PM equates leniency with corrupt as ‘biggest betrayal to nation’

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HAVELIAN, Nov 18 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said getting lenient with the corrupt mafia could have given him a trouble-free rule, but it would be the “biggest betrayal to the nation”.

“Still, I have a choice to get four years of comfort in return of turning blind eye to corruption cases, however in fear of God, I have preferred a tough fight instead,” the prime minister said in his address at the inauguration of Havelian-Mansehra portion of the motorway.

Imran Khan said had he done reconciliation with corrupt politicians as former president Pervez Musharraf did, he would have been enjoying a resistance-free time in government.

The prime minister said from his 22-year-long journey of struggle from cricket ground to political arena, he had the gifted ability to fight difficult situations with courage and resilience.

“I know the highs and lows of winning, losing and bouncing back after defeat. I am trained to fight for my country to get it out of crises,” he said.

The prime minister said despite opposition by many members, the cabinet had made an unprecedented decision on humanitarian grounds to allow the convicted Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment and had just sought a guarantee of Rs 7 billion.

He said how Shahbaz Sharif could give personal guarantee for others while he himself was facing corruption cases. All including Shahbaz Sharif’s son and son-in-law, two sons of Nawaz Sharif, and Ishaq Dar and his sons had absconded to avoid the corruption cases in Pakistan, he added.

The prime minister said the government accepted the court’s decision allowing Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for treatment but questioned as who would be responsible for over 800 prisoners who had died in jails during the last ten years. Did anyone ever ask as how their families were living, he questioned.

He told the gathering that Pakistan would emerge as a great nation if the society followed justice and humanity as two core principles on the pattern of State of Madina.

He said the Muslims had faced downfall in the past when they had deviated from the principles of justice and compassion to the poor, elders and orphans in the society.

He viewed that an effective justice system made the people feel independent and the discriminatory laws marred the nations in the past.

He requested the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa and his successor to make all-out efforts to revive the public trust in the judicial system for what he said the government would extend all-out resources and support.

The prime minister spoke high of Murad Saeed and his political career starting from the Insaf Student Federation to a federal minister purely on merit and said the Pakistani nation needed such a passion to face the challenges.

He said the Havelian-Mansehra Motorway project was a component of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would benefit both Pakistan and China.

He said the CPEC’s scope had been widened from just a few roads and power projects to agriculture and skill training to enhance the agriculture yield and create job opportunities.

Moreover, besides the development of Gwadar Port, China would also relocate its industries to Pakistan, he added.

Imran Khan said after the first year in office that had been tough, the government would now focus on health and education sectors. He said the government had decided to allow duty-free import of medical equipment to encourage the construction of new hospitals.

He said the government was also working on the foreclosure laws to arrange housing loans for the poor that would boost the housing sector, besides supporting the allied 40 industries.

Murad Saeed, in his address, said the government was resolved for early completion of the Western Route of the CPEC.

He said the National Highway Authority had increased its earning to Rs 43 billion that would touch Rs 100 by end of the current government’s term.

He said the ministry had recovered Rs 10.8 billion from the corrupt elements and was strictly observing the austerity drive as per the prime minister’s vision.

The minister announced that the NHA and Postal Services would give internship to 45,000 youth, who would later be recruited to create jobs. He said the revenue generation of the Postal Services and NHA was on increase.