Wednesday September 22, 2021

Public complaints about inflation justified: PM

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday admitted there was price-hike in the country, and people’s complaints about it were justified.

However, he regretted that some people term their hardships a consequence of Naya Pakistan, which was not justified.

Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ravi River Front Urban Development (RRFUD) project here, he referred to building of Naya Pakistan under his party’s manifesto. While indirectly alluding to the policies of previous rulers, the PM said definitely, the country was undergoing difficulties due to inherited huge loans, and limited and short-sighted policies.

He said the media was always questioning people about the Naya Pakistan they were promised. “If you ask a person tired of rising inflation such a question, then, of course, it’s not as if they will shower praise [on the government].”

The premier said the former rulers had limited thinking and interested only in setting up sugar mills, accumulation of pelf and purchase of big residences in London. They had no interest in the country, he added.

“For change, we have to go for belt tightening, but it did not mean to reduce having big dreams,” he added.

The prime minister further said for achievement of big ideals, one had to burn the boats as it was imperative to tap full potential.

It was Edmund Hillary, who first ascended the Mount Everest (during 1953) while many had failed.

Anyone who ever accomplished anything was not because of his capabilities, or the education, or how rich he was, but because he was dreaming big, he added.

“Judge a person what he aspires to be,” the prime minister quoted and stressed that thinking of great could lead to big achievements.

He especially mentioned former Malaysian ruler Mahathir Mohamad, who had established the new capital of the country to make his point. The prime minister also shared his personal experiences in facing the problems and hurdles during the construction of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital in Lahore and establishment of Namal University in Mianwali.

Mentioning the outcome of smart lockdown policy during the coronavirus pandemic, he said he was advised for complete lockdown as enforced by many Western countries.

“I have repeatedly questioned what will happen to the poor people, daily-wagers and cart owners during the complete lockdown, but none replied,” he added.

On the other hand, Indian premier Modi’s full lockdown added to the miseries of the poor leaving the whole country in chaos, he added.

The prime minister said for the first time in the world’s history, the State of Madina took the responsibility of catering to the needs of the poor and feeble segments of society.

Upon such ideals was based the thinking of Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

While in modern day, he said, China had pulled over 700 million poor people out of poverty and now the world feared its rapid progress.

About his government’s initiatives to address poverty, the prime minister said they issued health cards and now the entire population in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would be provided with the health cover.