and Lawa, Mr Khan said same problems were being faced by the people of Mianwali, the neighbouring district which was his hometown.
“But let me give you good news that your problems would be solved soon as due to the 21-year-long endeavour the PTI has become a national party and spread to every nook and corner of the country,” he claimed.
Mr Khan lamented that 25m children in Pakistan were out of school while 45pc children were facing malnutrition due to which their growth was being badly affected. He called upon the voters to vote for PTI on April 18.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2017