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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Imran Khan's campaign to unseat him is doomed.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday hit out at cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, saying his anti-government campaign is doomed.

Addressing a gathering at Bhawalpur in Punjab province, he claimed that people have rejected the "politics of agitation" being pursued by Imran and his Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

The prime minister said Imran was promising to build a New Pakistan whereas the PTI, he asserted, had failed to perform in the north-western Khyber Pakthunkhwa province where it was in power.

"The province has seen overall deterioration since PTI formed government there," after the general elections in May last year, Sharif said.

Sharif's speech at Bahwalpur in the southern part of Punjab came a day before a crucial by-election on a National Assembly seat in neighbouring Multan, a major city of the region.

Politician Javed Hashmi, who recently quit PTI and is contesting the by-poll as an independent candidate, enjoys the support of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The PTI is backing another independent candidate against Hashmi, who is vying to regain a seat that fell vacant because of his resignation from the federal assembly.

The by-election is widely seen as a key test for both PML-N and PTI against the backdrop of the ongoing two-month-old sit-in by Imran's party near the parliament in Islamabad and a string of big rallies addressed by him in different cities.

Last Friday, a stampede at the PTI leader's rally in Multan left several people dead and dozens injured, increasing political tension in the city ahead of the by-poll.

Sharif told the gathering in Bahawalpur that the government was fully resolved to bring about real change in the country by serving the people according to their expectations.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 16, 2014
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