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January 16, 2021

I’m the only politician who wasn't nurtured at GHQ: PM Imran Khan

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January 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that he is "the only Pakistani politician who was not nurtured at the General Headquarters (GHQ)".

The premier, during an interview with a private news channel, said that even the PPP's founder and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a part of a military dictator's cabinet for eight years before coming into power.

The premier, speaking about the country's political system, said that family politics prevails in Pakistan — every party leader's child takes over the reins after their parents. "However, now, they will not come into power," the prime minister said confidently.

The premier, shedding light on the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) aims, said that they wanted NRO — "and I will not give it to a single person". The prime minister also spoke about reports surfacing of PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's various properties. "How did he get those properties?" he asked.

Talking about the past governments, he said that former president Pervez Musharraf had given an NRO to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and let him leave the country. Speaking about reforms, he said that it was a tough process; and change comes gradually. "But when we try to do reforms, all of them (Opposition) band together," he said, adding, "The opposition had asked me for an NRO in a written statement."

"In a democracy, the prime minister is accountable, whereas these people (the opposition) believe that they are not answerable no matter how much corruption they engage in," the premier said.

He spoke of his "struggle for democracy in Pakistan", adding that until the leaders are held accountable, the country will not prosper.

"When the prime minister is involved in corruption it destroys the country," he said, adding that the ruling elite naturally siphon money from the country much more easily than low-level officials.

Imran Khan said that the era from 2008-2018 was the "darkest period" in Pakistan's history. "PDM is asking me to send the small thieves to jail but give such people (the leaders) an NRO," he said.

Speaking about why his spokesman Nadeem Afzal Chan had resigned, he said that he must have his reasons to do so. "I, on the other hand, did not ask anyone to resign."

Speaking about his ministers, he said that if anyone has an issue with the cabinet's decision, than they should resign, just like it happens in the world's democracies.