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Maximum efforts put for smooth running of assemblies: No more leniency, says PM

Top Story

February 10, 2019

NANKANA SAHIB: The Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said it would be tantamount to treason if the government gives National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), or an amnesty, to any corrupt person.

He was addressing a ceremony, held in connection with launching the ‘Plant for Pakistan’ spring tree plantation campaign near Head Balloki, on Saturday.

The prime minister once again refuted the reports regarding giving an NRO and asserted, “No will get an NRO. “Those who are speculating that we will give an NRO to anyone should understand that it will be equivalent to treason and disloyalty to the country,” he added.

He said the government has made all the efforts for smooth running of the assemblies, but now no concession would be given to the corrupt elements.

Imran explained, “NRO is like forgiving the big fish. Two NROs destroyed the country and our current circumstances are a fall out of that. “One NRO was given by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to Nawaz Sharif.

A case was ready against the Sharif brothers pertaining to the Hudaibiya Paper Mills and Ishaq Dar's confessional statement about how money laundering was done was also available.

However, to preserve his own rule, Musharraf gave Nawaz an NRO and let him leave for Saudi Arabia,” the premier added.

"On the other hand, Rs2 billion from the national exchequer were spent on Asif Zardari's Swiss case and there was a Surrey Mansion case in London which the Pakistan government had won and the country was about to get the money back, but an NRO was signed and that case was closed." The premier continued: "These two NROs gave the powerful the impression that theft is no big deal and no matter how much you steal, the powerful thieves will never be caught in Pakistan." "The result of this was that from 2008 to 2018, two leaders who benefited from the NRO took turns to govern the country for five years each. In 2008, the country's debt stood at Rs6,000 billion but after the terms of these two leaders, it rose to Rs30,000 billion, as they had no fear (of being caught)," he added.

The prime minister said, "Owing to these two NROs, the nation is badly suffering today, the prices of commodities have increased and the value of rupee has fallen. When you take loans and leave historic debts, then the nation has to pay." "Today, I see on TV the faces of those who multiplied the debts and are questioning as to what have we done in the last five months.

They are the ones who left us in debt and are now asking us for answers," the prime minister stated.

Questioning how the previous leaders have the courage to say they "did good work", the premier stressed, "We will not spare anyone who left the country bankrupt. “ Taking a hit at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif, Imran said, “In the history of democracy,it has never happened that a man becomes the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from jail and then summons the accountability watchdog probing him.” “Now no more favours will be given to the corrupt people,” PM Imran stressed. We are only asking for accountability of those who destroyed the country. This is tabdeeli (change),” he added. The prime minister said it is a change that three PTI ministers resigned during five months on charges of corruption. He said the value of the rupee is dwindling continuously due to the corruption of the former rulers. Imran said today billions of rupees mysteriously turn up in the accounts of the poor and the dead as well as five houses in Dubai.

The prime minister said Pakistan ranks eighth among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, which is turning warmer,” he said. “The mafias encroached the land in the country which needs to be recovered to maximise forestation. “We have set a target of planting 10 billion trees all over Pakistan in five years.” It is about the future of the young generation, the premier continued. Urging the youth to curb illegal cutting of jungles, the prime minister said, “I am inviting everyone to be part of my team in making Pakistan green.” The PM regretted that nearly 70 per cent trees were cut down in Lahore, and it has bad effects on the lungs of old and children there. He said a survey shows that Lahore and Delhi are the most polluted cities in the world. He said cutting and disappearing forests have a major impact on the environment leading to rapid melting of the glaciers. The prime minister lamented on the condition of Changa Manga forests and those in Kunian, Mianwali which are disappearing rapidly. He said one billion and 18 crore plants were planted in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which was acknowledged worldwide. He said earlier, the powerful would occupy the land illegally, but now it is happening for the first time that the land has been retrieved for maintaining and growing forests.

He lauded the efforts of Deputy Commissioner Nankana, Raja Mansoor Ahmad, for retrieving the land from influential personalities and declared him an example to follow for other bureaucrats. He said the other bureaucrats would also have to wage jihad against the land grabbers like Raja Mansoor Ahmad. Imran asked to name the forest park after Baba Guru Nanak. He announced building a magnificent and modern Baba Guru Nanak International University in Nankana Sahib. He said exemplary arrangements would be made on the 550th birthday anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak this year. The prime minister said all the minorities have equal rights in Pakistan. He said nobody considers minorities as the second class citizens in Pakistan whereas the situation is quite opposite in India. Imran said Quaid-i-Azam fought this phenomenon in the subcontinent. He assured the Sikh community that all possible facilitation would be provided to them on the Kartarpur Corridor issue. The adviser on the Climatic Change Amin Aslam pledged that trees would be planted on the 2,400 acres of the retrieved land.

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