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July 20, 2019

I had promised to Allah…: All corrupt will be jailed, says PM

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July 20, 2019

Ag agencies

MIANWALI: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday he had "promised Allah that he would not let go of those who robbed the country", and, therefore, accountability would continue and all corrupt would be jailed.

Addressing ceremonies to lay the foundation-stone of a hospital in the city's Namal Valley and later the Mianwali Express train, Khan said he would never compromise on accountability of the corrupt. He said one of the biggest reasons of China’s development was a strong accountability system over there. He said Chinese President Xi Jinping had sent 450 ministers to jails for corruption.

The premier warned those who claimed that they would not answer that "we will extract answers from them". Those who were threatening, raising hue and cry and staging dramas were the corrupt people who also tried to use influence from abroad. They also brought intercession requests to him from abroad for avoiding the accountability process. But, he warned, the accountability process would continue at any cost. He said the real accountability was bringing the powerful to book and not only small thieves. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had made institutions independent, and they could hold anyone accountable for corruption.

The premier said that he had submitted some 60 documents to the Supreme Court of Pakistan whereas those who raised a hue and cry “only submitted Qatari letters and Calibri font documents”.

The PM underscored that none of the cases against the opposition leaders was filed by the incumbent government; however it just let the institutions operate independently and gave them full authority to proceed against all corrupt without any pressure.

Terming corruption the biggest impediment to country’s progress, Khan said the looters of the public money would be held accountable at every cost. He said: “This time, the powerful will come under the claw of accountability … [those] who had inflicted immense damage on the country during their tenures.

“I have been waiting for this moment for 22 years [of my political struggle] to bring to book those who plundered the public money,” he said, noting that national culprits were dubbing accountability as “political revenge and a threat to democracy.

“In fact, they want to hide their corruption but people are well aware of these political gimmicks,” he added.

He said he wished to restore the confidence of international investors in Pakistan by ending corruption. Several overseas Pakistani entrepreneurs had told him that they were willing to invest in the country but were hesitant due to the menace of corruption, he added.

The premier expressed confidence that Pakistan would achieve the status of a strong and prosperous country as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had started taking tough measures in the best national interest.

“It’s my promise to the nation that I will get this country on the trajectory of development,” he added.

While inaugurating the hospital project, he expressed his confidence that a modern hospital would help the people of Mianwali. “The world remembers only those who serve the humanity and not the wealthy and powerful kings,” the premier added. He said people remember the names of Sir Ganga Ram, Mother Teresa and Gulab Devi with respect for their services for humanity.

Among those in attendance at the hospital foundation-laying ceremony were PM’s friend and British-Pakistani businessman, Aneel Musarrat, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, and a large number of overseas Pakistanis.

The premier invited the private sector to step forward in adopting the country’s major hospitals and join the government’s journey of bringing improvement in the health sector.

“Under the adopt-a-hospital project, we can bring a significant change in the health sector through a public-private partnership,” he said, adding that the government alone could not revamp all medical facilities across Pakistan but the private sector’s financial assistance could yield positive results.

He said several other groups had also approached him to adopt a hospital, which was an encouraging sign.

Separately, speaking of his friend and British-Pakistani businessperson, Aneel Musarrat, Khan said his Urdu was much better than that of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Musarrat had earlier said his own Urdu was not good enough, to which the aforementioned was Khan’s response.

The premier also lauded Musarrat, who was in attendance and would be financing the hospital to cater to the health needs of thousands of patients.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated Mianwali Express train. He was accompanied by Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Punjab CM Sardar Usman Buzdar. The premier thanked the railways minister for launching another train for the people of Mianwali on his directive.

Addressing the ceremony participants, he said those who looted the country would be made accountable and the money recovered from them would be spent on public welfare. He promised to bring all underdeveloped areas of the country on a par with the developed regions.

The PM said the government had already started action against the Benami properties and would also bring back the looted money from abroad, though it might take some time. He said the money recovered from the sale of Benami properties would be diverted towards the government’s flagship anti-poverty programme Ehsaas.

As the economic situation was easing consequent to loans from some friendly countries, the government would revamp the whole rail network. He said the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project would revolutionise the railway system by reducing the Lahore-Karachi travel time to eight hours besides lessening the burden on road network.

Reiterating his government’s priority to education and health sectors, the PM said the government would uplift all the areas which had been neglected in the past.

Imran said he would ensure teachers at all schools of Mianwali and the residents would get clean drinking water and quality healthcare at hospitals.

He said as per commitment, his government would reform the police system and kutchery and the people would see a clear difference after the incumbent government completed its five-year term. He said he desired every youngster to get skill training so that they could find jobs easily.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday approved the new appointments to organisational structure of the party.

According to a notification from the chief organiser Saifullah Niazi, Amir Mehmood Kiyani would take charge as secretary general, Ahmad Jawad as secretary information, while Arshad Dad, Umer Cheema and Zahid Hussain Kazmi will be senior vice president and vice presidents, respectively.

Ijaz Chaudhry will lead Punjab as president of the party while Noor Khan Bhabha will take responsibilities as president of PTI south Punjab.

Farid Rahman will be president of Islamabad chapter, Barrister Sultan Mahmood would be responsible for Azad Jammu and Kashmir as president.

Presidencies of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan have been handed over to Dr Munir Baloch and Syed Ali Shah, respectively.

Responsibilities as general secretaries of Punjab, south Punjab, Islamabad, AJK, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan will be entrusted with Shoaib Siddiqui, Ali Raza Dareshak, Ilyas Meherban, Raja Musaddiq, Bari Bareech and Fatahullah Khan, respectively.

Names of the executive committees’ members and their governing bodies have also been announced by the central secretariat of the party.

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