KARACHI - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan yesterday as demanded the federal government to arrest the culprits involved in the Baldia factory inferno and try the case in a military court.

Imran held Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Quami Movement responsible for the miserable condition of Karachi, saying the port city was being ruled by mafias.

The PTI chairman expressed these views while addressing a press conference at Insaf House here. Other PTI leaders were also present on the occasion.

Imran said PTI would not make electoral alliance with the political parties involved in corruption. He further appreciated the formation of the Supreme Court bench over the Panama case and said his party would accept its decision. The SC bench, keeping in view the importance of the case, should carry the proceeding on daily basis, he added.

Terming the Balida Factory inferno a tragic incident in the history of the country, he said the inhuman people burnt alive the innocent workers. He said PTI wants to be on the same platform with the opposition on TORs for the accountability of Nawaz Sharif.

He said the culprits named by Rehman Bhola involved in the case in his confessional statement should be arrested and tried. “I demand immediate arrest of the people involved in the heinous act and their trial in a military court,” he added.

Talking about the Karachi situation, the PTI chairman said the city was being ruled by various mafias while PPP and MQM were responsible for its destruction. The city had turned into a garbage dump; the citizens were deprived of drinking water and were left at the mercy of tanker mafia. Since 2006, PPP and MQM had not even made arrangements for a single gallon of water for the citizens, said Imran.

Imran said in 1970, the situation of Mumbai city was quite similar to that of Karachi, but at present the former was quite better. It is unfortunate that Karachi, being an economic hub of the country, was treated as an orphan and no one was here to own the city.

“In South Korea, people came on the roads against corruption. Similarly, Karachiites should also come on the roads to end corruption. Once Karachi was federal capital, but MQM’s ethnic-based politics separated it from the politics of the national scenario, said Imran. “Since I remained busy in the movement against rigging in the general elections 2013 and the Panama leaks, I could not give Karachi much time,” said Imran, adding PTI would contest the next general elections with complete force and energy. He said MQM attempted to cut the port city from the country, but PTI would bring it in the main stream of politics.

Imran said the Sindh rulers had politicised the provincial police for their personal gains. People had lost confidence in the police. AD Khawaja supported the reforms in Sindh police, but he was removed. “The people stand by IGP Khawaja over his services and his vision of improvement in the police,” he added.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had placed its men in Election Commission of Pakistan was making efforts to influence the next general elections. “This time PTI will be on roads before the 2018 general elections if it finds any irregularity in the election process,” he warned.

Later, Imran held the meeting with the local government representatives and directed them to focus on resolving the issues of citizens on immediate basis.

Meanwhile, addressing the business community at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Imran Khan said it was the responsibility of all to save the economic hub of Pakistan. Khan said: “There is a ‘union’ of corrupt elements in the country as they get united every time and no action is taken against them.”

He said the investment opportunities in Pakistan were very attractive, and if the government’s credibility improved, the capital would again start flowing in the country. He said in other countries taxes were taken from the rich and spent on the poor, but the situation is different here. He added 98 percent tax was imposed on diesel, which directly affected the common man, especially small traders.

Khan said bad governance, centralisation of power and unjust priorities were responsible for the country’s economic meltdown.

“The federal government is initiating Orange Line train service by borrowing heavy loans, whereas it could not even provide the masses with clean drinking water,” Khan said.

The PTI chairman said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had always ignored the business fraternity of Karachi. Businesses in the country could not flourish without the support of the government, so it should ease the procedures of taxes, he added.

INP adds: Imran Khan said he was preparing the PTI for holding protests for solution to the civic problems in Karachi. He also asked the people to hold peaceful protests as nobody pays attention to the problems of the poor unless they are strongly raised.

He regretted local governments were without power and resources in Sindh and Punjab. He claimed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs 40 billion had been transferred to local governments, of which Rs 14 billion would be utilized at village level.

The PTI chief, expressing his full confidence over the new bench of the SC on the Panama leaks, said Anwar Zaheer Jamali should not have presided over the bench as he was retiring.

Before the arrival of Imran Khan at Insaf House for a meeting with local government representatives, there was a scuffle between two groups of the party. Even Imran Khan was pushed by the rowdy workers as he entered the venue.