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Interim Prime Minister Imran Khan acknowledged on Tuesday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) paid a “high price” for mistakes made during the ticket distribution process in the past, adding that the party will now prioritise its “ideological” workers.

Addressing a gathering at the Punjab Governor House in Lahore, the premier instructed PTI workers to prepare for the elections. He said that he will personally supervise the ticket distribution process, promising that loyalists of the party will be preferred.

“There were mistakes [committed] by us in the past for which we had to pay a high price,” he said. “So now after learning from our mistakes, our first decision is to give tickets after great deliberation.”

The prime minister said that all those MPAs who stood with the party in “difficult times” will be given election tickets.

PM Imran said that the Pakistanis would teach a lesson to those "traitors in the general elections who tried to topple an elected government that was pursuing an independent foreign policy".

“The people of the country will teach a lesson to these traitors (opposition leaders) in the next general elections by burying their politics forever.”

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Taking on the opposition, the prime minister said that these "three stooges had been plundering the national wealth for the last thirty years and stashed it abroad".

“They can say that beggars are not choosers,” owing to their vested personal interests, he added.

The prime minister said the people, who were elected on PTI seats, sold out their conscience for the sake of a few million rupees, adding that they would ensure a lifetime ban for such traitors.

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He said these elements were traitors to the nation, to the country, and to the coming generations, adding unless they were punished, they would continue bargaining over the democracy for petty monetary gains.

The prime minister said with such a trend, any foreign country could purchase the loyalties of the lawmakers and topple an elected government.

“All those are traitors who have played a part in the foreign conspiracy,” he added.

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