PIND DADAN KHAN, Dec 26 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, terming the corrupt mafia the biggest impediment to the country’s progress, said the year 2020 would prove to be tough on the plunderers of national exchequer.

“Pakistan is set to witness an era of prosperity and development in 2020, while the corrupt should be ready for a difficult time ahead,” the prime minister said in his address to a public rally here at the ground-breaking of Jalalpur Canal.

He said no country could make progress unless corruption, which was highly detrimental to institutions as it involved money ought to be spent on education and health of the common man, was not eliminated.

He mentioned that during the last 10 years, the corrupt politicians played havoc with public money that led to currency devaluation and inflation.

“We have no personal enmity with the corrupt mafia, who get united whenever caught. Bigger the dacoit, more the hue and cry,” he said.

The prime minister asked the nation to support him in his fight against corruption and collectively defeat the mafia involved in looting the national exchequer.

He gave reference of the accountability systems of China and the United States of America for not sparing the culprits of corruption.

Imran Khan said the government at its inception faced difficult economic situation in shape of three times trade deficit, currency devaluation and high import price of petroleum, gas and edible oil.

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However, the country at present had gained economic stability with the rupee getting stronger, and the exports, investments and remittances increasing.

The year 2020 would also be a year of job opportunities for Pakistanis, he told the gathering to a big applause.

“I always tell my nation to have faith. With the Grace of Almighty Allah, we have started coming out of the crises,” he said.

The prime minister mentioned that Pakistan was blessed to have fertile land, and gold and copper reserves; however, regretted that such potential could not be exploited due to apathy of rulers in the past.

On ceasefire violations by India at the Line of Control (LoC), Imran Khan said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was making a failed attempt to divert the world’s attention from the atrocities his security forces were carrying out in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistan Army, he said, was fully ready to thwart any nefarious designs of India.

The prime minister expressed condolence with the families of two soldiers martyred on the LoC in the morning and said the nation acknowledged their sacrifice for the country.

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He equated Modi with ‘Hitler and Pharaoh of time’ for his oppression against the Muslims, with incidents, including the earlier Gujarat massacre and the recent passing of Constitution Amendment Bill.

“It is my prediction that the people of India, not only Muslims but also Hindus, Sikhs and Christians will ultimately rise against Modi,” he said.

About the 114-kilometre-long Jalalpur Canal to be built with a cost of Rs 32.7 billion, he said it would facilitate some 400,000 people residing in 80 villages of districts Jhelum and Khushab, by bringing 172,000 acres cultivable land under the irrigation system.

Imran Khan said he was aware of the difficulties faced by the people of area, including unavailability of drinking water, and lauded Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for finalizing the project pending for the last 20 years.

Chief Minister Buzdar said the project, which would complete in five years, would have 20 water storage ponds, 30 distributaries and 17 drinking outlets.

He expressed the confidence that the Jalalpur Canal would facilitate the people of adjoining areas with more opportunities for land cultivation.

Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the project would prove to be a milestone in connecting the areas of Jhelum and Pin Dadan Khan through the irrigation network for their betterment.