Ready to forgive all for sake of country: Khan
Formally launches party’s campaign for upcoming polls in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
LAHORE ( Web News )
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said that he was ready to forgive everyone including those he accuses of masterminding an assassination attempt on his life for the country’s sake, as he formally launched his party’s campaign for the upcoming elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a video address on Saturday to kick off the PTI’s election campaign, Imran said: “I am ready to talk with everyone and compromise because considering Pakistan’s upcoming condition, I again say that the whole nation will have to confront [the crisis] together. “There was an attempt to assassinate me, and I know who attacked me [but] I am ready to forgive for the country’s sake.”
Imran cited the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela as the reason for his offer to forgive.
“The country needs to unite considering the point where it is standing … this is not a matter of my ego but the country,” he said. Imran said all institutions, including the judiciary, needed to come together and agree to reforms. He said no government could think of going it alone and tackling the country’s issue itself. “The nation will have to stand alongside, the institutions will have to and everyone will have to tackle it together,” the PTI chief added.
Imran further said that “nothing is impossible” when a nation is united and decides to stand on its own. However, at the same time, the PTI chief said that he would not talk to or compromise with “those who steal the country’s wealth”. Referring to the political parties in the incumbent government, he alleged that he was told to give them a national reconciliation ordinance-type deal during the PTI government and said that he could not agree to that.
Regarding the details of the PTI’s election campaign, Imran said he was kicking it off and would hold his first rally next Saturday. He called on the PTI’s workers in Punjab and KP to prepare themselves, adding that he would distribute tickets to contestants in the next one to two weeks.
“I am distributing the tickets myself this time because I got to know that they were sold last time and wrong candidates were made [our ticketholders] by giving money so I’m not leaving it to anyone and am investigating and interviewing people myself.” Imran said those not given PTI tickets would be accommodated in the Punjab local government polls, adding that they would be held soon after the provincial elections.
Regarding party discipline, he said any PTI member contesting independently if not awarded a party ticket would be “immediately removed” since “this is the most important election in Pakistan’s history.” Imran alleged that there was yet another assassination plan against him, adding that he knew who was involved in that. “But I am happy that in the past 11 months, I’ve seen my party change,” he said, adding that his party had revitalised and become stronger.
“Now I know that even if something happens to Imran Khan, the PTI has become the kind of party that no one can stop this country [from moving] towards real freedom.”
Addressing the current precarious economic situation of the country, Imran said it would remain stuck in a “quagmire” until there were new elections. Assailing the government for its economic performance, Imran said: “Even an enemy won’t do what all these parties did together [with the country],” pointing out the high inflation in particular.
Imran added that a further rise in inflation was imminent due to the rupee’s recent depreciation against the dollar. “The way the situation seems today, the dollar will reach Rs300,” he said, adding that fuel and electricity would become costlier as a result. The former prime minister said the country needed to take hitherto untaken revolutionary measures to increase income and exports while cutting down on expenses, redundant institutions and public corporations.