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June 5, 2021

PDM wants Army to oust my govt: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Referring to the Pakistan Democratic Movement, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday they call themselves democratic movement, but are asking the army to come and overthrow his government, fearing otherwise their looted billions would be brought back from abroad.

Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony for upgradation of the Lodhran-Multan Highway here, the PM said when the powerful are brought under the law, then a society rises and then there are no more sugar, occupation or political mafias in the developed countries.

“They say if we are not given an NRO [deal], then we will overthrow the government. They are asking the army to send the government packing. And the objective of all of them is to protect their [vested] interests. All these mafias are waging a struggle for safeguarding their interests,” he noted.

Premier Imran continued that they (opposition) were prepared to do anything to topple the government, as all their corruption was being exposed and they wanted to send the government packing before everything was exposed.

Before this, he pointed out, they staged a drama that the national economy had been destroyed and then came to know about the state economy despite the coronavirus. PM Imran Khan said Pakistan was faring better than India economically, adding that the country was now on the path to progress.

He said Pakistan and India had similar population density and climate conditions but, he added, look at the decisions they made and where they are now. “Compare that with the decisions we made and see how we have fared by the grace of Allah. “Today when their growth rate is at minus seven per cent, ours is at four per cent, even though our position was not as strong as theirs.

“When the pandemic hit, India was in a financially stronger position,” he said. Premier Imran said that when the pandemic began, his government tried to protect the economy and the lives of the people, adding that Pakistan would now progress because tough times were over. Earlier, the country faced the IMF pressures also, the PM said and added that now the government was focusing on uplifting different sectors including agriculture, IT and tourism.

He noted, “We have never tapped our true potential for tourism. If you spend all your holidays in London, what would you know about the many things this country has been blessed with?” Premier Imran said he would give good news to the public in the future.

He regretted that his government faced undue criticism and recalled that when the PTI government came to power, it had to face a lot of undue criticism. “Within the first week of our government, they started asking where Naya Pakistan was and asserting that we had failed. The government got through that period by being patient, as there was a lot of criticism on the media, and I knew the opposition would do the same as they wanted NROs [deals].

“Yesterday, they staged a show and said the country was headed towards devastation. So we faced tough time, we had to face constant criticism while the media also portrayed the same, as if bringing about Naya Pakistan was as simple as switching a button. This was a great lesson for my team, for the public and the country,” he said.

The PM continued, “Change can only be achieved through struggle. No society can change without it. It was a matter of changing the status quo. Think of it as if freeing yourself”. He was giving the example of the people of the Subcontinent freeing themselves from the British rule and how the struggle was launched first in 1857, which failed despite a lot of sacrifices, but the struggle continued.

“Look at Quaid-e-Azam's struggle, there were so many ups and downs. Pakistan is currently facing a major struggle to free the country from mafias. “They are everywhere. They want us to fail so that they can keep a system in place which benefits only them,” he added.

The prime minister said it always took time to change the status quo as the mafias resisted any such movement to protect their interests. He said he was waging the biggest struggle for the system change in the country after its creation in 1947.

At the start, he congratulated all PTI ministers and MNAs present and said as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, that was an excellent road that would connect three districts and reduce travel time. He hoped that the road would also help in generating economic activity.

The project is an important section of the Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar national highway (N-5). The National Highway Authority will complete the project at a cost of Rs6.886 billion in two year's time. The project is an important milestone in the field of communication and will usher in a new era of development in south Punjab.

It will ensure smooth flow of traffic between Lodhran and Multan and promote economic activities as well as create job opportunities. APP adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan said the country’s economic turnaround had brought down the curtains on bad days and heralded the time for economic growth, wealth creation and jobs for youth. “I believe, we have gone through the worst time. In-sha-Allah (God willing), in the coming days, Pakistan’s growth will not be turbulent with up and down cycles.

Pakistan will start its journey from when it was fourth largest economy in Asia in 1968 after Japan, China and India,” he said. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Communications Minister Murad Saeed, Special Assistant to PM Malik Amir Dogar and parliamentarians from south Punjab attended the event.

Imran Khan said the construction of 10 dams was in progress to produce clean energy and utilise the 50,000MW potential of hydropower. For the first time, massive scale plantation was being made under Ten Billion Tree Tsunami and new national parks being developed, he added.

He said as the COVID-19 curve was on downward trend particularly after mass vaccination, the government would make efforts to uplift the tourism sector which had the potential to increase foreign reserves remarkably.

Referring to the government’s incentives for construction sector, the prime minister said banks had received demand of Rs60 billion loans for low-cost houses from the people who could never imagine to own a house. He said the government was also mulling to introduce finance houses other than banks to exclusively disburse housing loans.