JAMRUD, April 5 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday categorically said he would not be blackmailed by threats of million marches and sit-ins by opposition leaders, to escape from the accountability process for looting billions of rupees of public funds.
“Imran Khan will not be blackmailed, as I have come into power only with a motive to hold the corrupt accountable,” he said while addressing a huge public gathering here wherein he also announced a mega development package for district Khyber.
The prime minister referred to the April 4, speeches of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Naudero public meeting and offered the PPP leaders with a container and even food if they wanted to stage a sit-in in Islamabad.
He, however, challenged them to hold even a week-long sit-in in the federal capital as against the PTI’s four and half months’ sit-in, adding, sit-ins only succeed when the leaders raise the issues of masses and share their grievances.
He said the people who became leaders by showing a piece of paper [death will] were not the true leaders. “Leaders emerge through struggle and political hardships”, he added.
Similarly, he said, Maulana Fazlur Rehman who was clean bowled in the General Election 2018 was talking of million march.
The prime minister termed Maulana as the12th player and said, “It is like a whinging boy [in the game of cricket] who continues with fielding the whole day, then gets out on the very first ball at crease, and later starts crying foul to disturb the whole match.”
“He (Maulana Fazlur Rehman) is a 12th player and wants to push the government down. You will not get the turn,” he remarked.
The prime minister further said, “Zardari Sahib! This government is not going. You are going to jail.”
He regretted that the opposition parties (PML-N and PPP) who had completed their five-year terms each during the past 10 years were raising questions about the performance of PTI government over the last 7 months.
He criticized the PPP leaders for questioning PTI about its performance of seven months in power from the first week of government.
He referred to a Joint Investigation Team report and said these people had laundered the public money worth Rs100 billion abroad through fake accounts.
“They are telling us to push the government down and pressurizing us so as to get an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance)”, the prime minister said and added people like Ishaq Dar, an absconder, were telling the government how to improve economy.
He also mentioned the sons of Nawaz Sharif residing in London and said, “One of his son is living in a house worth Rs6 billion.”
Similarly, he said, a son and son-in-law of Shehbaz Sharif had gone to London. “If you have not done anything wrong, why you have run out of the country,” he remarked.
Imran Khan said when he was called by the court he had presented his 40-year record before it and did not make any hue and cry about democracy getting in danger. “When these people are questioned, democracy comes under danger,” he said.
The prime minister made it clear that those involved in loot and plundering of public money would have to be answerable before the courts as well as before the nation.
“If you have to avoid from going into jails, you will have to give back the public money, which was to be used on health, education and poverty elimination,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, wearing tribal turban, lauded the patriotism and bravery of tribal people, who he said always stood with the government and country’s armed forces in the hour of need.
He said the people of tribal areas fought alongside the armed forces during the war with India in 1948, when the people of Kashmir were being subjugated to tyranny by the Indian forces, as well as in the 1965 war.
The prime minister, who has been a critic of sending army in tribal areas on the desire of the United States, said the people of tribal areas had to face many hardships during the war against terrorism including displacement, loss of business and agriculture, destruction of houses and so on.
He assured the tribal people that his government would make every effort to compensate their losses by creating job opportunities for youth, offering them interest-free loans for establishing or reviving their businesses, adding, it was the government’s responsibility which it would fulfill.
The prime minister said he had directed the federal and provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to make necessary arrangements for 24-hour opening of Torkhum Border so as to promote unhindered trade in the area.
The Prime Minister said that the federal government would spend Rs. 100 billion per annum for the development of the tribal areas, badly affected by the war on terrorism, during the next 10 years. This amount would be allocated under the National Finance Commission (NFC) award to which all the political parties had also been consulted.
He announced the construction of Jabba and Bara dams in district Khyber, which would ensure the provision of potable water to one million people and irrigate 17,000 hectares of land in the area, respectively.
He also announced the construction of Bara By-Pass to ease the flow of traffic in the area.
The prime minister said he would try to ensure increased supply of electricity and gas utilities in the area.
He referred to the unprecedented economic challenges facing the country and said those comparing the PTI government with the PML-N and PPP should better compare the situation after the PTI completed its five-year term.
The prime minister said the PPP and PML-N took the country’s debt to Rs30,000 billion in ten years of their rule from Rs6,000 billion and Rs15,000 billion in 2008 and 2013, respectively.
He said the PTI government was paying Rs6.5 billion per day in debt-servicing for the huge loans taken by the PPP and PML-N governments.
Giving an overview of the country’s economic condition, the prime minister said Pakistan, which collected Rs4,500 billion per annum in revenue, had to spend Rs 2,000 billion for debt repayment.
He, however, expressed his confidence that with the present government taking effective cost-cutting measures and attracting foreign investment, the country would come out of this hard economic phase within the next few months.