KARACHI: PTI chief Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he would secure more votes from the people of Karachi in the upcoming election than the previous one.
Imran Khan was speaking to students at Institute of Business Management (IoBM) on Awaz show with Shahzad Iqbal.
Q. Do you see yourself sitting in the prime minister’s seat?
I believe PTI is ready and our workers are ready to win the polls. Success is not defined by becoming the prime minister of a country. Many prime ministers have come and gone, do you even remember their names?
I wanted to bring about human development and improve institutions of the country. That is how I define success.
Q. How will you change the situation in Karachi when you can’t win enough seats to have your party’s chief minister elected from Sindh?
“I believe that PTI will secure more votes from Karachi than ever before,” he said.
The PTI chief shot down assumptions that his party would not be able to install his chief minister in Sindh. He said that it was premature to comment on whether or not the party could secure the most seats from Sindh.
Q. Will you be able to manage affairs of your party after third marriage?
Imran Khan responded by saying that when a person turns 65, it’s not appropriate to ask him questions pertaining to marriage.
Q. Is it a coincidence that 20 MPAs voted for Chaudhry Sarwar in senate elections. Are PML-N MPAs reciprocating anything?
Everyone knows that MPAs were bought in the recent Senate elections. We are well aware that MPAs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were offered as much as Rs 40 million to vote.
PTI had 30 seats in Punjab Assembly while there were PML-N MPAs as well who had joined our party hence they also added to our tally. I can’t say anything for sure since polls are held secretly.
Q. Why were your ‘Tigers’ influenced by money?
Allah says in the Quran that He will time and again test our faith. The party is aware that money was offered to our MPAs and we are aware as to who was behind it.
However, since it was a secret ballot and there are no receipts of the money exchanging hands hence we cannot take action against those involved at the moment.
Q. Most terrorist attacks in universities happened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Where do you think you failed?
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bore the brunt of terrorist attacks after 9/11. In 2013, 200 terrorist attacks had taken place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone while the other three provinces had experienced only 99 attacks.
Our Police Reforms Act helped make Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police become even more professional. When you empower police, it helps sustain law and order situation throughout the province.
We think PTI has brought about a positive change throughout the province.
Q. You talk about defeating terrorism but your party has decided to support Sami-ul-Haq. Isn’t that contradictory?
How can we abandon millions of students studying in madressahs? In recent terror attacks it was discovered that those involved were students of private universities. So the notion that terrorists originate only from madressahs is a false one.
We are trying to bring these students to the mainstream and ensure that children from madressahs become doctors, engineers, teachers, professors and civil servants through quality education.
Q. Reham Khan said she is about to write a book. Do you think it would damage your chances in the elections?
I think she would help our election campaign more.
Q. Why haven’t you held any rallies or conducted public meetings in Karachi?
Well, I have arrived in the city now and you will see us campaigning soon enough. And all of you should join PTI and become members of the party. (Applause)
Q. Nowadays, politicians use such derogatory language against each other. How then can decent people join to bring about change?
This is a very important question. Supreme Court referred to these people as ‘mafia’ and they were correct. The name of the prime minister surfaced in Panama Papers and he wasn’t ready to resign.
I consider my struggle against them as Jihad and I will continue to fight them. (Applause)
Q. How will you win seats from rural areas? Tell us something about your economic policies?
Our 126-day dharna made the people of Pakistan aware of the current political situation of the country. Gone are the days when people thought awareness was only limited to urban areas of the country.
As far as the policies are concerned, we need to improve NAB and FBR by getting rid of nepotism and politics. This is the only way to improve Pakistan’s tax collection which can rise to Rs 8 trillion.
Remember, I am the only politician who collects huge sums of donations from the masses. I know that the only reason people don’t pay tax is because they do not trust these corrupt politicians.
Q. What will be your three top priorities when you come to power?
My first priority would be to ensure that NAB and FBR are free from corruption and function as independent institutions. This is because I think Pakistan’s two main problems are tax collection and corruption.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa we have isolated bureaucracy and made government institutions strong. It would also be my top priority to spend a large chunk on human development.
Countries that spend on human development prosper.
Q. You did not even vote during senate elections and frequently curse parliament.
My vote wouldn’t have had any effect on the outcome of the senate election. Also, the prime minister calls a corrupt and disqualified person as his leader. Is this an empowered parliament?
In Britain, before every session the prime minister is held accountable as he has to answer questions posed him by parliamentarians. There is a proper system of accountability that seems to be absent here.