Archive | November, 2014

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Taiwan opposition wins by landslide

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-11-2014

 

Ma refuses to relinquish KMT leadership

 

The opposition camp took control in Taipei and most other local governments that were up for grabs in elections yesterday, winning by a landslide that forced premier Jiang Yi-huah to resign.

Independent hopeful Ko Wen-je routed ruling Kuomintang (KMT) rival Sean Lien in the Taipei mayoral race by a wide margin, while the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took four special municipalities — Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung — and nine other cities and counties.

“We’ve toppled the high wall of ideology,��� said Ko as he addressed his jubilant supporters in a concert-like rally after preliminary results showed that he won by more than 240,000 votes.

“I promise that I’ll be a mayor of all citizens,” he said, reiterating his election platform of transcending all party boundaries.

DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen led ranking party officials to thank supporters as they celebrated the victory.

The ruling KMT managed to maintain control in one of the six special municipalities, New Taipei, only after a much tougher-than-expected battle.

The results mean the number of KMT-controlled local governments has been reduced from 15 to six.

Premier Jiang Resigns

“The election results have shown that the government’s policies have failed to satisfy the people. The voters have sent out their message via their votes,�€ said Jiang at a press conference after preliminary results were made available.

“Therefore I assume the political responsibility and have offered to resign,” Jiang said. He added that president Ma Ying-jeou had already accepted his resignation but has yet to decide on his successor.

Ma, as chairman of the KMT, conceded defeat, but called for unity within the party.

He refused to relinquish his control over the KMT despite calls starting to emerge from within the party ranks for his resignation as party chairman.

Ma said the party has “heard the voices of the voters,â�� and promised to continue to push for reform.

He called on all parties to put confrontations behind them and work for the future of the nation.

KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan also resigned to assume responsibility for the party’s heavy defeat.

The KMT’s poor showing came as a surprise particularly in some of its traditional strongholds.

KMT Keeps New Taipei

Re-election-seeking KMT New Taipei mayor Eric Chu defeated DPP contender Yu Shyi-kun by only a narrow margin, surprising many observers who had expected the incumbent to enjoy a comfortable win.

Chu thanked his supporters, but expressed “sadness” over what he called the ���completeâ€� defeat of the KMT. He said he has heard the “angry roars” of the people.

The biggest surprise came in Taoyuan, where KMT incumbent mayor Wu Chi-yang lost to DPP rival Cheng Wen-tsang, who had been fighting an uphill battle according to various pre-election public opinion polls.

In Taichung, DPP candidate Lin Chia-lung defeated KMT Mayor Jason Hu, ending the incumbent’s 13-year stint as the central city’s top administrator.

“We’ve waited for this moment for 10 years,” said Lin while addressing his supporters after preliminary results showed that he defeated the incumbent.

There were no surprises in the remaining two special municipalities, Tainan and Kaohsiung, with the DPP incumbent Mayors William Lai and Chen Chu, respectively, beating their challengers by wide margins.

The KMT also lost control of many of the local governments that have been its traditional strongholds, including Keelung.

City Council Elections

In local parliamentary elections, the KMT failed to win the majority of seats on any of the six special municipalities’ councils.

On the Taipei City Council, the KMT garnered 28 of the 63 seats up for grabs against the DPP’s 27.

On the Ȣ-seat New Taipei City Council, the KMT won 32 and the DPP 26.

The DPP took half of all 66 seats up for grabs in Kaohsiung, and 28 of the 57 seats in Tainan.

 

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Imran to unveil ‘plan C’ today

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-11-2014

 

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan told a charged crowd on Saturday that he would unveil �€˜plan C’ on Nov 30, claiming that it would make it very difficult for the PML-N government to manage its affairs.

Delivering his speech from atop his container on D-Chowk, Khan said that ‘plan A’ was the sit-in outside parliament, ‘plan B’ was the series of countrywide rallies that he had addressed, and that on Sunday, he would present ‘plan C’.

“In case plan C doesn’t work, I’ll bring plan D,” he said, adding that the party’s sit-in on D-Chowk would continue until “justice is done”.

