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MARDAN: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said that his government had taken control of terrorism and the borders were under the control of the federal government and terrorism shouldn’t be tolerated in Swat and tribal areas.

Addressing charged crowd in Mardan on Thursday, the PTI chairman asked why are the terrorists being allowed to enter when the people of Swat and tribal areas have rendered matchless sacrifices.

Imran Khan said that the thieves have pushed the country into quagmire and they have further indebted the nation.

The former PM while declaring the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja a dishonest man said that they [opponents] will cast 10 to 15,000 fake votes and we still have to defeat them. “He is like their family member and a biased man,” Imran alleged.

He urged the people to start door to door campaign and convey PTI’s message. “I was in power for three and a half years and I challenge anyone to prove even my theft,” Imran Khan said and asked to look at his three-and-a-half-year record.

Imran lashed out at the government for the overnight arrest of one of his key party leaders, Azam Khan Swati. Swati had been picked up by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for allegedly posting antigovernmental messages on social media. While being presented before a court on Thursday morning, he told reporters he was allegedly stripped naked and beaten up in custody.

This angered Imran who recalled that the arrest and custodial torture bore similarities with how his Chief of Staff Shahbaz Gill was arrested. You should be ashamed of yourself, Imran shouted at the government, with his anger audible.

He also had some choice words for the FIA, asking if this was all that was left of the national body. “You can’t earn our respect by using torture on us,” he said. Imran asked his supporters to take an oath to support his noble cause against corruption. “I will not run away as it is time to wage a war against the thieves looting this country,” he said, adding, “you people must support me.”

While showing the audio clips of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders including Maryam Nawaz, Shehbaz Sharif and Hussain Nawaz, Imran Khan said that these are a cabal of thieves and it was the main reason why they had fled the country.

Imran says he’s ready for imprisonment

“I am not a corrupt person, that is why I took stand against them and did not run away,” he said. He further added that without establishing the State of Medina, the country could not progress and gain enlightenment. “We have to follow the path laid by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), so that we can wipe out the corruption in our country,” he informed.

The PTI chairman went on to say one of the biggest reason for the poverty in the country is that the rulers have plundered country’s wealth and asked the people to vote for Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari if they [people] think they [Nawaz and Zardari] are honest.

“Zardari and Nawaz have been involved in corruption for the past 30 years,” he said, adding that “Nawaz Sharif during his tenure established 17 factories.”

He claimed that the government was afraid of him, that is why they were registering new cases against him. “Every day they register new cases against me,” he claimed.

Imran warned the ‘person’ who is giving NRO to the Sharifs and making cases against him to listen carefully that he will not back down as he will fight harder if put in jail.

With public protests reverberating around the scenic Swat valley for the third consecutive day against the attack on schoolchildren, Imran blamed the federal government for it. “I used to warn against participating in America’s war [in Afghanistan], because it will destroy the peace of the country,” he said, adding that whatever was happening in Swat today was the federal government’s fault.

He further added that if federal government is helpless to restore peace in Swat, then the provincial government will take a decision to maintain peace around KP.

In the end, he urged residents of the area to vote for him, claiming that his opponents had rigged the elections and stuffed around 15,000 fake votes but they must foil the planning of his opponents and win the election for him.

“Thakt bhai be ready and do not let me down in by election.”

Earlier, speaking to reporters outside the IHC, Imran Khan said that the PTI was the only party that practiced “legal political fundraising” and termed the funding raised by other political parties “bogus”.

On the other, talking to journalists, the former PM said that admitted that he did not enjoy absolute power as PM because the actual centre of power in the country lay elsewhere. Imran Khan said that in the 60s, the world used to give the example of Pakistan because our country was competing with Singapore.

He added that the rule of law makes a difference. The size of the country’s Northern Areas in the Rule of Law Index is double that of Switzerland, adding that the most prosperous country in the world as it ranks ninety-nine in the Rule of Law Index, Imran said.

“When I was the prime minister, I did not enjoy absolute power because the actual centre of power in the country lay elsewhere, and everyone knows where that is,” Imran added.


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