ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said Sunday that politics of PTI chief Imran Khan had lapsed from the ‘Minar-e-Pakistan’ to the Doongi Ground in Lahore within two years.

“Popularity graph of PTI has declined sharply since 2013 when Imran Khan held a public meeting at the Minar-e-Pakistan,” he said. The minister, in a statement, said candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) could turn currency notes into votes in the by-election. Pervaiz Rashid said the defeat of PTI candidate in Haripur by-election by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate with 45,000 votes, which clearly showed the PTI’s failure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Terming the allegation levelled by Sheikh Rashid of Awami Muslim League (AML) a white lie, he said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had paid Rs 4 million taxes this year.

The minister said instead of paying taxes, Imran and Sh Rashid considered themselves deserving for financial support from BISP.

On one side, he said, PTI was opposing Lahore’s development projects and on the other, it was begging for votes from residents of the same city.

How Imran was opposing the modern development projects like Metro Bus Service and Orange Train, who himself claimed to make Pakistan a developed state, he added.

Meanwhile, talking to different news channels, Pervaiz Rashid said for last two years Imran had started the chorus of rigging and could not prove even a single one.

The PTI chief, he said, in his address to the public meeting at the Doongi Ground in Lahore did not talk about the 35-punctures, printing of ballot papers from Urdu Bazar Lahore, former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and others against whom he had been blaming for rigging. Pervaiz Rashid said Imran had no positive and constructive programme for the public, which was evident from the fact that PTI government in KP could not launch any mega development project in the province.

He said the PTI chief was in the habit of repeating the old rigging allegations which had been rejected by the General Election Inquiry Commission. “Citizens of Lahore, which is considered one of the beautiful cities of the world, are enjoying the facility of Metro Bus, while the work on Orange-Line train service is about to start,” he remarked.

But, he said, Imran was opposing all modern facilities being extended to the citizens in Lahore, he added.

The minister said that Imran knew that PTI would face defeat in the NA-122 by-election that was why he had started crying rigging before the result of by-election, to justify his future protest. The PTI chief had contested three elections from the NA-122 and faced marginal defeat, and now for the fourth time the result would be the same, Pervaiz Rashid said.

International organizations had declared the general elections 2013 transparent, he added.

To a question, Pervaiz said “Travel in regular flights is avoided due to security reasons and keeping in view comfort of other passengers,” he added. During the prime minister’s visit to US and UK, he said, matters pertaining to Pakistan’s national interest would be taken up with the host countries. He said PTI just had the government in KP and its chief was using a private plane and helicopter to visit different cities in the country.