PM for effective policing, new legislation, social fight to check crimes against women, children

Prime Minister Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD, Sep 14 (APP):Describing the recent motorway incident near Lahore as very unfortunate and distressing, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called for effective policing, new legislation for strict punishment and social fight against vulgarity to check the immoral and sexual crimes against women and children.

“This incident has shaken the whole nation. All have sisters, daughters and children… This incident has hurt the people from across the country,” Imran Khan said in an interview with a private television channel (92-News).

During the interview, the prime minister spoke on various subjects ranging from COVID-19 to economic situation, political situation and foreign policy.

He said besides effective policing, there was a need to have registration of sex-offenders and pedophiles with tracking and tracing of such people who often indulged in such crimes after getting out of jails.

The prime minister also stressed the need of introducing new legislation for strict and exemplary punitive measures, including the public-hanging of the people convicted in rape cases, especially in the rape of children.

He said in his view there should be chemical castration or surgery of the person(s) involved in the heinous acts such as gang-rape.

Besides, the prime minister said, the society should also rise and fight against vulgarity and promote Islamic values.

He in that respect also mentioned the running of Turkish drama “Ertugrul” by the Pakistan Television and said the objective behind it was to promote the historic and Islamic values among the country’s youth.

Imran Khan also referred to a two years’ old report compiled by a senior police officer, and said he was shocked to learn that in sexual crimes against children, Pakistan was among the top countries.Prime Minister Imran Khan, in response to a question on the COVID-19, said Pakistan had been successful in tackling the coronavirus due to the government’s effective policy measures and through institutional arrangements such as the establishment of National Coordination Committee (NCC), and National Command and Control Center (NCOC) to check and monitor the situation.

Unlike the Indian leadership, which went for complete lockdown and curfew in panic, he took the pressure of opposition parties as well as media and opted the policy of smart lockdown at hotspots to check the spread of virus, besides early opening of construction and some other industries to save the poor from starvation and get the wheel of economy running, he added.

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The prime minister said the international institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) appreciated Pakistan’s handling of the COVID-19 and urged other countries to learn from its experience.

He, however, warned that there could be another coronavirus spike in winter, and asked the people to exercise caution and continue to adopt the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

About his government’s two years performance, he said saving the country from default due to balance of payments, which could put Pakistan into very difficult economic situation, was one of its major achievements.

He, however, in response to a question agreed that the government should have approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier for a bailout. He was looking for resources from friendly countries, the prime minister added.

To a question about the performance of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, he said since he (Buzdar) was media-shy he could not properly highlight his government’s achievements like Shehbaz Sharif, who used to promote himself through advertisements and getting written and published articles in newspapers in his favour.

Usman Buzdar, he said, was not corrupt. It was the prerogative of a chief executive to have his team of bureaucrats posted at various positions and depoliticize the bureaucracy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government’s projects in Punjab were aimed at raising the living standard of poor especially in backward and neglected areas, adding, his government was also spending more funds in Balochistan and new merged tribal areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which had lagged behind.

About corruption, he said his government had checked corruption at the highest levels and was working to curb the menace at lower tiers of the government as well.

The prime minister said as e-governance, automation and paperless working in offices was an effective tool to check corruption and his government had taken measures for automation in various government departments including the Federal Board of Revenue.

To a question about local government system, Imran Khan said his government was bringing a new local government system in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa which would empower the people at local levels through the direct election of Nazims at village and tehsil levels and mayors for big cities.

To a question about the situation of Karachi after recent rains, he said all the stakeholders were on board to address the civic problems of Karachi including water, sewerage, roads, transport etcetera and time-lines had been given to address all the issues within the next three years.

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About legislation on FATF (Financial Action Task Force), he said, the opposition was blackmailing the government on the issue of national interest for their personal gains and for getting an National Reconciliation Ordinance, which he would never give.

He said if the legislation on FATF was defeated, it would hurt the country and its economy.
About the mega construction projects including the establishment of a new city along Ravi River in Lahore and Bundle Island in Karachi, the prime minister said his objective was to check the spread of urbanization and save the agricultural lands which were vital for country’s food security.

To a question about the independent power projects (IPPs), he said, the agreements made with IPPs in the past were against the interest of masses. He appreciated the IPPs for agreeing on downward revision of the prices.

He said it was due to the gap between the high prices of electricity provided by the IPPs and the prices on which the government provided to consumers which accumulated the power sector circular debt to Rs2,000 billion.

He said the government had finalized the new power policy which would be announced within a week.

About the Middle East situation in the context of diplomatic ties of United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Israel, the prime minister said every country had its own foreign policy, adding, however, there would be no difference in the situation unless the people of Palestine were satisfied.

On the issue of Israel and Palestine, Pakistan would continue to follow the policy of the country’s founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he added.

To a question about Kashmir, he said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a historic blunder through its unilateral action in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said as against the Indian assumption that Pakistan would remain quiet, his government raised the issues at all international forums and the issue was internationalized.

About the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country and the growing Pak-China relations, he said Pakistan would benefit from Chinese experience of poverty alleviation, establishment Special Economic Zones, enhanced agricultural production through advanced seeds, and creation of urban centers for fast economic growth.