Tsunami sweeping Pak politics: Imran
DUBAI — There’s a tsunami sweeping Pakistan’s politics, which should rid itself of the taint of corruption and foreign influence, said Imran Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party (PTI) and one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders.
Published: Sat 5 Nov 2011, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Thu 21 May 2020, 12:46 PM
It is spreading across the heartland, from Lahore to Multan, the atmosphere is electric and there’s an air of expectancy among people, said a confident Imran, who was in Dubai on Thursday. He credited the youth and middle class of the country for taking charge of the change during a knockout rally last week which left his rivals agape in its wake.
The gathering drew over 100,000 people in Lahore and marked his second coming, while proving he is still a force to be reckoned with in Pakistan’s shifting political landscape.
Imran bemoaned the lack of transparency in governance, but preferred not to name the ruling Pakistan People’s Party of President Asif Ali Zardari. He was also surprisingly silent on the PML (N) of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Instead, he targetted the ‘‘culture of rampant graft’’ which had left the poor clutching at straws, and the meddling ways of the United States in the country’s internal affairs during the meeting. ‘
‘It’s time we stopped accepting aid, because only then can we balance our accounts and budget for the future.’’ While slamming the US military’s drone strikes along the border regions with Afghanistan, the PTI chief was clearly in awe of China and the role it could play in the economic development of the country.
Strategically and economically Imran seemed aligned with Beijing than with Washington.
‘‘They want to invest in our infrastructure — ports, roads — everything, but theywant this violence to end. We must ensure political stability and rule of the law,’’ he said.
The leader who recently visited China, said there was a lot to learn from the Chinese, particularly their development programmes and economic reforms which lifted 400 million people out of poverty in over three decades.
When the Kashmir impasse with neighbouring India was brought up, he said only a negotiated solution could resolve the six-decade old problem.
‘‘There’s no military way out, only talks can take us forward and we must give it a chance to work,’’ he said, carefully choosing his words.
‘‘This is not about intelligence or the military, but the Indian side must ease its presence in Kashmir for lasting peace.’’
To a question on what his equation with the powerful military establishment and the intelligence agency ISI would be if his party came to power, the suave politician was more forthright and said a civilian government should be in control and mentioned Turkey in the same breath where parliament has trumped the army in decision-making. ‘‘A civilian government is necessary for positive change to happen and ordinary people should have a role in governance and the direction the country should take.’’ .