PESHAWAR - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Sunday termed JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman a power-seeking magnet, ‘who always goes after those in power’.
“Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been in government since 2002. He is a magnet who attracts anybody who gets into power,” said the PTI chief while addressing a massive public rally in Bannu, from where he is also contesting elections on NA-35 seat.
At the Bannu public gathering, where the Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has comparatively a strong vote bank, Khan apprised his party workers that he decided to contest from Bannu to defeat his rival candidate and former chief minister and federal minister Akram Khan Durrani, a close aide to the JUI-F chief.
Despite sizzling heat, the PTI pulled a massive public gathering and Khan praised his party workers, referring to them as his tigers.
Coming down hard on the JUI-F chief, he said Fazl and Durrani improved their living standard but condition of district Bannu deteriorated.
“Though the JUI-F chief has long been chairman of the Kashmir committee with different governments, he has done nothing for Kashmiris,” he said adding, he considered it insulting to refer Fazl as ‘Maulana’.
He said, "When Akram Durrani asks you for votes, you need to ask him questions," Khan told the gathering asking Durrani what did he do about the power projects that he had announced for Bannu, and where the allocated money was spent.
In the same breath, Khan claimed that the previous PTI Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government built four micro-hydel power projects in Bannu alone and 300 micro-hydel power projects in areas where there was no electricity at all.
“I have not turned Peshawar into Paris, but you can compare our efforts with those two parties who have ruled for three times alternately,” he said referring to the past PPP and PML-N governments.
He said his party had fixed four sectors at large during the five-year tenure which included police, education, health, electricity. The PTI chief asked the participants to compare KP police with that of Punjab saying that the number of doctors had risen to 9,000 from 3000 in the province. He said education and health system in KP was better than that of the entire Pakistan.
“A system, which I want for Pakistan is where even an orphan who has no support gets an opportunity to be able to reach the maximum of his potential. Pakistan’s system should be such that anyone who works hard should be able to get the opportunity and make his life worthliving,” he said.
Taking a jibe at PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, he taunted, “We have never claimed to bring Peshawar at par with Paris. But, we grew trees for future generations, introduced health cards and brought in the best local body system,” he claimed.
“It was the PTI government in KP which cultivated more than one billion trees in the province. We think for the people while others think for themselves and that is the main difference,” he said.
“The July 25, a day for holding the general elections, will decide whether ‘Naya Pakistan’ will be put in place or the one for robbers,” he said asking the participants that he was contesting elections for them. “You make me victorious, I will not disappoint you. You pray to Allah to give a win to a party that is thinking for Pakistan that can eradicate poverty, and can bring respect to the green passport.”
He lamented that the condition of the country had worsened as US dollar had hit an all-time high during the past 10 years. “When the dollar rises against rupee, petroleum and electricity become expensive too. Currently, electricity is most expensive in Pakistan among the countries in the sub-continent,” he said.
The PTI chief also said that the overall debt had risen to Rs27,000 billion. “A complete reorientation of policies is required to overhaul the faults in the economy,” he said vowing to collect Rs8,000 billion in taxes if his party was voted to power.