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September 1, 2018

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Imran asks for 90 days before govt is judged

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the media on Friday to give his government three months before making harsh criticism on its performance. He said that three months down the road, there would be marked difference in the manner country was being run. “You will see the direction of the government after three months. The country has been handed over to me in a very difficult situation like it is on ventilator.” He assured that he stands by his commitment with the nation as he will not disappoint the people.

He said that he has been alerted by the security agencies that enemies of Pakistan have drawn up conspiracies and for the reason he cannot travel by road and uses helicopter for commuting between the Prime Minister’s House and his Banigala residence.

“Additionally, my traveling by road would cause great discomfort to the people. The traffic has to be blocked for my traveling by road and I don’t like it to happen,” the prime minister, in his maiden meeting with senior newsmen and anchorpersons of TV channels, here on Friday made it clear. He said the foreign policy would be formulated in the Foreign Office only and all the institutions will execute it by joining hands.

He warned that his government would take action against the people who are being probed by NAB or FIA and it could cause a loud hue and cry against it. Some people will ‘declare’ it as a threat to democracy and make false shouting. “I would urge the media to side with justice on that occasion since we will not resist but take action against the corrupt,” he said.

He termed his meeting with the NAB chairman good since he asked him to carry out accountability fairly and indiscriminately. The corrupt should not be spared at any cost. Accountability will be held across the board and without any prejudice or discrimination.

He maintained that the opposition is the weakest in the history of the country. “It wants to protect some corrupt people. We don’t feel any threat at the hands of the opposition,” he said.

Imran Khan said that Islamabad is interested in improving its ties with Washington but Pakistan will not give in on any unjust demand that would be made by the United States. He insisted that during his telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, there was no reference of terrorists in the course of conversation.

The prime minister said that Pakistan is for peaceful relations with its neighbours, would take decision on approaching multi-national donors or the IMF in a couple of days after thorough study of the situation. He said that he would launch a massive campaign to reach out to the overseas Pakistanis and he will take them into confidence about the economic situating prevailing in the country.

“We will also consider issuing bonds or other methods for generating funds which are need of the country. I will need support of the media in the campaign.” He welcomed criticism of his government by saying it rather helps resolving issues. Imran Khan made it clear that none of his cabinet members had been appointed permanently and could be shuffled on the basis of performance.

The premier vowed to cancel all agreements made against national interests. The government is looking at all the accords made by the previous government including the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and contracts for liquid natural gas (LNG)). The prime minister made it clear that there is no ambiguity in civil and military relations. “We have been extensively briefed in the visit to the GHQ on Thursday about internal and external subjects. The civilian government and army are on the same page.” He also referred to security threats to the country. He brushed aside any impression of pressure. “I don’t see any pressure from anywhere as the institutions are working hand in hand.”

Imran Khan expressed his satisfaction over the suo motu notice by the Supreme Court regarding the Pakpatan incident. He was of the view that the media is presenting one-sided version. “I hope after taking it up by the Supreme Court, the whole truth will come out.”

He reminded that he asked his Principal Secretary Azam Khan to look into the matter when a complaint was received for the third time about maltreatment. The prime minister said that the government is prepared to take the opposition on board for its efforts to create the south Punjab province.

Prime Minister Khan downplayed the significance of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) summit and said that it would take his four days outside the country. “I want to spend the maximum time on the internal affairs of the country. I would like to go abroad when it is beneficial for Pakistan. I will undertake only those foreign visits where I am assured usefulness for the country. The situation of economy is in a shambles. I must have something to say when I go to international podium.”

The prime minister impressed upon the media to support his campaign for austerity in the country. The prime minister was informed twice during his interaction with the media that French president wishes to talk to him on phone. He asked Foreign Secretary Ms Tehmina Janjua to tell the French authorities that he would talk after the media talk. The second time his Military Secretary Brigadier Wasim Cheema came to inform him about the call but the prime minister attended it after his talk concluded with the media. Prime Minister Khan announced that Prime Minister’s House would be converted into research university soon. He strongly defended Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and said that he must be given three months. “You will find him even far better than Shahbaz Sharif in performance.” Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the nation to support him on all the national issues.

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