KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Thursday said that his basic disagreement with MQM chief Altaf Hussain was the politics of gun.
Talking to media in Karachi, Imran Khan said that he wanted to end the differences between all the people living in Karachi. He said that the politics of Karachi was being run on ethnic lines which would be detrimental to the national harmony.
Imran Khan said that his father was a Niazi Pathan from Mianwali while mother was a Wazir whose family lived in India. “I myself was born in Punjab. So now who am I?” he said and answered that he was a Pakistani.
Imran Khan said MQM was following the policy of duplicity because on the one hand he was invited and promised to warm welcome while his party workers were beaten up as he left Jinnah ground.
He hoped that those people were not under MQM control and would like the Police and MQM to take action against them. He said his was a peaceful rally.
Imran khan said whatever happened should not be repeated in the future. He made it clear that it is a defining moment and people are tired of the present state of affairs in Karachi. He asked MQM to distance itself from those creating scare by carrying weapons.
He welcomed the formation of Judicial Commission and expressed the confidence that time will come when the loser would go and garland the winner in elections. He said criminals who cast more than one vote would be exposed through NADRA.
He also asked the government to release salaries of Pakistan Steel Mills employees who have not been paid for four months.
Speaking on this occasion, Imran Khan’s wife Reham Khan said that she received a lot of love from Karachi. She said that the sisters of Karachi should fear nothing now as she was herself on the ground now. She said that there could be nothing more precious than a husband like Imran Khan. “All the sisters of Karachi will come out to vote for PTI on 23rd of April”, said Reham.
Earlier Imran Khan led a political rally in Karimabad area of Karachi on Thursday to campaign for the upcoming by-election in the NA-246 constituency.
A large number of supporters were accompanying the PTI chairman’s convoy, which earlier went to Jinnah Ground. On the way large number of people showered flower petals at the rally participants.
Speaking to a crowd of workers gathered at Karimabad, Khan questioned the MQM’s welcome of the PTI at Jinnah Ground, where things turned sour when a scuffle broke out among MQM and PTI workers as soon as the PTI chairman’s vehicle left.
“What kind of welcome was this? I regret that when we left, our workers were beaten with sticks. I ask Altaf Hussain: you say such sweet words and on the other hand your workers beat our supporters” he said while addressing workers from the roof of his vehicle in Karimabad.
Khan urged PTI workers to stay peaceful and to avoid any confrontation.
“We will have to unite and create a city of peace – a city of lights. Expatriates will return to the country and invest in the economy. I tell my youth to be patient. The day is not far when this reign of terror ends,” said the PTI chairman.
On arrival in Azizabad, several MQM leaders greeted him and welcomed him to Jinnah Ground where he offered fateha at the martyrs’ memorial.
The atmosphere, though, soon turned sour after his departure as workers from the PTI and MQM clashed and hurled slogans against each other.
However, the police were quickly able to separate both sides.
Following the rally, Imran and Reham visited the residence of Nazia Rabbani where arrangements had been made for lunch.
Speaking to reporters earlier today before leaving Karsaz where he was staying, Imran said he welcomed Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s recent statement.
Altaf Hussain “has created an atmosphere of peace with his statement,” he said, adding that it would be beneficial for Pakistan if the by-poll is held in a positive environment.
“The people of Karachi are tired of living in fear. We are contesting the by-election to end this atmosphere of terror in Karachi,” he said.
The planned route for the PTI chairman’s rally had been put under strict security by the police, with bomb disposal squad having swept the area for explosives. Entry roads had also been sealed with buses and trucks blocking exits.
Shops remained closed in Karimabad’s mobile market, Meena Bazaar and Faisal Bazaar, with police saying that they had been shut down due to security concerns.