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February 23, 2019

Nawaz asking either to be sent to prison or UK: PM

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February 23, 2019

DERA GHAZI KHAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is asking either to be sent to prison or to the UK for treatment, claiming that his treatment cost the nation Rs280 million.

Addressing a ceremony held to inaugurate the Insaf Health Cards in Rajanpur, he said the government will provide the health cards to poor families. He said government hospitals provide better healthcare but politicians prefer to have their treatment abroad. "I was born in a government hospital, my sisters too. In the past, these hospitals used to provide standard healthcare," he said, adding that the law for the poor and rich is different. “We will hold each and everyone accountable.”

The prime minister said he has envisioned a Pakistan where the poor and the highest officials will get the same medical treatment at a government hospital. He thanked provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid on the inauguration of health cards, which was her initiative. He distributed the health cards among families.

Dr Rashid earlier said at least 7.2 million residents of the 36 districts of Punjab would get health cards by the end of 2019. Addressing a gathering after distributing the health cards, the PM said: "The union of corrupt" was getting united in the country in the name of protecting democracy.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Dr Yasmeen Rashid also addressed the function, which was attended by a large number of health card recipients besides members of National and provincial assemblies.

Talking about the state of affairs in the country’s justice system, the prime minister cited the example of a Supreme Court verdict that resulted in the release of two brothers who had been given death sentences by a lower court three years ago. He said a poor man is jailed for stealing even a chicken as he cannot afford hiring a lawyer whereas the rich are walking free. It is due to an inequitable system that the accused affluent are walking free and enjoying the protocol of 40 vehicles.

He referred to a Hadith and said the nations with different justice systems for the rich and poor faced destruction in the pre-Madina state era. Sharing his personal experience of spending eight days in a DG Khan jail during the Musharraf regime, Imran said he saw that most of the prisoners in that jail were poor, whereas the affluent plunderers were sitting in the parliament. Whenever a plunderer is arrested, all of them get united in the parliament claiming that democracy is in danger, he remarked.

He referred to the justice system in the United Kingdom which had an annual income more than that of the annual income of 50 Islamic countries and said a judge there awarded three years sentence to a public representative only for giving wrong figures of his travel and medical expenditures from public funds. “But here in our country, a public representative after being arrested or caught on some charges becomes Nelson Mandela.”

He said he himself continued to appear before the Supreme Court for a year to defend himself and presented 40-year-old records and 60 documents of his property and earnings. Whereas on the other hand, he said, the Sharif family could not produce any document before the courts in their defence only because the London flats in question were in fact purchased in 1993 as against their claim of purchasing them in 2006.

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