KARACHI - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that development and progress of Pakistan is linked with peace in Karachi.

“Resolving the issues of Karachi would mark the start of a new phase of progress for the entire country,” he said.

In an explicit reference to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Imran said, “PTI had initiated the movement against corruption and it was due to that movement that we were able to get rid of the ‘God Father’ of corruption, and now its Sindh’s turn.”

Imran was talking to media men at PTI Karachi chief Firdous Shamim Naqvi’s residence on Wednesday.

PTI leaders, including Asad Umer, Ali Zaidi, Dr Arif Alvi, Imran Ismail, Khurram Sher Zaman and others were also present.

On the occasion, playwright Hasina Moeen, PTV former general manager Zahir Khan, Pasban-e-Millat Party President Jawad Sherazi, and senior politician Mehfoozun Nabi announced joining the PTI.

Welcoming all the new entrants, Imran said that the party was becoming popular at a fast pace, and claimed that it would sweep the next general elections. “PTI has demanded early elections as these will strengthen democracy,” he argued.

Talking about the Fata reforms, Imran said that the government was playing delay tactics in this regard. “The government and its allies, JUI-Fazl (JUI-F) and Mahmood Khan Achakzai are creating hindrances in the introduction of reforms in Fata,” he alleged, and reminded that it had been stated in the National Action Plan that the Fata’s status would be upgraded by merging it with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). “But it is unfortunate that in order to please the JUI-F chief, the government is deferring the Fata reforms till 2023,” he regretted.

He expressed concern over the existing system in Fata, and said that this system risked bringing terrorism back. “PTI is taking the issue seriously, and will protest along with other opposition parties as well as people of Fata till the introduction of reforms,” PTI chief expressed the resolve.

To a question, Imran said that PTI was getting strengthened in Sindh and that the party will hold a public gathering in Tando Muhammad Khan on December 15.

He further said that a conspiracy had been hatched to destroy the growers of Sindh and Punjab.

To a question about Model Town, Imran held Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah responsible for the killings of innocent people there, and demanded both of them to step down over the killings of 14 innocent people. At the same time, he also expressed complete support for PAT chief Tahirul Qadri.

Also, Imran Khan questioned why Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was present at the Organization of Islamic Summit (OIC) held in Istanbul.

“What is CM Sharif doing at OIC Summit in Turkey? Why were the other chief ministers not taken along also?” tweeted Imran before launching his tirade at Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, referring to him as a puppet of the Sharif mafia.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived here to attend the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Al-Quds Al-Sharif on the invitation of President of Turkey.

The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and other high officials.

Heads of state and government officials of about 26 Islamic countries were expected to attend the extraordinary summit and would also explore ways to deal with the situation.