Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a pre-recorded video message for the 76th Independence Day said Pakistanis should struggle for justice and equality as only a country which gives importance to justice and merit flourishes.
"Pakistan was a dream of Allama Iqbal and Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Pakistan's founder), whose entire struggle was to liberate the Muslims of (undivided) India by establishing a state like Medina whose leaders ruled over the world," said the former prime minister, who is serving a three-year jail term following his convicted in a corruption case.
"They dreamed of such a Pakistan where the most important thing was justice and equality and the law protected the weaker section of the society from the powerful people," the cricketer-turned-politician said, adding that only a society which gives importance to justice flourishes.
The Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader said that Pakistanis do not need to look for opportunities in other nations when justice, which encourages merit, prevails in Pakistan. "Merit and justice together will bring prosperity in Pakistan," the 70-year-old leader said, appealing to Pakistanis to struggle for the betterment of their country.
"No matter wherever you go, you won't find a place better than Pakistan. So let's make this country better by struggling together for Pakistan's independence (from the claws of injustice and inequality)," Khan said. He added that the future of Pakistan will be bright only when everyone is treated equally before the law.
Khan is currently lodged in the Attock jail after being convicted in the Toshakhana corruption case. The Election Commission following his conviction barred the politician from participating in political activities for five years.
PTI Core Committee on Monday expressed concerns that Khan could suffer from "slow-poisoning" and demanded that arrangements be made to instantly provide him home-made food and water, The News reported.
The PTI also strongly denounced the "unjustifiable delay" in the hearing of the bail application of Khan, who faces several charges of corruption as well as terrorism. The PTI leaders expressed deep concern over keeping Khan in Attock jail in sheer violation of rules and the unnecessary delay in the decision on the plea to transfer him to Adiala jail.
They said that after the "darkest decision of the most controversial and biased judge, the prejudice and partiality of the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court was becoming a key contributor to the murder of justice".
The PTI Core Committee lamented that the graves of the Constitution, fundamental rights, democracy, and justice were being dug in the country with the help of such special judges.
Khan has been at the centre of political turmoil since he was ousted last year from power in a no-confidence vote, raising concerns about Pakistan's stability as the cash-strapped country deals with an economic crisis.
Khan, who has denied any wrongdoing, was arrested at his Lahore house and is currently in Attock jail where his legal team and party say living conditions were the worst that a former prime minister has been kept in.
The Islamabad High Court is also hearing a plea by Khan in which he seeks to be shifted to an A-class prison cell in Adiala jail.