NANKANA SAHIB/ LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the federal and provincial governments are providing Nawaz Sharif with the best possible medical care including advice of consultants from Karachi and Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
"We can try our best; the rest is with Allah Almighty," he said while addressing a ceremony after laying the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak International University at Nankana Sahib on Monday. Imran Khan said the Azadi Marchers are marching to his success not his failure as they fear that the PTI-led government is making strides in country's progress, which would limit their political presence in the country.
"I cannot even guarantee my own life; how can I give assurance about the life of any other person," he said in reference to a comment made by a court the other day that if the government could guarantee the life of Nawaz Sharif till bail. He said he could not give guarantee about the life of anybody including himself, but he was expected to give guarantees about the health of Nawaz Sharif. The prime minister said he would not give an ‘NRO’ (deal) to anyone till he was alive. He said he does not care for any Azadi March and he would not be blackmailed by the corrupt opposition. He said the Azadi March had no genuine objective but to cover the wrongdoings of the top corrupt leaders, whose tenures in government were all about “looting and signing charters of democracy.”
Imran said he had predicted in his first speech after assuming office that all corrupt elements would gather at one place. He said the current condition of thecountry was caused by two NROs: first was given to Nawaz Sharif to go to Saudi Arabia and the second to Asif Zardari to return to the country. He said both looted the country mercilessly and sent money out of Pakistan, which caused huge inflation in the country. He said the incumbent government had to pay half of the collected taxes for repayment of loans. He said the opposition had fears that the government is becoming successful. He said they (opposition) blamed the government on different pretexts including being part of the Jewish lobby and causing high inflation in the country, which all are baseless. He said the federal government and the Punjab government tried their best to provide every possible medical facility to Nawaz Sharif. He said doctors were called from different cities of the country including Karachi and he even asked doctors of the Shaukat Khanam Hospital to provide assistance in treatment of Nawaz Sharif. He said we can only make sincere efforts but cannot give guarantee life.
He said “we talk about the state of Madina, as it was an ideal state.” He said there was rule of law and there was one law for everybody. He said all people, in spite of their religions, had equal rights in the state of Madina. He said the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said that the earlier nations were destroyed as the law was different for different people, thereby everybody was equal before the law in the state of Madina. He said unfortunately rich have privileges in the country while poor have no rights. He said we would have to change this system and the distinctions in the country. He said Europe and Singapore only made progress due to the rule of law. He said it is quite ridiculous that prime minister, foreign minister and interior minister of a country do jobs in other countries by getting Iqama. He said former rulers took cover under Iqama to launder money and the government knew little about them, but now under an understanding with the foreign government we are gradually getting relevant information.
He said the world's history shows that no country has made progress without education. He said there was a time when we were leading in education in the region, but unfortunately rulers did not pay heed towards it afterwards. He said we need one academic syllabus to become one nation. He said there are three education systems in the country. He said it is the need of the hour to offer one syllabus for all. He said the students of madrasas (seminaries) would have to be brought into the mainstream education system by offering them modern education. He said once there were two madrasas in Delhi, where rich and poor students, irrespective of their religion, used to obtain education.
Imran said it is the most beautiful gift to Sikh community to lay the foundation stone of a university ahead of 550th birthday anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. He said all saints including Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh (RA), Baba Bulleh Shah (RA) and Baba Farid (RA) spent their lives in service of humanity. He said this is the reason that even after passage of centuries the masses love and respect them. The prime minister said there is huge corruption in the issues Trust land. He said the land located adjacent to all the shrines would be retrieved from the land grabbers and universities and hospitals would be constructed on them. He said Nankana is like Makkah and Kartarpur like Madina for the Sikh community. The premier said the Sikh community would always be allowed to visit these cities irrespective of circumstances.
He said Saudi Arabia does not put restrictions on Muslims of any country to visit holy places. He said Pakistan has come out of difficult economic conditions and now the coming years would be easy. He said the opposition started raising voices from the very first day that the government has failed as they knew well how badly they had robbed the country. He said there is historical deficit in the PIA, railways and other institutions. He said now investors are coming to Pakistan due to the reforms in the ease for investment and doing business which is being acknowledged by international organisations. The premier said no country could make progress and run without collection of taxes. He hoped that this issue with traders is settled soon as negotiations are continuing on fixed taxation.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar also addressed the ceremony. Interior Minister Ijaz Shah said many courses would be offered at the university including disciplines of Punjabi and Khalasa. The Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Special Advisor Dr Firdous Ashaq Awan and others were also present. Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid foundation stone of the university while a briefing was also given to him.
While chairing various meetings related to law and order, local government and other departments on Monday during his visit to Lahore, the PM expressed dismay over the crime incidents against children and called for adopting effective measures for their prevention. The Prime Minister Imran Khan directed Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to deal sternly with criminal elements in the province besides issuing directions for launching an awareness campaign to prevent child abuse. It was also decided that the government would not confront the Azadi march participants, but would stay vigilant to prevent any untoward occurrence during the protest. Imran was also briefed about the arrangements made by Punjab police and other law-enforcement agencies to prevent any untoward occurrence during the Azadi march.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Interior Minister Ejaz Shah, Law Minister Mohammad Basharat Raja, Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Finance Minister Hashmi Jawan Bakht, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Federal Minister Shafqat Mehmood and senior officials related to Punjab and Centre attended the meetings, held at 8-Club. Inspector General of Police Punjab gave a detailed briefing to the PM about the measures taken to control crime in the province, especially measures taken to curb crimes against children and in district Kasur particularly, special measures are being taken including appointment of new SHOs to address this issue. The Local Government secretary briefed the PM about the LG polls in Punjab and it was told that village 'Panchayat' and neighbourhood elections would be held by March 2020, whereas at 'Tehsil' level, polls would be held by May 2020. The premier stressed the need for speedy implementation of the LG system and ordered for completion of the plan in stipulated time period.
He also directed Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht to draft recommendations for reducing taxes in the housing sector. The PM also directed the Health Department officials to ensure provision of best health facilities to citizens. He was also briefed about the health cards and it was told that in three districts, the process of cards distribution has started. The hallmark of the meeting was that most of the briefing was given by the bureaucracy to the premier, and not by his elected team in the province.
APP adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan assured the officers that he would stand by them if they faced any pressure in taking strict action against big criminal elements.
The PM was shocked to learn about the incidents of child abuse in Kasur and Chunian, and he said such crimes invite the wrath of Allah Almighty. He directed the Punjab chief minister and other relevant authorities to visit Kasur, Chunian and other affected areas, hold meetings with local religious leaders, philanthropists, schoolteachers and parents, and highlight the need for appropriate training of children for avoiding such incidents. He was given a detailed briefing about the Punjab Municipal Services Programme.
Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the Punjab government to take all-out measures to maintain the prices of eatables in the province particularly wheat and flour at minimum possible level. The Punjab finance minister told the meeting the government had increased the development budget of the province with a special focus on welfare projects. He said the government was also trying to ensure uninterrupted flow of funds for hospitals and education sector. However, the provincial government was facing challenges to afford the subsidy of the Orange Line Train and other such projects, he added.
INP adds: Punjab CM Sardar Usman Buzdar also apprised PM Imran Khan of incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s health condition. “The best medical facilities are being provided to the PML-N supreme,” the CM added.