Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, has challenged the Pakistani government to produce a plan to rescue the country from its economic crisis. During a public rally in Lahore, Khan stated that only a government with a public mandate could make the difficult decisions to resolve the crisis.
He also announced a ten-point program, which includes the resumption of the housing financing scheme and the promotion of tourism, to pull Pakistan out of the economic crisis. The public meeting was delayed due to road blockades put in place by the city administration on the pretext of security, which caused considerable difficulties for commuters.
The PTI also claimed that more than 1,800 party workers were rounded up from across the province before the public gathering.
Unfortunately, the lead-up to the PTI rally at Minar-i-Pakistan was marred by several obstacles. The road leading to the venue was blocked with containers and other barricades, causing significant inconvenience for PTI supporters and the general public trying to commute around the city. Some saw the use of such measures by the government as an attempt to prevent people from attending the rally and demonstrating their support for the PTI.
Moreover, the wet outfield due to heavy rain and the civil administration’s efforts to inundate parts of the ground made it difficult for supporters to access the venue. The suspension of internet services in some parts of the city only added to the challenges faced by people trying to attend the rally.
In addition, the police crackdown on PTI activists intensified ahead of the gathering, with the party claiming that more than 1,800 of its workers were rounded up from across the province. The PTI saw this move as a cowardly attempt by the government to suppress their power show.
Despite all these challenges, the PTI rally at Minar-i-Pakistan drew a massive crowd, including families waving PTI flags and dancing to the party songs. PTI Chairman Imran Khan used the occasion to deliver a lengthy speech outlining his vision for Pakistan’s recovery and his 10-point program to pull the country out of its economic crisis.
In his speech, Imran Khan challenged the incumbent rulers to devise a plan to rescue the country from the various crises it faced. He argued that there was no easy way out of the current crisis and that difficult decisions were required. However, he emphasized that only a government with a public mandate could make such decisions.
Imran Khan’s 10-point program focused on attracting foreign direct investment, promoting tourism, generating revenue from the minerals sector, reviving small and medium industries, increasing the tax net, resuming the housing financing scheme, regularizing katchi abadis, increasing agricultural productivity, stopping money laundering, and curtailing the current account deficit.
Despite the challenges leading up to the rally, the PTI’s power show at Minar-i-Pakistan was a significant demonstration of the party’s popularity and support base. Whether Imran Khan’s vision and program will resonate with the wider public and translate into electoral success for the PTI in the future remains to be seen.
Prime Minister Shehbaz accuses President Alvi of partisan behaviour in response to recent statements: PTI Press Release
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif responded to a letter from President Dr Arif Alvi in which the latter had requested assistance from federal and provincial authorities to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the orders of the Supreme Court.
Alvi had also raised concerns about using force against politicians, political workers, and journalists. In his reply, Shehbaz accused Alvi of taking a “partisan” approach and espousing anti-government views. He also accused the president of violating his oath several times and failing to discharge his constitutional duties.
Shehbaz claimed that due process was being followed under the Constitution and that law enforcement agencies acted following the law. He also criticized the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) for allegedly disregarding the law, attacking law enforcement agencies, and damaging public property.
Shehbaz accused Alvi of failing to raise concerns about Imran Khan’s conduct. At the same time, he was prime minister and pointed to reports of media clampdown and human rights violations during the PTI’s tenure.
Shehbaz emphasized that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was the constitutional body charged with organizing and conducting elections and that it had decided to hold elections in Punjab on October 8, 2023, after considering the ground realities. He criticized the dissolution of provincial assemblies and accused the PTI of attempting to undermine the authority and credibility of the ECP. Shehbaz also stated that he was committed to protecting the Constitution and ensuring that no one violated the law or caused harm to Pakistan.
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