Pakistan to sail through difficult times, become developed nation: PM

ISLAMABAD, May 1 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday rejected the baseless propaganda of the opposition parties of his government’s failure and said Pakistan would sail through the difficult times and become a developed nation of the region. 

 “All the opposition parties are getting united to overthrow the government. But for what reasons? From the very first day, the opposition started the propaganda against the government because they feared continuous revelation of facts by the latter exposing their corruption,” he said while speaking at a ceremony to mark the 23rd Founding Day of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) here at the Convention Centre.

Referring to the money laundering by the Sharif family and fake bank accounts case involving Asif Ali Zardari, the prime minister said the opposition parties were in a hurry to topple the government just to save the public money looted by them.

The interests of Pakistan and those of the opposition, he said, were poles apart. They (the opposition parties) got united in the name of protecting democracy. But they could not get any NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) because it were the previous NROs which caused to rise in the country’s debts to Rs 30,000 billion from Rs 6,000 billion, he added.

The prime minister said Nawaz Sharif had been requesting the court to allow him to get medical treatment abroad despite the fact that his family had been ruling the country for decades but failed to establish even a single medical facility for their own treatment.

He said the PTI government had inherited a country burdened with Rs 30,000 billion debt, which was only Rs 6,000 billion 10 years before. He said he would keep on drawing the comparison for the whole of his five-year stint to make the people know the real situation.

Referring to the criticism by opposition parties, he said no doubt the people were facing inflation. As the oil prices at international level were on the rise and if the same were contained in the country then the debts would increase, he added.

He said the government had inherited $19 billion deficit. The inflation was 21.7 percent during the first eight months of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government, 8 per cents during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and 6.8 per cent during the first eight months of the PTI government.

He said Shehbaz Sharif led government left Rs 1100 billion deficit in Punjab against Rs 40 billion surplus left by the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PML-N government in Punjab even ate up the employees provident fund of Rs 102 billion.

The prime minister said the deficit of public sector organizations rose to Rs 1300 billion in 2018 from Rs 538 billion. Similarly, the gas sector was in deficit of Rs 150 billion and electricity Rs 1,200 billion while the Pakistan International Airlines and the Pakistan Railways were also facing historic deficit. 

He said the difficult time would end when the reforms undertaken by the PTI government came to fruition. The country was blessed with numerous potential.

He said in Naya Pakistan there would be no room for discriminatory laws.

The prime minister told the charged party workers, office-bearers and parliamentarians that it was essential to know the objectives of PTI’s 23 years struggle which also featured various ups and downs. 

He said after giving up the cricketing career, he had come into politics for the greater cause of public service.

He said the country had enjoyed a remarkable stature in 60s and even in 70s, but later, it gradually lost its dignity because the then rulers prioritized their personal interests and looted the public money.

The prime minister, who is also the PTI Chairman, said it were always the leaders who made or marred the country. He cited Malaysia which made a comeback owing to the credible leadership as corrupt leaders had made the country bankrupt.

He urged the PTI youth to study the life of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the principles which provided the basis of State of Madina. It was the State of Madina that had founded the greatest civilization which survived for around a thousand years.

He said the PTI’s vision was in pursuance of Pakistan’s Ideology which was rooted into the philosophy of Madina state. All the national issues were reasoned by the deviation from the principles of an Islamic welfare state.

Recounting his party’s journey marking various ups and downs, the prime minister said for around 15 years, the people had ridiculed him for his ambitious plans. He always considered the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as his role model, who had also gone through a 13-year long period of hardships during his struggle which later brought him success.

Imran Khan said despite being a wealthy and renowned lawyer, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had struggled for four decades before earning the success to accomplish his mission of a separate homeland for the Muslims.

He said during his journey, two sorts of people accompanied him – the ones who took the politics as a mission and the others being the opportunists. He paid gratitude to the struggle by S M Rasheed and Salomi Bukhari.

He said the PTI’s greatest strength was that it achieved the stature consequent to its years-long real struggle. 

The prime minister said the government had launched the biggest ever anti-poverty programme called ‘Ihsas’ to uplift the poor population. He said the people stood beside the state only when the state fulfilled their basic needs.

He said the housing project had been launched where five million houses would be constructed and he would launch next phase of it in Okara during the current week.

He said Pakistan would become a hub of tourism as it had immense potential in that regard. Before attracting the foreigners to the country, the government would first bring overseas Pakistanis, he added.

He said the PTI’s local government system would provide youth a great opportunity to take part in the polling process that would remarkably enhance the revenue generation.

He said the agricultural reforms programme had been redesigned. China had also made the agriculture sector the part of CPEC and using the Chinese technology, the agriculture produce would increase. Top Chinese universities in IT and artificial intelligence would assist Pakistani varsities while a similar university would be set up at the erstwhile PM House.

He called for everyone’s prayers for the success of gas exploration being carried out by Exxon Mobil.

He thanked Chief Organizer Saifullah Niazi for organizing the event and Senator Faisal Javed for making a documentary encompassing the 23-year struggle of the PTI.

Earlier, PTI’s Vice Chairman and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qurshi presented tribute to the PTI workers for their untiring struggle and support to the party which ultimately brought a political change in the country.

Lamenting the opposition’s hue and cry, he said how could a change be brought in just first eight months of a new government . He said the two parties had ruined the countries and destroyed its institutions.

He said despite the opposition parties alliance, the PTI won a bye-election in Multan and added they would face the same fate in the provincial assembly elections for merged areas of erstwhile FATA in June.

A large number of party supporters, office-bearers, ministers, special assistants to the prime minister, parliamentarians and party leaders attended the event.