IK Roadshow Changes The Status Quo
This was the buzz in Dubai, a few days before The Great Khan’s arrival for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Investment Roadshow. His flight arrival on the evening of the 24th ensured a media scramble but he was adamant there would be no interviews, given that his family members were with him. However his wish for privacy was obliterated by Veena Malik, who later that night, posted pictures of herself at a private dinner with Reham Khan.
Unlike many a Bollywood star, Pakistani politicians tend to be punctual at UAE events and shortly after 10am on the 25th, Imran Khan arrived at the illustrious Armani Hotel for an investors’ conference. Also in attendance were PTI stalwarts Asad Umar, Ali Zaidi, Mohammed Sarwar and staunch supporters Javed Sheikh and Imran Chaudhry.
The organisers made a faux pas not playing the UAE national anthem, as is customary in the host country. Following the Pakistani national anthem, the rapt audience listened to an assortment of speeches before IK took to the stage. He got straight to the point, saying that KP’s industrial zones have been designed to aid the foreign investor. The loudest cheer was reserved for his dry comment, ‘Do not make decisions in fear like Pakistan’s cricket captain Misbahul Haq but just invest in KP.’
Speaking exclusively to ARY during the tea break, Imran Khan said that KP’s tourism potential is immense. He added that he understands people’s fears following the Peshawar school attack but investment would improve the lives of those most affected by the law and order situation.
The Q&A session was lengthy, as potential investors asked the delegates, detailed financial questions. Imran Khan was asked what would happen to the investments, if the government changes. Pretending to misunderstand the directive, he replied ‘My hunch is that the government will change this year.’
A telling point was when he emphasized the fact that the new Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani, is a man of integrity and is in discussion with the Taliban.
Given the poor showing of Shaukat Khanum’s Dubai fund-raiser in December because of the PTI leader’s absence, organisers of this roadshow are hoping that the ample time he gave here, will reap dividends for the KP region.