Imran Khan thanks Via Skype the Fundraisers in NJ & Test Public Mood Before Poll
Reporting & Editing By Adam Rizvi: The hand with the index finger pointing at the audience is so like the old Uncle Sam posters you used to see. Only the face is different. “Save Pakistan. Get Imran Khan” the poster reads. Targeting the American Pakistani community, the message for Naya Pakistan Election 2018 is loud and clear. If there is to be any hope for Pakistan it will have to be Imran Khan.
To be hosted on Wednesday by the Pakistan American Council (PAKUSA) at the Royal Albert Palace, the function is virtually the talk of the town among the Pakistani expat community. Emotions run strong both among the strong supporters of Imran and his arch-rival Nawaz Sharif, now languishing in jail back home
With less than a week to go for the election slated for July 25, all eyes are on Imran Khan, considered one of the prime contenders for the premiership. Organizer Sam Khan from the Pakistan American Council is all excited about the “big show” on Thursday. Speaking in New Jersey to The India Observer’s Editor in Chief Adam Rizvi, he revealed that Thursday’s event would showcase the true leadership “Mr. Imran Khan has the right blend of global charm and Pakistani sensibilities to qualities to usher Pakistan into a new era and help the nation emerge as a stable progressive economy, an image that has been eroded drastically in the last decade.”
Sam Khan and PAKUSA are putting in their best to make the function a big success. Already the Facebook page of the PAKUSA is abuzz with supporters of Imran Khan, voicing their affirmation of his leadership and asking Pakistanis to Donate and vote for change this July.
In the run-up to the Election 2018 in Pakistan, and in the wake of the arrest of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, the political scenario in Pakistan has been thrown in disarray. This is the perfect time for Imran Khan to make his political presence felt.
What has, however, put a spoke in the wheel for Imran are leaked excerpts from his ex-third wife Reham Khan’s soon-to-be-out book where she has accused him of corruption, drugs, sexcapades with party women, trysts with transgender and gay men and a host of other charges. Imran’s supporters, however, have alleged the whole controversy is a well-orchestrated plan to damage the credentials of the cricketer turned politician and stymie his chances at the hustings.
Embroiled in the Panama Paper controversy, the return to Lahore has not augured well for the former Pak premier Sharif. Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on July 13 on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty over his family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London. They were later shifted to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively for corruption charges linked to the Panama Papers case. Sharif has also been barred from holding any public office for life. Four federal ministers considered close to Sharif had raised questions on the functioning of the JIT, set up by the Supreme Court in May to investigate the Sharif family about its properties in London, and expressed reservations on the process of investigation.
“The JIT report will be compromised without his (Qatari prince) statements and we will not accept it,” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said in a joint statement.
Al-Thani in two letters written to the Supreme Court said that late Muhammad Sharif, father of Nawaz Sharif, had invested 12 million dirhams in real estate business of the royal family.
According to letters by the Qatari royal, the money invested by late Sharif was returned to the family with profits. The Sharifs have maintained that the same money was used to buy properties in London.
However, opposition parties allege that the London properties were bought through ill-gotten money in the 1990s when Sharif served twice as Pakistan’s prime minister.
Later one of the ministers, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi declared that Shahbaz Sharif (66), Nawaz’s younger brother will be the next Prime Minister in the event the party wins the July 25 elections. He, however, added that the final decision will still be made with the consensus in the party.
Considered Sharif’s nemesis Imran Khan had already threatened that he would protest if the government tried to derail the probe. The current crisis started after the Panama Papers showed that Sharif’s children owned the London properties and manage them through offshore companies.
Photo: Courtesy A1 Studios, Arshad & TIO