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April 20, 2019

‘Anti army slogans to weaken country’

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April 20, 2019

ORAKZAI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) rightly spoke about the hardships being faced by the tribal people but the way it was asking for their rights was not good for the country.

Addressing a mammoth public meeting here, he said the PTM was repeating the same demands which he had made in the past 15 years.

The prime minister admitted that the Pashtun people had faced difficulties during the counterterrorism operations and many had to migrate to other areas. “Some were killed when there was a war against the militants in the area. But tell me how will it benefit Pakistan and the tribal areas if the people who have been through pain are turned against their army?” he asked.

Talking about the federal cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, Imran hinted at more changes in the coming days and directed the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief ministers to keep their respective teams under the radar.

“A good captain keeps a watchful eye on his team. He has to win the match. Sometimes, he has to change the batting order, sometimes he has to replace a player with a new one. The only target the captain has in his mind is to make his team win,” he said.

Imran reached Orakzai from Peshawar where he visited the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman, parliamentarians and party leaders accompanied him.

Imran said being the prime minister, his only mission was to strengthen the country and make the nation prosperous, as being the ruler he was answerable to Allah Almighty.

“In order to realise this cherished mission, I have changed the batting order of my team and made a couple of changes too. I will do it in future as well. I want to tell all the ministers that any of them giving no results would be replaced with competent ones, who are beneficial to the country,” he warned.

“The rulers would be held accountable on the Day of Judgment for the suffering of the poor, for not providing their children with education and arranging their medical treatment in government hospitals,” he continued.

Referring to the destruction caused by the war against terrorism and deprivation faced by the tribal people, Imran said he was the only politician who had opposed the military operation in the tribal area on the behest of America.

He said unfortunately the then ruler was naïve to the nature, traditions and history of the tribal people. “What actually happened to the tribal area during the war against terrorism was not fully known to those living outside the region,” he continued. He said it was the then ruler, not the Pakistan Army, responsible for the military operation in the tribal areas. He said no prime minister ever visited the tribal areas so frequently like him, as he knew the area better than all.

Talking about the massive losses incurred to the houses, cattle and businesses in thearea, he said the government would not ignore the tribal people’s sacrifices and compensate them.

He said though the demands of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) were genuine, their anti-army slogans were doing no good and hence were of no use.

“Instead of fueling the flames, now is the time to mull over how to move forward and improve the living standard of people by providing them with education, health and employment opportunities.”

He said the government would take steps for promotion of tourism in the area and directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister to open up business and job opportunities for the area youth.

He said the country’s economy would have been far better had the PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari not been given NROs. He said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, Asif Zardari and JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman had been threatening marches on Islamabad to remove the government but their real objective was to hide their corruption.

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