On Saturday night, Khan found himself addressing quite a sizeable group of men, women and children from atop his container.

Police and the district administration had set up a perimeter around the area where the rally would take place.

Walk through gates beeped as people began streaming in to the site of the public meeting on the eve of Nov 30. However, it was unclear how most people planned to spend the night at the venue, given the bitter cold of Islamabad and the absence of campfires around the site.

Atop the stage, Khan was joined by a whole host of PTI leaders, including Lord Nazir – who is also expected to address the rally on Sunday.

Imran Khan lashed out at prime minister Nawaz Sharif over remarks he made during an address in Havelian, saying that, “Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a road in KP for the sake of publicity.”

He also said that both Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif spent taxpayer money on their personal publicity.

“Last year, they spent 10 billion Pakistani rupees (US$98.3 million) on advertisements. After the sit-ins began in August, they released 3 billion ($29.5 million) per month for advertisements in order to influence newspapersâ��, he claimed.

“In his speech, Nawaz Sharif announced that he will build bridges, roads and other buildings in KP, but he doesn’t know that a nation cannot be built like this,” he said, adding that “If the criteria for nation building is constructing infrastructure, then it is better to make Malik Riaz the prime minister”.

He said alleged that the ruling party simply wanted to make money off the poor of Pakistan. “They want to make you their slaves,” he bellowed. “In August, they employed brutal force against peaceful protesters… but we will begin the process of their accountability very soon.”

Khan also took the credit for the upcoming price drop in petrol prices, saying that, “It happened thanks to the sit-in, not because of Asif Ali Zardari’s opposition,” he said pointedly.

“This is real change,” he said, adding that the prices of electricity and gas would also have skyrocketed if we did not hold this sit-in.

Khan is also expected to spend the night in his container.

 

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Abu Sayyaf extends ransom deadline by 20 days

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-11-2014

 

Kunak fish farm operator Chan Sai Chuin has been given a 20-day respite by his Abu Sayyaf captors who have threatened to behead him by today if a 3 million ringgit (US$886,900) ransom is not paid up.

His wife Chin Pek Nyen said police had told her that the kidnappers gave the authorities another 20 days to meet their demand.

“They managed to persuade the kidnappers to give them more time to raise the money for his release,” said the 42-year-old yesterday.

However, Chin said the kidnappers continued to refuse to let her speak to her 32-year-old husband, saying that they would only allow her to do so in the next few days.

“It’s been almost four months since I last heard my husband’s voice and I really want to speak to him.

“I hope they will keep their promise and let me talk to him after a few days,” she said.

Chan was abducted by the Filipino gunmen from his fish farm during a 12.45am raid on June 16.

Another Malaysian, marine policeman Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, who was abducted from Pulau Mabul on July 12, is still being held by gunmen in Jolo, southern Philippines.

The kidnappers, said Chin, would only tell her that her husband was “doing well” but claimed that he was â€�not around” whenever she asked to speak to him.

Chin, who lives in Kunak, is currently in Kuala Lumpur to meet businessmen who had offered donations to meet the ransom.

“My in-laws are asking me every day whether he is still alive and if he will be rescued at all. I don’t know what to tell them anymore,� she said.

Although police were still negotiating and communicating with the kidnappers, Chin said they continued to request to talk to her.

“Last time, there was only one man who dealt with me and asked me questions but now, there are three of them,” she said, adding that she found it strange that the kidnappers seemed eager to know her location.

“But I don�€™t tell them where I am exactly as the police told me not to,” she said, expressing hope that her husband could be rescued soon.

