KANDHKOT/Karachi  - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday made once again clear his government’s resolve not to forgive Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif unless they pay back the looted public money.

The prime minister maintained that the opposition parties, particularly the PPP and the PML-N, are staging a drama by declaring democracy to be in danger because of the accountability that has tightened the noose around the corrupt politicians. Now they have started playing provincial and ethnic cards too to get support from the people but these tactics would not bear any fruit as the public knows well their dirty tactics, he told a public gathering in Ghotki, the industrial city of Sindh.

Imran Khan said both Sharif and Zardari were labeling each other as corrupt in the past but now they were getting united against the government to save themselves from accountability.

“I challenge you today. Do whatever you want to do, get united or anything else. We will not leave you. This nation will not pardon you. You have only one way out – pay back public money and we will let you go,” Khan remarked.

Besides huge number of people, the event was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Grand Democratic Alliance leaders including Zulfiqar Mirza and Arbab Ghulam Rahim, and MPA Ali Gohar Mahar.

Referring to the train march of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, the prime minister said the PTI had staged sit-in to demand fair election, not to conceal its corruption.

He said the PPP had to offer Rs2,000 per

 

 

head to the people to join their train march because it was not meant for people’s benefit, it was rather to cover their own corruption.

Imran said whenever the government launched accountability, the opposition started propaganda of ‘threat to democracy’. “It is not democracy but corruption which is under threat.”

He told the gathering that during last 10 years Sindh government got Rs234 billion as gas royalty but the living conditions of the people in Ghotki - which produced 70 percent of province’s gas - remained unchanged. The royalties should be first spent on the areas producing natural resources, he added.

The prime minister said the money supposed to be spent on people, went to fake accounts. He said due to corruption, country’s debt had swelled from Rs6,000 billion to Rs30,000 billion within 10 years.

Lauding the leadership of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, the prime minister said during his 17 years rule, he had surged the per capita income of Malaysia from around $1500 to $9,000, but the corrupt leadership which replaced him put the country again under debt.

Similarly, he said Pakistan once had been the fastest growing nation in Asia and even South Korea had adopted Pakistan’s development model but now it (Pakistan) was under record burden of debt. The country had to pay Rs6 billion a day as mark-up of the loans, he added.

He said being home to Karachi, the country’s financial capital, most gas reserves and fertile land, Sindh should have been the most developed province. Contrarily, the interior Sindh was the poorest area in Pakistan, just due to corruption, he said.

Imran said he had always seen Sindh in deteriorating condition and it was a well-known fact as where the province’s budget had gone.

He assured the gathering of his frequent visits to Sindh to uplift it at par with other areas. He said his government had launched a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme benefiting from Chinese experiences.

Insaf Sehat Cards proving health insurance cover of Rs 720,000 per family were being distributed. The programmes for women empowerment, interest-free loans and youth employment were also coming up, he added.

He also committed to end the practice of using police to victimise the political opponents in Sindh.

 

 

PPP SHRUNK TO INTERIOR SINDH: QURESHI

Addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the parties which had been symbol of federation in the past were now missing from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi.

He said only PTI and MQM were representing Karachi, not the PPP which had now been shrunk to interior Sindh. He said PPP had been ruling Sindh from 2008 to 2018 but the living standard of the people remained unchanged which required a second thought by the people to find a new course.

He said he had decided to join the PTI just to make Naya Pakistan. Starting from KP, the PTI had made its way to Punjab by ending the 30-year rule of the PML-N, putting all notions of analysts to rest. He said the PTI had also defeated the PPP in its strongholds including Badin and Larkana.

Addressing the leadership of GDA, he said it was time to take decisions and form joint strategies as he foresaw a great political change in Sindh in next elections owing to PPP’s failure to deliver. He hoped the PTI and its allies would form the next government in Sindh.

 

 

CORRUPTION BEHIND SINDH POVERTY: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan said yesterday it was not the dearth of resources but the corruption which dragged the people of Sindh into extreme poverty.

In a meeting with the parliamentarians, PTI Sindh leadership and coalition parties at MPA Ali Gohar’s residence in Ghotki, the PM discussed with them the overall situation of Sindh, coalition matters and steps taken by the federal government for welfare of people in Sindh.

Khan said the national institutions were marred in the past for personal gains and public money was transferred to personal accounts.

He told the meeting it was a joint decision of the PTI and coalition partners to expose corruption and they have to accomplish this agenda. He also urged the coalition parties to help fulfill PTI’s manifesto collectively.

The PM advised the parliamentarians to play their role in identification and resolution of the public issues. He assured of federal government’s all-out support to resolve the problems being faced by the people of Sindh.

 

 

KARACHI PACKAGE

Earlier in the day, Imran Khan announced Rs162 billion package for Karachi saying “development of Pakistan is linked with the uplift of the mega city”.

The Premier said this while chairing a meeting of the Karachi Transformation Committee here at the Governor House.

“We have designed a special package for the city through our own resources and the public private partnership to overcome the issues of public transport, supply and drainage of water and provision of other basic necessities,” he said while stressing the need of a new master plan for the port city.

Imran said that it was very difficult to provide sanitation, other civic facilities and even control the law and order situation as the city had been spreading without any proper plan.

He also urged the need for some interim plan to check the city from spreading further. He added that Karachi looks a like a concrete splash in aerial view as the greenery has almost vanished from it.

Putting his weight in favor of the high-rise buildings, the PM said that they have asked the Civil Aviation Authority to notify areas near the airports where banning of multi-storey construction is essential, while in almost all the rest of the areas of the city high-rises would be permitted.

“I have been in touch with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and now the time has come to put our plans for Karachi into practice,” said Imran Khan, adding that he was ready to give his all-out support in this regard.

Giving details of the development schemes, he informed that they have designed 10 projects to overcome public transport, which he termed one of the major problems of Karachiites, and seven projects for effective drainage, which he said was ‘even bigger’ issue.

Highlighting the need to preserve water, the prime minister said that there was a need to launch an effective campaign to aware the masses about the importance of the water.

“We all are very much aware of the complications in completion of K-IV project that’s why it is very important to conserve the amount of water we have right now by involving the people through a campaign.”

The PM said it was primarily the responsibility of the provincial government to resolve Karachi’s issues but it just did not bother about it as the PPP got elected from rural areas. The deplorable condition of the city speaks loud how the PPP treated it during the last 10 years, he added.

Speaking about the assistance package for drought-hit Tharparkar, the PM said he had announced to give Sehat Cards to Tharis during his earlier visit as the children were dying there.

Two mobile-hospitals and four ambulances were ready to serve the people in Tharparkar and installation of RO plants worth one billion would also be completed soon, he said.

The prime minster also announced he would soon lay foundation stone of a public sector university in Hyderabad, the second largest city of Sindh.