Pakistan Elections: Cricket legend Imran Khan claims victory

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By Muhammad Luqman

Pakistan’s all time cricket great and Chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf on Thursday held out olive branch to India, urging nuclear-armed neighbor to come to the negotiation table for the resolution of all the bilateral issues including Kashmir in the larger interest of the South Asian region.

“ Poverty is the main problem of the Sub-continent: Entire region has to join hands to make people prosperous,” Imran Khan, the would-be Prime Minister of Pakistan said while delivering a victory speech, laying out the future government’s policy on domestic and foreign affairs.

PTI Chairmn  said  that he was disappointed with the way Indian media portrayed him as a villain during the last few weeks.

He said that  Kashmir remained the biggest bone of contention in Indo-Pakistan relations and urged India to end human rights violations in Kashmir, saying  that  people in Kashmir have suffered for the past 30 years.

About relations with China,  Imran Khan said ,  “Beijing  gives us lot of opportunities. CPEC is an opportunity that China has provided to Pakistan. We want to take inspiration from China to pull the poor out of their poverty, ” he added.

As far as the US is concerned, Imran said, “We want to work on a policy that is mutually beneficial. Not a one-way relationship as there needs to be balance.”

, “We want to improve our relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia both. We want to work as a reconciliation facilitator in the region. That country that works towards ending wars rather than being used for them.”

Regarding Afghanistan, Imran said, “We want to work in every possible way to ensure peace in Afghanistan. I would love an open border system like the EU with Afghanistan. Afghanistan is that neighbour of ours that has seen the most human misery and damage in the name of wars. The people of Afghanistan need peace, and Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan.”

Outlining his plans to make Pakistani economically stable, PTI chairman stressed the need of austerity in every field of life.”I am ashamed of living inside Prime Minister’s House, it is made out of corrupted money. We will use all of Governor’s Houses for public use. Pakistan’s leaders would no longer live of the tax of the common people,”.

Nations are not recognised by how their elite live; rather  these are  recognised by how they  treat and lift  the  poor. The example of China lifting 70 crore people out of poverty is in front of us, Imran Khan said.

“Accountability to start from me. We will set an example in terms of law and order. Improved governance system, investment and law and order to be our priorities,” said  Khan.

Addressing the concerns of opposition parties regarding rigging in the July 25 polls which will see Imran come into power, the PTI chief assured, “These have been the cleanest elections in Pakistan’s history.”

“I will fully cooperate in scrutinising as many constituencies as opposition parties want,” he added.

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