MIANWALI   -   PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday kicked off his election campaign by staging a major rally and promising sweeping changes in the country if his party wins.

Pakistan will hold a general election on July 25 and Imran Khan is hoping to achieve a years-long dream of becoming prime minister.

The polls will bring to a head political tensions that have been mounting since former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court on corruption charges last July and later barred from politics for life.

“Today I am launching my election campaign and weeks after, you will see emergence of a new Pakistan,” Imran Khan told a rally of thousands of people in his native Mianwali constituency.

Imran Khan said that if elected, he will root out corruption by strengthening institutions, will bring investment from abroad and will provide better job opportunities for young people.

He also promised changes in the agriculture and education sectors and wide-ranging reforms to introduce a culture of paying tax.

“With the grace of God, we will make a new Pakistan which will be self-sufficient and will stand on its own feet, will prosper and where government will serve its people,” Imran Khan said.

Imran Khan said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons should be held accountable for Rs300 billion. He said that in the PML-N’s tenure, the Sharif brothers took the country’s loans from Rs13,000 billion to Rs27,000 billion.

“All the progress was made in the advertisements,” remarked the PTI chief, adding that Rs40 billion were spent on ads.

It is pertinent to mention that Imran is vying to contest the July 25 polls from four constituencies, including Mianwali’s NA-95.

“When people used to make fun of the PTI, the people of Mianwali stood with me,” said Imran.

The PTI chief claimed that his party is Pakistan’s biggest political party.

On the issue of party tickets, Imran said that he faced immense pressure on the matter as ‘everyone was asking for tickets’. “All my relatives from Mianwali were asking for tickets… Nawaz and Zardari distributed tickets among relatives,” said the PTI chief.

He said that the PTI tickets for the general elections 2018 were given on the basis of merit.

Imran Khan said that new Pakistan would come into existence within a couple of months. Imran claimed that the PTI would get majority of seats across the country.

He said the PTI after coming to power would initiate a number of public welfare and development schemes in the country. He added that the PTI would give priority to the education sector and open schools in far-flung areas to enroll the maximum children in schools to build the nation.

The PTI would construct mini dams for preserving water which would help for power generation and agri sector besides fulfilling basic needs of people, he said.

The upcoming elections are expected to pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by Imran Khan.

Despite the numerous court rulings against the PML-N, the party has won a string of recent by-elections proving it will likely remain a powerful force.