LAHORE: PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Friday warned that reducing the powers of Rangers in Karachi would seriously harm the ongoing operation against terrorists and anti-social elements.
It will result in restarting of bloodshed and target killings, depriving the people of long-awaited peace in the country’s economic hub, he told the media at the Allama Iqbal International Airport on his arrival in the city.
Citing the aftermath of Naseerullah Babar-led operation, the PTI chairman feared that targeted killings of the personnel participating in the anti-terror operation would be started again, if the criminal elements were not completely crushed by giving a free hand to the Rangers to purge the port city of terrorists.
He said the people of Sindh were in favour of the Rangers-led operation but the political parties were trying to slash the special powers of Rangers under the pretext of safeguarding democracy.
Imran alleged that the Sindh government with the help of ruling party at the Centre wanted to reduce the powers of Rangers and accused both the PPP and MQM of joining hands to protect corrupt elements and their armed wings.
Imran opposed joining the Saudi Arabia-led counter-terrorism alliance and said the move could spark sectarianism in the country, while asking the government to hold a debate on the issue in parliament.
The PTI chief gave the credit for the Operation Zarb-e-Azb to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said there was a unanimity among all political parties to root out the menace of terrorism as resolved in the All Parties Conference.
“The Pakistan Army has achieved tremendous success in the Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the credit also goes to the prime minister for evolving a consensus on the issue before the operation was launched,” he said.
Imran also criticised the imposition of Rs 40 billion additional taxes without parliament’s approval.
Lashing out at the governance style of the PML-N, Imran said, “The country is being run through ordinances instead of legislation through parliament. The prime minister gives priority to personal interests over that of the country,” he said, adding that the PTI would fully take part in the 2018 general elections.
Later, Imran addressed a cake-cutting ceremony in connection with the Christmas celebrations and expressed his anger over the reports of Hindu girls being forcibly converted for wedlock in Sindh. “We have failed to develop a system based on justice and equality,” he said, while lamenting that the minorities worship places were also attacked.
Referring to his recent visit to India, Imran said he requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use his office to control the atrocities against the minorities in his country, as it badly affected the minorities in Pakistan. Earlier, Imran, during a meeting of PTI members in Punjab Assembly, directed Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed to devise a strategy to take onboard other opposition parties in the assembly to give a tough time to the ruling party.
The joint opposition would expose the mega corruption scandals, the PTI chairman told the media after the meeting.
Replying to a query, he said, “Trade among Pakistan, India and Afghanistan would help poverty alleviation in the region.”
Later in the evening, Imran also attended the ‘Graduate Night’ and fundraising event of Namal College, Mianwali. Speaking on the occasion, he urged the philanthropists to contribute for the construction of proposed new academic block of the college for which Rs70 million were required.
He said 70 per cent of the Namal students were of rural background but were getting degrees from the University of Bradford.