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December 10, 2019

Imran eggs on youth to chase corrupt people

Top Story

December 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said corrupt people in Pakistan were eulogised, glorified and showered with rose petals and egged on the youth to chase the corrupt people.

Addressing an event at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), he urged the youth to follow in their footsteps in order to succeed.

Among those in attendance were federal ministers, ambassadors of friendly countries, Rector NUST, senior government and renowned industry representatives from across the country, as well as the NSTP’s local and international tenants, comprising tech giants, high-tech SMEs, and startups.

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is also the Chairperson of the NUST's Board of Governors, received the prime minister.

“You are the students of Pakistan’s best university. You have more responsibility. In order to develop, it is important to expect that the life will take a downward trajectory,” he told the students.

“You should expect setbacks. Life always goes round in cycles, it is never a straight line,” he said. He lauded Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry for showing “passion for a ministry that no one cared about” in the past.

“People said our government did not take technological development seriously; you have made Fawad the minister of science and technology,” he said, drawing chortles from the minister.

“But a good captain knows which player should play on which number,” the prime minister added. He regretted that Pakistan that was once a confident nation had become dependent on others, even for ideas.

“I am almost as old as Pakistan and I have seen the phase when Pakistanis were optimistic and confident. I have seen that phase as well. We had confidence and self-belief and a major reason for it was a system of meritocracy. The development in Pakistan during the ‘60s was not due to outsiders, it was due to our own systems, our own institutions,” he added.

He said those who abandon their vision do not succeed. “Everything starts with a vision. Those nations which lose confidence become dependent on others. There is no plan B when you follow your vision as you have burnt all your bridges. We saw a plan B a few days ago and then came a plan C and plan Z.

“Allah Almighty ordered us to follow the teachings of Prophet (PBUH) as a role model. Everyone can succeed if they follow the teachings and principles of the Prophet (PBUH).”

He said merit and accountability had prime roles in a democratic system and monarchy could beat democracy. “Democracy is also negated by family politics, which prefers bloodline to call someone a leader. Some people get disheartened in tough time but you become strong after rising from a failure. No one can beat you until you do not give up. Make struggle a part of your life and never be demoralized by the failures. The history only remembers those who work for the humanity. Passions always beat talent.

“It is an undemocratic practice that an entire family comes into politics. Pakistan has lagged behind in education. The country’s progress has been halted due to absence of merit in past. The prime minister also appreciated the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for always giving special emphasis to education.

He urged the students to follow the life and teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH) to become future leaders. The NSTP is Pakistan’s biggest “innovation and research ecosystem” and its launch comes days after the inauguration of Digital Pakistan Vision. The technology park would provide a platform for more than 40 companies, which would include start-ups as well as small-medium enterprises. It will also house established digital companies.

The PTI government has laid special emphasis on the technological development of the country and has taken several steps to incorporate technology in the governance system, maintenance of law and order by launching mobile applications including the much-trumpeted Pakistan Citizen Portal.

Meanwhile, addressing a ceremony in connection with the Anti-Corruption Day, Imran said the people of Pakistan were unaware of the dire consequences of corruption they could have on their lives adding that the ongoing anti-corruption drive would make the country prosperous. “People don’t understand the relation between corruption and their lives since corruption badly affects them,” he said.

Imran hailed the Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and provincial government for launching an anti-corruption app and recovering encroached land worth billions of rupees. He said corrupt people launder their illegal wealth abroad, which in turn leads to devaluation and rise in inflation.

“No one wants to invest in a society where corruption is widespread,” he said. “Overseas Pakistanis, who are our major assets, refuse to bring their investment due to corruption.” Taking a jibe at his opponents, the prime minister said projects like “metro were built not for the people but to take commission and kickbacks”.

He said China’s President Xi Jinping became popular due to his ruthless drive against corrupt officials. “President Xi jailed around 500 people of ministerial level and this shows he is a real statesman. People in many countries including Chile, Iraq and Lebanon have taken to the streets against corruption,” Imran said, adding that no country could prosper where misappropriation was rampant and the government “not clean.”

For the sake of survival, he said, the entire nation needed to participate in the anti-corruption drive, which “will pave way for a modernistic outlook of the country.” SAPM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also addressed the ceremony.