 

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DPP now a strong contender in Taiwan’s 2016 presidential poll

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

» Other News

 TAIPEI: Taiwan opposition wins by landslide

 MANILA: After Globe, more Philippine website hacked

 KUALA LUMPUR: Najib ‘to act sternly’ against sedition

 JAKARTA: Rift in Indonesia’s Golkar party as chairman Bakrie changes congress date

 YANGON: Myanmar MPs demand for six-party talks

 SANGKHLA BURI: Stateless children in Thailand still living in limbo

 BANGKOK: ‘Earliest date for Thailand’s election in Feb 2016′

 BANGKOK: Former top ranked Thai police taken to remand prison

 PETALING JAYA: KL and Beijing join forces to develop maritime training hub

� ISLAMABAD: Imran to unveil ‘plan C’ today

 LUZON: No DNA match in transgender Filipino murder case

â��TOKYO: Few women on Japan political parties’ election lists

 BANGKOK: Thai princess’ family name revoked

�Â PETALING JAYA: Rousing support for Sedition Act in M’sia

 BANGI: 2,000 nails removed from woman’s body

 

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 MANILA: Respect Philippine justice system, China urged

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â—� KUALA LUMPUR: Divorce case should be heard in Malaysia

 SINGAPORE: Black Friday red hot in S’pore

 SEOUL: Korean politicians agree to raise cigarette tax by $1.80

 TAIPEI: External factors not the only challenge to Taiwan economy

 BANGKOK: Be more alert, but less judgemental

 BEIJING: Curbs on religious extremism beefed up in Xinjiang

 TAIPEI: Taiwan opposition wins by landslide

 YANGON: Myanmar MPs demand for six-party talks

 


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KMT’s ‘shellacking’ is worse than expected

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-11-2ዎ

 

With the president’s approval ratings locked at under 20 per cent, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) expected a beating in the 9-in-1 Elections that took place yesterday.

What they got yesterday was a true “shellacking.” The party lost all the seats they were expected to lose plus a lot more, including some cities and counties that are never been governed by other parties.

The party started yesterday with 15 of the 22 cities and counties in Taiwan. It retained only six after the polls closed. Even Eric Chu, the New Taipei City mayor widely expected to win comfortably, struggled to secure his re-election.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as the KMT chairman, will be regarded as the top culprit for the party’s routing.

There were calls for Ma to resign as KMT chairman even before results were fully in yesterday.

There had been ���rumours” last week suggesting that Ma would quit his chairmanship to take the blame for the party’s defeat.

The president, however, is not likely to just roll over. At the KMT’s national congress last year, Ma went as far as to spearhead the amendment of the party’s charter to guarantee that all R.O.C. presidents of the KMT will automatically be the party’s leader.

Ma made such an unorthodox move in anticipation of the pressure for his resignation upon a possible 9-in-1 Elections defeat.

He will not step down without a fight. A senior KMT official, who is anonymous because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, suggested as such.

With the KMT performing even worse than the already grim prediction, however, Ma might find it hard to endure the pressure for him to quit.

At least one head has already rolled. Premier Jiang Yi-huah became the first Ma administration official to go.

Local media speculated that Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin will replace Jiang as premier. The senior KMT official, however, suggested that while Hau is a possible candidate, vice premier Mao Chi-kuo has a better chance of getting the top Cabinet job.

The spectacular defeat of Sean Lien could spell the end of the dominance of his family in Taiwanese politics.

While Lien Chan and indeed Sean Lien himself will remain powerful figures in the KMT, the limitation of the Lien family’s influence shown by Sean Lien’s failed mayoral bid might persuade Beijing that Lien Chan is no longer the best top representative in their talks with the KMT.

The senior official pointed out that president Ma might seek to replace Lien Chan as the party’s go-to negotiation guy for Beijing after he leaves office.

Though even he is hugely unpopular, Ma is still seen by many as a clean and upright (even though not particularly competent and adaptive) politician.

With relatively more credibility among senior KMT figures and with an eye on his place in history, Ma may be the right person to talk with Beijing.

The question is, however, whether an unpopular former president and KMT chairman could have enough leverage in the eyes of mainland China officials, especially after KMT’s utter defeat.

Indeed, after the voters’ clear rejection of the KMT yesterday, Beijing will possibly be more interested in exploring ties with the DPP than continuing its bet on the cooperative but incapable KMT.

