PTI Fundraiser in SF Bay Area Gets Enthusiastic Support of Community
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan says that Pakistan was currently passing through a defining moment that nations rarely witness. Such critical moments change the course of events and history. Imran Khan was addressing a PTI fundraiser through Skype on Sunday at the Mehran Restaurant in Fremont/Newark.
He said that at this critical moment all old political parties of Pakistan have joined hands and are aligned against the entire nation led by the PTI. It is an exciting time, a very difficult one, he added.
Imran Khan went on to say that the government has all the resources which are being used against the PTI campaign. "As he disclosed yesterday, the government has given 70 crore rupees to the Intelligence Bureau to foil our November 30th rally in Islamabad."
He pointed out that this huge amount is being spent on the media, TV anchors and newspapers. Besides, the government is spending three billion rupees every month on TV and newspaper ads.
About the growing number of people attending PTI rallies, the PTI Chief said that it is perhaps the first time in the history of Pakistan that women are coming out of homes to attend political gatherings as was witnessed in Jehlum. "This indicates that the masses have decided to get rid of the current government."
Imran Khan said that PTI leaders are being arrested and false FIRs are being filed against them to sabotage the November 30th mega event. "I was declared an absconder and today I was reading in the newspapers that I have links with terrorists!"
He claimed that massive rigging was done in the 2013 elections. He was confident that if elections were held today his party would capture two-thirds of the seats.
Imran Khan briefed the audience about the financing of the sit-in over the last 95 days. He said that till October 30th PTI had raised 9.5 crore rupees. "In the beginning we had a deficit of seven crore rupees which we have recovered and now we are doing fundraisers for the November 30th mega event."
He pointed out that his party is the only party which does not receive donations from big businesses but is run on peoples' donations.
Imran Khan's speech through Skype link was the main feature of the PTI fundraiser which began with the recitation of the Holy Qur'an by Chaudhry Saeed, a very old member of PTI. Qamar Zaman Khan, President of the PTI San Francisco Bay Area, welcomed the guests on behalf of the party.
Ali Zaidi, member of the National Central Committee, was the keynote speaker. Zaidi, who lived in the US for about 15 years, is currently visiting the USA for the PTI fundraising efforts. He told the audience that the PTI movement had awakened the masses and people are now joining our gatherings on their own. He emphasized that the PTI had created a momentum which should be maintained to achieve its desired objectives. He pointed out that movements are not time-bound but mission- or objective-bound.
He related his bitter experiences in Pakistan but said that he was hopeful that a new Pakistan is now being born and many Pakistanis who are now settled abroad for economic reasons will be able to return to their homeland in the new Pakistan.
During the question-answer session, he was asked about Imran Khan's stand on holding negotiations with the Taliban and the situation in Baluchistan.
The PTI was able to raise $ 22,000. One cricket bat, signed by Imran Khan, was auctioned for $ 2,000. It may be pointed out that on Saturday, the PTI event in Sacramento was able to raise $30,000 while the Los Angeles event raised more than 30,000.
Ealier, Shakeela Kochinwala briefed the audience about the progress of education in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which is governed by the PTI. The KPK is spending 28% of its budget on education, she said, adding, six lac girls are going to school and get a 2500-rupee stipend monthly.
Shakeela pointed out that Peshawar is now a polio-free city.
Another feature of the program was Imran Khan's interview with four TV anchors that were watched with keen interest.