QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that when he started playing cricket, he was ridiculed. During construction of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, again he was laughed at, and when he started his struggle against two-party system, he was again derided, but he proved all these speculations wrong by dint of his hard work.
“Now when I’ve become the prime minister, they say that I cannot run the government. I’ll show them that I can run the country,” the prime minister remarked, addressing the ground breaking ceremony of the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme here
He said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari have plundered the country. What they have done with the country even an enemy cannot do. They have burdened the country with excessive debts and would be taken to task and made an example.
“How so long it takes, we will get them punished who have done this to the country, just to make them a deterrent for those contesting election in future,”.
Held at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, the event was attended by Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, Governor Amanullah Yasinzai, Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema, federal and provincial cabinet members and senior government officials, besides a huge number of students.
He said the Sharif Family, and Asif Zardari wanted to remove the government for fearing jail as new facts (concerning their corruption) were being revealed with every passing day. He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman wanted to wind up the whole system after he faced defeat in election.
He said that when God bestows sovereignty upon someone, He also gives a huge responsibility to that person. Imran Khan said that he is answerable to God for the poor and the backward areas.
He said the project of five million houses was to fulfill the dream of those who could not afford to build their own house, particularly the salaried and other low-income groups. He said despite being a basic need, owning a house had become even more difficult with the skyrocketing real estate prices. "A big cause of corruption in Pakistan is that a salaried person can't afford his or her own house," he said, adding that the government was making the houses for the same segments.
He said unfortunately, in the existing banking system, the loan facilities were limited to the elite class. However, the government was making legislation to extend it to low income group. “The State Bank of Pakistan is also encouraging commercial banks to disburse more housing loans to consumers.”
Currently, only 0.2 percent people in Pakistan availed housing finance against 80-90 percent in Europe, 30pc in Malaysia and 10pc in India. He told the gathering that foreign companies were interested to invest in the housing project that would also boost another 40 linked industries besides creating job opportunities. The prime minister who earlier unveiled the plaques for construction of 110,000 houses in Quetta and Gwadar, including 54,000 units for fishermen, said instead of awaiting the government jobs, the youngsters should form their own construction firms. He directed the Balochistan chief minister to design a master plan of Quetta and allow the vertical construction to discourage the spread of the city.
The prime minister urged the youth to study the principles of Madina state which conquered two supe powers of that time despite being far smaller in size and resources.
The prime minister said his government wanted to develop Pakistan on the principle of Madina state which featured compassion for the poor and fulfillment of their basic needs including education, health and justice. He said during the last 70 years, only the elite class enjoyed all out facilities in Pakistan including quality education and healthcare.
It was for the first time that influential corrupt elements were being arrested, he added. He assured the gathering that the government would uplift the ignored areas of Balochistan, tribal areas and interior Sindh.
He said the country would face tough times for a short period that would follow the good days. He said starting from his cricketing career to building cancer hospital and now politics, he kept up his struggle ignoring all discouraging voices and faced all challenges. He said realising the immense potential of Pakistan, companies from Turkey, Malaysia and China were coming to invest in Pakistan.
Earlier, vice chancellor of the university presented a souvenir to the prime minister. In his address, Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema said on Governor Balochistan’s desire, the university students would also be engaged in the housing project. He said on the Kuchlak Road, around 4,000 flats would be constructed to accommodate the maximum number of government employees.
The Housing Foundation was also building houses for the fishermen in Gwadar, he added. He said the target of five million houses was achievable if the leadership was honest and sincere. Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan said the frequent visit of the prime minister to Balochistan manifested his sincerity and seriousness for the resolution of problems of the people in the provice.
He said the real leaders always formulate policies keeping in view the future needs of the country. He said soon the government’s policies would come to fruition making the country progress. He said the project would fulfill the dream of huge number of people including the government who owned no house.
Federal Secretary Housing Dr Imran Zaib said Pakistan faced shortage of up to 12 million housing units mainly caused by red tapism which discouraged the private sector. He said a draft bill for establishment of Naya Pakistan Housing Authority was ready for parliament’s consideration.
He said the government had agreed to reduce the taxes on loans by half from 40 to 20 percent to make it affordable for low-income class. The ceremony also observed silence to condole the recent killings in Balochistan in different terror attacks.
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