The KMT’s prospects for 2016 are gloomy. Midterm elections have long been an indicator of presidential elections in Taiwan and the ruling party faces a tough fight to surpass such overwhelming failure.

The party lost by around 230,000 votes in Taipei (to pan-green independent candidate Ko Wen-je) and by around 200,000 votes in Taichung, by over 430,000 in Tainan and around 500,000 in Kaohsiung to candidates fielded by the DPP, while taking cities and counties with relatively marginal winning edges.

The unexpectedly close result in New Taipei City also dents the momentum of Eric Chu, the city’s mayor who is strong candidate for the KMT’s 2016 ticket, opening the prospect for more infighting among other KMT figures feeling lucky.

While huge odds are stacked against it for the presidential election, the KMT is not without hope. The unequivocal failure might spur the party to change, meanwhile disappointed KMT supporters that held out yesterday might feel they have punished the party enough and extend a life line in 2016.

 

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Thai princess’ family name revoked

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30ᆟ-2014

 

The office of Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has revoked the family name of his wife Srirasmi, days after several of her relatives were implicated in a police graft probe.

In a letter issued yesterday, Air Chief Marshal Sathitpong Sukwimol, the Crown Prince’s secretary, terminated the royally bestowed surname of Akharapongpreecha, ordering those using it to revert to their original surname.

The royal family grants surnames to elites and individuals who are deemed to have made great contributions to the crown and country.

Princess Srirasmi, 42, Prince Vajiralongkorn’s third wife, was originally named Srirasmi Akharapongpreecha. The couple married in 2001 and have a nine-year-old son.

The former palace staff member was expected to become Queen when Prince Vajiralongkorn succeeds his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

But over the past week, her family has been discredited by a widening graft probe involving alleged extortion and oil smuggling, among other crimes.

Her uncle, former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, has been charged with graft and lese majeste, an offence that carries a jail term of up to 15 years.

According to Bangkok Post reports, he and his collaborators allegedly cited the monarchy when demanding bribes. Some have also been accused of demanding money from police officers in exchange for promotions. The corruption reportedly involved millions of dollars.

Several other senior policemen have also been implicated in the probe, alongside three brothers Natthapol, Sitthisak and Narong Akharapongpreecha, who are similarly accused of defaming the monarchy. Narong has been dismissed from his role as a civil servant working for the royal household.

Among those allegedly part of this extortion gang is the former chief of a police unit, who fell to his death under mysterious circumstances a week ago and was cremated swiftly.

Thailand is currently governed by martial law after a military coup on May 22 put an end to seven months of political unrest.

King Bhumibol is widely revered by Thais, who are anxious about the looming succession. He turns 87 on Friday.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/news/story/thai-princess-family-name-revoked-20141130#sthash.Wzgryzsl.dpuf

 

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Rousing support for Sedition Act in M’sia

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

» Other News

 TAIPEI: Taiwan opposition wins by landslide

 MANILA: After Globe, more Philippine website hacked

 KUALA LUMPUR: Najib ‘to act sternly’ against sedition

 JAKARTA: Rift in Indonesia’s Golkar party as chairman Bakrie changes congress date

 YANGON: Myanmar MPs demand for six-party talks

 SANGKHLA BURI: Stateless children in Thailand still living in limbo

 BANGKOK: ‘Earliest date for Thailand’s election in Feb 2016′

 BANGKOK: Former top ranked Thai police taken to remand prison

 PETALING JAYA: KL and Beijing join forces to develop maritime training hub

� ISLAMABAD: Imran to unveil ‘plan C’ today

 LUZON: No DNA match in transgender Filipino murder case

â��TOKYO: Few women on Japan political parties’ election lists

 BANGKOK: Thai princess’ family name revoked

�Â BANGI: 2,000 nails removed from woman’s body

 

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â—� SEOUL: Bangkok offers most affordable transportation

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 YANGON: Myanmar MPs demand for six-party talks

 


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2,000 nails removed from woman’s body

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-11񮖮

 

An Indonesian surgeon made a case for Islamic therapy to complement modern medicine at hospitals by showing rusty nails pulled out from the body of a female patient, supposedly a victim of sorcery.

