LAHORE, Dec 22 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday resolved that the government would make no compromise on accountability process as it were the people who bore the brunt of corruption.
Addressing the event ‘Delivering Prime Minister’s 100 Days Agenda’ to highlight the performance of the Punjab government during first 100 days, the prime minister said he said the opposition in the National Assembly was ‘doing the drama’ of political victimization contrary to the fact that not even a single case had been registered by the incumbent government.
The event was attended by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, provincial ministers, members of the Punjab Assembly, diplomats and party workers in a huge number.
The enthusiastic workers carrying party flags chanted slogans in support of the party, the prime minister and the chief minister.
The prime minister recalled that the fake bank accounts had first surfaced in 2015 but the then government put the matter under the carpet in name of Charter of Democracy.
“We have done nothing. But we have not impeded the action (against corruption),” he added.
He said it was strange that the opposition wanted to make Shehbaz Sharif, who was in the jail of NAB (National Accountability Bureau) for corruption, head of the Public Accounts Committee. The previous government had passed a law allowing a corrupt man to head a political party, which was nothing but the mockery of the parliament, he added.
The prime minister told the gathering that he had asked his party to accept the opposition’s every demand like issuance of the production order of Khawaja Saad Rafiq and making Shehbaz Sharif PAC chairman.
However, “we cannot agree to backtrack from the accountability” as it was inevitable for the secure future of the country and next generations, he added. The country’s future would remain imperiled until “we arrest the corrupt.”
The prime minister said he had launched his political career with the slogan against corruption and he would never make any compromise in the name of protecting democracy.
He censured the previous government for spending Rs 250 billion budget of South Punajb in other cities, what ,he said, had increased the sense of deprivation among the people of area. The disintegration of Pakistan was the consequence of such injustices with the people, he added.
He called for learning from the mistakes done in the past and also mentioned the injustices meted out to the people of Balochistan.
The prime minister appreciated the Punjab government for allocating exclusive budget for the South Punjab. He said the non-development of remote areas put burden on major cities and cited the problems faced by the Lahore city like pollution and congestion.
The prime minister regretted that in the past, Punjab’s half budget was spent on the Lahore city alone, leaving other areas deprived. Now, the migration of huge number of people from others areas of the province had added a myriad of problems to the city dwellers, including the lingering danger of environmental pollution.
The pollution in the city, he said, might have other factors, but due to cutting of trees on large scale and growth of the population added to its environmental woes. The pollution level in Lahore had been recorded the highest, which could cause to serious health ailments, including stunt lung disease in children, he added.
The prime minister felicitated the Punjab chief minister for equitable distribution of resources to all areas of the province, including the erstwhile neglected South Punjab.
Defending the appointment of Usman Buzdar as Punjab chief minister, he said during the first 100 days of his government, he had heard different objections over his decision, but Buzdar had his stakes only within Pakistan unlike his predecessors who had ruled the country and invested their illegal amassed wealth abroad in businesses and acquiring properties at the expense of the poor people of the country.
It was indeed strange that a person, who was at the helms of affairs, had his stakes abroad by means of doing business or purchasing properties, and even getting treatment or education for his generations, he added.
The prime minister said a leader was judged with the qualities of integrity and honesty and till today, none had told him that the Punjab chief minister was making money or involved in any sort of corruption.
He also congratulated the chief minister for setting up five shelter homes in Lahore and two in Rawalpindi following his instructions. He said in Peshawar, there were also five functional shelter homes and the shuttle service was taking the needy and shelter-less people to them.
The prime minister said as compared to Pakistan, which had only 24 billion dollar exports per annum, Singapore’s exports regime was hovering around 373 billion dollar whereas the total exports of Malaysia with around 32 million people, had reached the mark of about 220 billion dollar last year.
He said the previous rulers spent huge chunks of loans on projects like running metros which further burdened the ordinary people, thus widening the volume of loans.
About the ongoing anti-encroachment-drive, the prime minister said those lands belonged to the public. In Punjab alone, land worth billions of rupees had been recovered whereas in the federal capital, the government retrieved the land worth Rs 350 billion.
So who were the beneficiaries, the ordinary public as the state lands fell under the category of public assets, he said and added that powerful mafias were involved in land grabbing. In the past, the rulers were reluctant to take action against those people due to rampant corruption.
The prime minister said the centuries old Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was being amended after formation of the standing committees in the parliament.
Under the amended laws, all the civil cases would be decided within period of one year, he said, lamenting that the people had to wait for decisions of their land cases for decades.
It would be a vital change (tabdeeli) in Punjab, Balochistan and in the Federal capital, whereas the government Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already taken the decision in that regard, he added.
The prime minister also stressed upon the continuation of police reforms and depoliticizing of the force in the province and asked the Punjab chief minister to keep a check on the performance of the police force through monitoring of the complaint cells and forwarding the complaints to the IGP for redressal.
He underlined the need to introduce the latest technology in the agricultural sector to increase revenue.
He said Islam and Founder of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had ensured protection of the rights of minorities and cited the Riasat-e- Madina, which had protected its minorities.
“We have to show to India’s Modi, how we treat the minorities in Pakistan and how they (minorities) are being looked after by him in India,” he added.
The prime minister also urged the ministers to enhance their performance further for the welfare of the people and asked them to slash the expenditures.
He said being a Prime Minister, he could avail of the lavish lifestyle and facilities, but he was living in his private residence.