DERA MURAD JAMALI - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan yesterday presented a five-point charter of demands, threatening the government to take to streets if they were not met. Addressing a large rally here, Imran called for reduction in prices of diesel, kerosene oil and petrol. He said the second demand pertained to reversal of infrastructure taxes on gas prices and the newly imposed taxes on electricity, besides cutting electricity rates by Rs 3 per unit.

He also called for making the Federal Board of Revenue a completely autonomous body as corruption of Rs 700 billion was being committed in the department annually.The third point related to the prevailing PIA crisis, calling for immediate halt to the PIA privatisation process. Khan also urged the government to appoint professionals in key institutions like the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) instead of favouring relatives of the ministers.

Imran also asked the government to release funds for payment of salaries to the workers and employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and other institutions, who had nothing been paid for last five months.

He urged the federal government to bring back looted money from abroad. He asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons to declare their assets, both in the country and abroad.He said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had told the National Assembly that Pakistanis had some 200 billion dollars in banks abroad. Pakistani nationals, he said, had bought property worth Rs 650 billion in Dubai during last two years. Nawaz’s son, he alleged, was living in a London flat worth Rs 200 billion.

He said the Nawaz government had taken Rs 5,000 billion loan during last two-and-a-half years. In case the government did not accede to his demands, he would again be compelled to come on roads for their acceptance, he warned. Imran alleged the government was looting national assets in the name of privatisation. First the institutions were destroyed and then the process of their privatisation was started. Both PIA and the Pakistan Steel Mills were profitable organisations, but they were destroyed.

The steel mill of Nawaz in Jeddah was running in profit while the Pakistan Steel Mills had been shut down, he regretted. The PIA employees, he said, had protested against the privatisation of their institution, but bullets were fired on them, he lamented. Khan said the people of Balochistan had been deprived of their rights. Natural gas was discovered from Sui, but Quetta was provided the facility at a very late stage. His party, on coming to power at the Centre, would give all the due rights to the province, he pledged.

He said most areas of Balochistan were deprived of clean drinking water. The construction of Katchi Canal was started in 1992, but it had not been completed till today. Had the Orange Line train in Lahore not been started, some 300,000 acres of land would have been irrigated by completing construction of Katchi Canal, he added. He said the Punjab government had obtained a loan of Rs 200 billion for only 27-kilometre metro train. He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was good for the country’s progress. But Nawaz Sharif was only giving favours to his relatives. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister was not taken into confidence, but the prime minister was accompanied by his brother, nephew and other relatives while dealing with Chinese regarding the CPEC projects.

With the construction of the western route of the CPEC, the backward areas of the country would have been benefited, but the prime minister first started building eastern route only to benefit Lahore, he alleged. He regretted the government had lost an opportunity to develop backward areas by failing to launch projects under the CPEC. The rally was also addressed by PTI leaders Jahangir Tareen and Sradar Yar Muhammad Rind. In a brief talk to reporters before the start of the rally, he said the crisis of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was due to failed governmental policies.

He said the government did not take the nation into confidence while taking decisions on the matters of national importance. The issue of the PIA privatisation should have been discussed in the parliament, he added. He said input from all stakeholders was necessary before taking any step. Talking about the National Action Plan (NAP), Khan said its implementation was the responsibility of the federal government. The police and other security institutions would win the war on terror, he added. The PTI chief announced his party would participate in Karachi by-elections.