Dr Sagiran Sukardi, who was speaking at a forum titled “Jinn (genies) and Sihr (sorcery) in Medicine”, described how his own understanding of medical practice was challenged while treating the woman.

In the much-publicised case in Sumatra, more than 2,000 nails were removed from 25-year-old Supiyati.

“As a surgeon, I could not believe the sickness was caused by Sihr or Jinn,” he said during the forum at National University of Malaysia(UKM).

Dr Sagiran, of Universiti Muhammadiy­yah Yogjakarta’s medical faculty, said Supiyati’s condition defied medical logic.

He showed participants of the forum �� 75 per cent of whom were doctors and psychiatrists, and the rest academics and researchers – pictures and X-rays of Supiyati’s infected wounds and the nails under her skin.

The patient was first brought to his emergency room in September 2012.

Dr Sagiran said in the first operation, he removed more than 70 nails from her legs and feet before treating her wounds.

“Surprisingly, a day after the operation I found more nails in the same areas again. At the time, I didn’t think sorcery had anything to do with it,” he said.

However, he said after consulting his colleagues and religious teachers, he decided to use complementary Islamic therapy to treat the patient.

Dr Sagiran said he started reciting verses from the Quran while dressing her wounds or whenever she was in pain, adding that this caused her to throw up.

“You cannot imagine it but there were even more nails along with hair in her vomit,” he said.

Dr Sagiran said Supayati’s first husband, who disappeared after she underwent treatment, is believed to be responsible for the sorcery.

He said the case illustrated the need for a holistic approach, including spiritual and religious treatment, at hospitals.

Forum moderator UKM Assoc Prof Dr Supyan Hussin said the organisers were not against modern medicine.

“But Islamic complementary therapy can be used to treat patients whose illnesses cannot be diagnosed,” he said.

Dr Supyan said Islamic therapy had nothing to do with black magic or witchcraft which was against Islam.

He said the participants might, through their discussions in the forum which continues today, pass a resolution which would then be sent to the health ministry.

 

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KMT’s landslide defeat: It’s the economy, plus ‘China factor’

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-ǫ-2014

 

In the end, the pan-green camp swept not three or four, but five of the six key cities at stake.

It was a victory that not even its most optimistic supporters had expected, though many were hoping for wins in Taipei or Taichung.
The ruling Kuomintang (KMT), previously overlord of four cities, was left with just one – New Taipei.

Dr Chao Chien-min, a former vice-minister in the Mainland Affairs Council during president Ma Ying-jeou’s first term, did not mince his words when he said: “It’s the worst defeat ever – KMT has lost elections in the past, but never by such a wide margin.”

There are various factors for its defeat, say analysts.
First, an insipid economy.

As costs of living continue to climb, wages have stagnated. The average monthly income in 썘 when Ma became president was NT$36,387; this inched up to NT$37,527 (US$1,174) last year.

Meanwhile, people associated the KMT with championing the welfare of big businesses rather than working for the good of small enterprises and the grassroots.

“To a large extent, this is a protest vote on the economy,” says Dr Zheng Zhenqing of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Tsinghua University.

Second, it did not help when this is coupled with rather tin-eared decisions to field candidates such as Sean Lien, the scion of a privileged political family, says Prof Chu Jintao, an expert on Taiwan affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Also, fielding incumbent Jason Hu, 66, for his fourth bid as Taichung mayor was another mistake.

“The KMT needs to consider why it seems unable to groom younger, fresher candidates who can attract younger voters with new ideas,” adds Prof Chu.

But beyond bread-and-butter issues, what was at stake for many voters, especially the young, are issues of identity, argues Prof Lee Hsiao-feng, an expert in democratic movements from the National Taipei University of Education.

Under Ma, cross-strait ties warmed to an unprecedented degree. More than 20 trade deals have been inked. Earlier this year, China and Taiwan held their first official meeting since the 1949 civil war.

