Pakistan News

By-election result to determine Karachi’s future, says Imran

By-election result to determine Karachi’s future, says Imran

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan said on Saturday the result of by-election for NA-246 constituency would determine the future of Karachi.

Addressing a press conference at the residence of PTI leader Arif Alvi, he said his party had provided an opportunity to the people of Karachi to end the atmosphere of fear in their city and “to bring it back into mainstream politics”.

“The future of Karachi is linked to this constituency and the future of Pakistan depends on Karachi,” Mr Khan remarked.

He said that over the last 30 years the situation in Karachi had forced investors to move their investment to other cities and even countries, resulting in an increase in unemployment among local youths. “We want to restore Karachi’s status as a city of lights.”

He said the PTI had changed considerably since the last general elections because it had now spread to every nook and corner of the country.

The PTI chief said the PML-N did not give Karachi the importance it deserved. “If Karachi makes progress, Pakistan will prosper.”

He said the city generated 70 per cent of the country’s revenue but did not get its due share from the national resources. “If the situation does not change, there will be no future for Karachi.”

A victory in the constituency would add just one seat to the PTI’s tally in the National Assembly, but such a result would prove to be “decisive for Pakistan”, Mr Khan said.

He said there was a time when Karachi played a leading role in every movement. “We want to see this status restored.”

He praised his party’s candidate, Imran Ismail, for remaining in the field despite two attacks on his election rallies. “I want to see such fearless people come forward and represent Karachi.”

He urged the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to “let people exercise their right to vote freely and without any fear”.

He expressed confidence in the Rangers and requested them not to allow anybody to create an atmosphere of fear on the polling day.

Answering a question, Mr Khan said he would take up the issue of “ghost polling stations” with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

He said his party had been holding talks with the Jamaat-i-Islami, but it appeared that it wanted to play a “match” on the seat.

Mr Ismail said secretary of the ECP had been informed about “four ghost polling stations where a plan has been made to cast the votes of deceased voters or those who have migrated to other countries”.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2015

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