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Imran presents 'formula' to check inflation

23 December, 2013

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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday presented a 'formula' to overcome the menace of inflation and declare a war on drone attacks, NATO supply, law and order, corruption, IMF loans, tax on the rich, printing of new currency notes and to promote accountability and foreign investment in the country.

Khan asked the PML-N government to follow his plan, during a rally against price hike on The Mall.

Addressing thousands of party workers, the PTI chief denounced the government for price hike in the country, saying that taxes were not being imposed on the rich and burden was put on the poor who are no more able to pay taxes. The government should impose taxes on the rich instead of putting the burden on the poor, he added.

He said that without maintaining the law and order situation in the country, no foreign investment could be attracted and the government should, therefore, take steps to improve the situation.

The PTI chief lashed out at the government, accusing it of begging from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and inflicting inflation on the country. He claimed that in the last six months, Rs 500 billion in notes had been printed, which had resulted in inflation.

"I want to warn the masses that they should brace for further hike in prices as what they are coping with right now is just tip of the iceberg," Khan said.

Khan also urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to fulfil his promise of stopping drone attacks.

"Drone strikes kill militants, who then target common people and as a result, Pakistanis are killed," he said.

"We do not want war with the US. We only want to convince the superpower that drone attacks are not helping the situation. Washington will not be able to achieve the desired results with such attacks. So far, they have proven to be counterproductive for both Pakistan and the US," Khan added.

About NATO supply, he said that the PTI had blocked these supplies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to send a "clear message" to the US against drone attacks. However, he clarified that his party never wanted to have a war with America.

The PTI chief said the rich as well as politicians should bring their money back from abroad and invest it in Pakistan to strengthen the national economy as it would help curb inflation. He said the government should also take action against corruption mafia that was damaging the national economy, and it should also ensure a transparent accountability system in the country.

According to Khan, printing of new currency notes was a major reason for prevailing inflation in the country. He also urged the government to pay attention on attracting foreign investment by ensuring peace in the country.

The PTI chief also advised the government against receiving IMF loans.

He also claimed that there were no allegations of corruption against any PTI minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and said that he would personally take action if any of his party minister was found involved in any corruption case.

He also told people that they should not give votes to a person who has assets in foreign countries.

Khan also announced that the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would introduce a transparent accountability system. He also said that the "PTI's tsunami" would now hit Sindh on January 6 and later a protest would be held in Rawalpindi on January 24.

Earlier, the PTI rally started from Nasir Bagh and concluded outside Punjab Assembly on The Mall.

Other PTI leaders, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi and Jehangir Tareen, also addressed the rally. They said that holding a protest rally was a "democratic practice and the right of people in any democratic country".

Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan chief Syed Munawar Hasan and Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rashid also addressed the rally and criticised government's policies as well US drone attacks.

Earlier, convoys of protesters from different areas reached Nasir Bagh and joined the rally. They then marched on The Mall despite Section 144 being imposed there – which means protest rallies and demonstrations are banned on the road.

The PTI rally, however, remained peaceful and ended at Charing Cross amid huge deployment of police and law enforcement agencies.

The PTI had decorated the city with banners, inviting people to join the protest against the "government's failure" to check soaring prices.

PML-N leaders have slammed Imran Khan for holding the rally on The Mall. They say the PTI chief had "not launched any development project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa" except for administering polio drops to children.

End.

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