But while welcomed by businesses, it also led to uneasiness that both sides have become too cosy, paving the way for widening Chinese influence in Taiwan – and eventually reunification.

This is even as surveys show the island’s residents are increasingly identifying themselves as “Taiwanese” (about two-thirds) rather than “Taiwanese and Chinese” (one- third) or “Chinese” (virtually nil).

The young are leading this counter-charge, as seen in the Sunflower movement in March when students occupied the legislature to protest against the ratification of a services trade pact with China – and they turned out to vote, says Prof Lee.

What this means is that whatever “reforms” Ma intends to roll out will have to include slowing the pace of ties with Beijing.

Says Dr Chao: “It will not be beneficial for cross-strait relations. The KMT is in a weaker position to implement policies… It was difficult before, it’s going to be virtually impossible now.”

Prof Chu agrees, saying: “Ma will have to make some minor adjustments. I think he will proceed more carefully, and more steadily.”

On its part, Beijing may find that it has to quietly step up efforts to work with the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, now in a stronger position to win the presidency come 2016.

For now, it is staying diplomatic. Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said last night: “We have noticed the results of the election.

“We hope compatriots across the (Taiwan) Strait will cherish hard-won fruits of cross-strait relations, and jointly safeguard and continue to push forward peaceful development of cross-strait relations.”

Additional reporting by Pearl Liu.


- See more at: http://www.stasiareport.com/the-big-story/asia-report/taiwan/story/kmts-landslide-defeat-taiwan-polls-its-the-economy-plus-china#sthash.sfpqdsco.dpuf

 

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Imran to unveil ‘plan C’ today

Posted on 30 November 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 30-11-2014

 

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan told a charged crowd on Saturday that he would unveil �€˜plan C’ on Nov 30, claiming that it would make it very difficult for the PML-N government to manage its affairs.

Delivering his speech from atop his container on D-Chowk, Khan said that ‘plan A’ was the sit-in outside parliament, ‘plan B’ was the series of countrywide rallies that he had addressed, and that on Sunday, he would present ‘plan C’.

“In case plan C doesn’t work, I’ll bring plan D,” he said, adding that the party’s sit-in on D-Chowk would continue until “justice is done”.

On Saturday night, Khan found himself addressing quite a sizeable group of men, women and children from atop his container.

Police and the district administration had set up a perimeter around the area where the rally would take place.

Walk through gates beeped as people began streaming in to the site of the public meeting on the eve of Nov 30. However, it was unclear how most people planned to spend the night at the venue, given the bitter cold of Islamabad and the absence of campfires around the site.

Atop the stage, Khan was joined by a whole host of PTI leaders, including Lord Nazir – who is also expected to address the rally on Sunday.

Imran Khan lashed out at prime minister Nawaz Sharif over remarks he made during an address in Havelian, saying that, “Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a road in KP for the sake of publicity.”

He also said that both Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif spent taxpayer money on their personal publicity.

“Last year, they spent 10 billion Pakistani rupees (US$98.3 million) on advertisements. After the sit-ins began in August, they released 3 billion ($29.5 million) per month for advertisements in order to influence newspapersâ��, he claimed.

“In his speech, Nawaz Sharif announced that he will build bridges, roads and other buildings in KP, but he doesn’t know that a nation cannot be built like this,” he said, adding that “If the criteria for nation building is constructing infrastructure, then it is better to make Malik Riaz the prime minister”.

He said alleged that the ruling party simply wanted to make money off the poor of Pakistan. “They want to make you their slaves,” he bellowed. “In August, they employed brutal force against peaceful protesters… but we will begin the process of their accountability very soon.”

Khan also took the credit for the upcoming price drop in petrol prices, saying that, “It happened thanks to the sit-in, not because of Asif Ali Zardari’s opposition,” he said pointedly.

“This is real change,” he said, adding that the prices of electricity and gas would also have skyrocketed if we did not hold this sit-in.

Khan is also expected to spend the night in his container.

 

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/40f78d18/sc/1/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Cnews0E6830A60Bhtml/story01.htm

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