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ISLAMABAD, Oct 9 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the one-point agenda of all “jobless politicians” giving a call for public gatherings against the government was to cover up their corruption by not conforming to the rule of law.

“Sitting in London and asking the people to take to streets is meant to show that the rulers, who had looted the country for 30 years, are above law,” he said while addressing a seminar of All Pakistan Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF) here at the Convention Centre.

The prime minister, while terming the rule of law the basis of a civilized society, said the ruling elite class had caused irreparable losses to the national economy through plunder and corruption during their tenures.

Those leaders, he said, were now maligning the government, the army and the judiciary, in order to get relief in the form of an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance).

“Do as many Jalsas (public gatherings) as you want, but remember that in case of violating law, you will be put in an ordinary and not a VIP jail,” he warned the politicians, who had gathered at a platform to save their corruption.

The prime minister said the “coalition of dacoits” was opposing the government as it was heading towards making the country financially strong and stable.

He said the opposition parties made every tactic to get the country blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as they pressured the government to carry out 34 amendments in the National Accountability Bureau law.

The prime minister said the cabinet had given a nod for allowing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief to get medical treatment abroad in view of number of diseases as claimed. However by denying to return to the country, Nawaz Sharif was proving that he belonged to a “special class that could not be questioned”.

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He said likening Nawaz Sharif with Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini by a PML-N spokesman was quite ridiculous.

“Khomeini was loved by his people. He led a simple life and owned a small house when passed away. How can he (Khomeini) be compared with a person who has made property worth billions, from one factory to 30, and had the Panama property in her daughter’s name,” he added.

Imran Khan said Nawaz Sharif did not present a single document to prove his money trail (for purchasing the property), while he, being a former cricket, showed all purchase contracts of his London flat bought some 40 years ago.

“In fact, they feel no shame in looting the money from public exchequer belonging to the poor people of this country,” he said, stressing that Pakistan could prosper in the absence of rule of law, where rulers considered themselves above law and indulged in corruption.

He referred to an international report saying that around $1,000 billion were annually drained from the poor to rich countries through corruption and exploitation by the elite.

Imran Khan said Nawaz Sharif was in fact promoting the agenda of India by maligning the Pakistan Army, ignoring the situation of countries like Libya, Somalia and Yemen faced in the absence of a strong military.

“I don’t have any problem with the army because it supports our manifesto and has effectively assisted the government during the situation like COVID-19 and Karachi rains,” he said.

Referring to Nawaz Sharif’s statement that the then Inter-Services Intelligence chief had demanded resignation from him, he said, “If this is so, why he remained silent. This is because that he knew of his involvement in corruption.”

The prime minister mentioned that Pakistan was at the tipping point after two difficult years of dealing with economy nearing the verge of collapse.

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He said the country witnessed success in areas particularly overcoming the challenge of COVID-19 and unprecedented rise of sale of cement in last month showing growing economic activity.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the rule of law was the basic principle of State of Madina, and the lawyers should follow such values during their professional duties and become future leaders by pursuing politics.

He announced that health cards would be introduced for medical treatment of lawyers and they would also be accommodated in the Naya Pakistan Housing Project, aimed at providing low cost houses.

ILF Chairman Barrister Syed Ali Zafar said the lawyers had always stood by democracy and justice following the principles as championed by Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, also a renowned lawyer of his time.

He said the government of Imran Khan was aware of the importance of people in a democracy and thus was following a people-centric approach in governance.

He said winning a war against terror by the Pakistani people was a ‘striking example of a resilient and brave nation that never compromised on its integrity and sovereignty.

Stressing the importance of social justice and equity for all, Barrister Zafar mentioned the government’s priorities in health and education with the recent strategy to tackle COVID-19 and the upcoming programme of universities to promote scientific education.

He called upon the lawyers’ fraternity to be responsible in “putting their own house in order to reform the judiciary” and adopt the principles of professionalism.

Advocate General Ahmed Awais spoke about the rule of law as the hallmark of State of Madina that needed to be replicated for a revolution in the society.