Islamabad - Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Saturday said that the awarding of tickets to his party’s candidates for the July 25 election was the toughest time in his entire life.

“My wife Bushra Begum, who is living with me for the last four months, told me that I have seen you becoming older in the last three weeks because of this unrewarding job of tickets distribution,” Khan said while addressing a relatively low number of party workers here at Islamabad Convention Centre.

He further said that he has never been through a more difficult time and it was very difficult because around 700 candidates had to be awarded tickets out of 4500 applicants. The ultimate reason is that those who were rejected would be disappointed and then would end up protesting, he added.

While addressing the workers convention, PTI chief said that the second most difficult thing for him was deciding the tickets for reserved seats of women.  “This was because some old party workers who have been affiliated with the party for 20 years wanted tickets, some were working with the party restlessly for five, six years also had to be adjusted, some were working on grassroots level and similarly some technocrat women also had to be adjusted, he said.  “I want to get rid of this process of awarding tickets after coming into power and in the new procedure, the women who will win intra-party elections would be given tickets,” he maintained. He told his workers that PTI would first hold intra-party polls after the election and, those women would win these polls would be given priority for tickets on reserved seats.

Khan said that the upcoming elections will be the most important elections in the history of Pakistan as it is in the hands of the people to change the country’s destiny. He said that there were two systems prevailing in the country. “If you have money, you have good education, you can avail good treatment in private hospitals and even get rid of electricity problems,” he stressed. He accused the Sharif family of laundering Rs 300 billion abroad and of buying palaces. He said that two and half years have passed but Sharif family is still roaming free and if there was a common man instead of Nawaz, he would have been languishing in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail. “If you have money, you can hire good lawyers to contest the case,” he added.

Khan went on to say that because all the powerful people used to go London for their check-ups they ignored the state of Pakistani hospitals. “Even a single hospital in Pakistan is not fit enough for the Sharif family where they can get treatment.”

Taking a jibe at former finance minister Ishaq Dar he said that Dar went abroad on the grounds of treatment.

Then PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif went abroad for treatment. Similarly PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari always goes abroad for treatment. “They have no stakes in the country as their money and properties are abroad, their children are abroad.”

Khan said that when Zardari and Nawaz came into power, the exchange rate of dollar was 60 rupees and today it is Rs 125. “This is because when dollars become costly, the money value in Pakistan reduces but they have foreign investments and value of their properties multiplies.”  He said that Pakistan’s foreign debts were Rs 6000 billion only 10 years ago which had now exceeded 27000 billion rupees.

He pointed out that water was another big issue as even water was not available in Islamabad and advised his supporters to read out the UNICEF report which said that Pakistan was one of those countries where children die due to consuming contaminated water.

At the end, Khan gave his plan of action if he came into power.

He said he would at least do two things; first he would reform FBR and would collect 8000 billion rupees in the form of tax. And second thing would be the elimination of corruption. We will make stronger NAB and FIA, he said. “We will introduce stronger RTI laws, introduce conflict of interest laws.” He also announced that PTI will start a tree plantation drive throughout the country in August. Earlier, PTI workers, security personnel and media persons also had a scuffle in the convention centre.