ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday issued a warning that if he left the government, he will prove more lethal for them and if he takes to the streets, there will be no place for them to hide because people have recognised them.
He said this while talking to the people directly through telephone calls in connection with 'Your Prime Minister with you'. He received public calls and replied to questions from people of various shades of life.
PM Imran also declared that his government would not only complete its term but also the next one. He termed Leader of Opposition Mian Shehbaz Sharif as the nation’s culprit.
However, he conceded that the rising inflation often keeps him awake at night. “No government faced the kind of challenges, my government had to face. I want to warn you that if I come out of the government, then I will be more dangerous for you, as present, I am sitting silent in my office, watching your spectacles. Let me also say it today that my government will not only complete this term but also the next one,” he said.
He questioned that what new thing, they would do, which they could not during the last three years. He continued that every now and then a jobless politician would say; he would topple the government; the government would fall now, tomorrow and day after tomorrow.
Referring to the opposition, he noted that they were trying to make people come out but masses fully knew them. “Public had come out with me and four times, we filled the Minar-e-Pakistan but this conglomeration of 11 parties failed to do once despite their full attempt. And this proves that people are not foolish. You can’t fool the people all the time,” he remarked.
He said the opposition would say that there was inflation and this had happened and that and yes there was price hike of commodities and people were feeling great difficulties but they would not come out for the opposition, for they [opposition] were coming out to protect their looted money. “And, the nation had come out with me because I had come out to protect the people’s money. They are trying to bring people out to blackmail that so many people are out,” he said.
"I want my countrymen to understand that inflation is a global phenomenon caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he said. “From industrialised countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, to Europe and Japan, the entire world is faced with spiraling costs of living, a sharp increase in food prices, and a huge spike in energy prices.”
Asked about the long march of the opposition, Imran said that the people were driven out by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or the public came out with him for he had come out to save their wealth.
The PM said that the past regimes had left the country in a very bad condition and noted, “We have got the biggest current account deficit in the history of Pakistan left by the previous government.” He said that the rupee was burdened by the largest current account deficit in the history of Pakistan left by the previous government, which led to a sharp rise in inflation.
He pointed out that due to the corona pandemic, the shortage of supply has caused inflation all over the world. Inflation is not only in Pakistan but also in the whole world. He added that wage earners in Pakistan have been affected by inflation but farmers have prospered, demand of working class has increased, record growth has been achieved in many sectors and corporate sector has earned record profits.
The prime minister said that the corporate sector has made a profit of Rs980 billion and “I would call them and ask them to increase the salaries of their staff because you have never made such a profit before today.”
He emphasised the purpose for which “we built the country, unless we follow this purpose, we cannot make progress.”
Talking to the nation, the prime minister said: “I hve not been able to speak to you for a long time. In principle, I should speak in Parliament but unfortunately the opposition does not allow me to speak in Parliament. There are NRO seekers in the Parliament. If you do not meet their demands, they will not talk to you.”
He said that Pakistan is the name of a great dream: Allama Iqbal dreamed of Pakistan to become a state which would let the world know what a real welfare state is. The prime minister said that in the last few days, “when I wrote an article on the subject of the state of Madina, my opponents criticised me for hiding behind religion. I did not need to get involved in politics. The objective of entire struggle is to make Pakistan a model welfare state.”
In response to a question, he said that since the PTI government came, there have been four crises in which the biggest crisis was that Pakistan was bankrupt, we did not have the money to pay the loan installments and foreign exchange: The reserves were the lowest while the circular debt of electricity was 480 billion, so in such circumstances we were trying to stabilise the country.
He said that we had successfully stabilised the country when corona came, this is the biggest crisis in the world in 100 years and then the wave of inflation came and it is difficult everywhere.
PM Imran Khan said that when the new government came in Afghanistan, people started buying dollars and from here they bought dollars and sent them to Afghanistan which put pressure on our rupee. These four crises were not met by any government.
The prime minister further said that there are many good journalists in Pakistan who give awareness to the people but unfortunately there are some people who only spread frustration.
One caller appealed for a relief package for the catering, restaurant, etc. industry affected by corona, to which the prime minister said that corona's variant Omicron is expanding rapidly but we did not close our business and we use lockdown and other measures appropriately so that we can check spread of corona’s variant on which the world today gives our example.
He said, “The lower class has suffered the most from corona and the richest class has benefited the most, so we have to keep a balance, we have to wear masks everywhere so that there is no pressure on our hospitals and Insha Allah we will get out of the fifth wave of the Covid too”.
He regretted that different trends had been set in the society for the powerful and the weak. The ordinary criminals had been languishing in the jails and the powerful elite was residing outside the country.
Those criminals had been showered with flower petals. He said that the courts are free and they have their responsibilities, adding that our institutions are also struggling e.g. NAB is free.
If such were the standards in society, then set the jails open for the ordinary criminals, he said, adding that he was ready to talk to everyone including TLP and Balochs, but would not talk to such elements who had siphoned off the country’s wealth, the prime minister elaborated.
He said according to the World Bank rule of law index, Switzerland topped the list with 100 percent score. In Singapore, a minister committed suicide due to his corruption and in the US a powerful family also followed the same course to avoid public shame.
“Unless we follow the path of our Holy Prophet (PBUH), we cannot aspire to get prosperity,” he said, adding (Imran Khan) had no magic wand to set the wrong things right. The prime minister opined that a society had to fight such crimes and trends.
When a caller asked about the news circulating in the media regarding the imposition of emergency or the presidential system, the PM replied, “I had said in my first speech after becoming the prime minister that you hear a lot of noise. The country will be ruined, they are incompetent, I consider standing against these lousy people as jihad.”
“I do not want to reconcile with them, they blackmail us so that they can get NRO somehow like Pervez Musharraf had given. What was done by giving NRO to them and today the nation is paying the price because half of the money we collect from taxes goes to pay off their debts.”
The premier noted that giving NRO to these two families is the biggest betrayal to the country, they have spread chaos, they say poverty has increased but according to the World Bank poverty has decreased.
He accused the PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif of evading cases of corruption by not responding to allegation charges. Imran said that the entire Sharif family would end up fleeing to London where Nawaz Sharif and his two sons were already living.
To a question about the possible return of Nawaz Sharif, he said, "Please come back, we are waiting for you" but added: "He will not come back. He loves money." Sharif has been living in the UK in self-exile since November 2019. He had gone to London after the Lahore High Court granted him bail for four-weeks to get his treatment abroad. He was serving a seven-year term at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in a corruption case.
The doctrine of necessity was created for the powerful and elite classes, he said, the cells in jails were filled with the ordinary criminals while the powerful dacoits were roaming freely, he regretted.
The prime minister underlined the need for the society to face such challenges and make endeavours to crush the evil tendencies in the society which made the people to treat the corrupt elements as politicians and personalities.
In that case, the people would have fears from committing crimes. The prime minister said that former prime minister along with his sons was residing outside the countries in billions of dollars worth properties in the UK.
While his finance minister, Ishaq Dar was also residing there along with his kins. He further said that the two royal families in the country had been given VIP treatment which Aitzaz Ahsan had rightly termed as Sharif’s doctrine.
They had bribed the judges in the past, that’s why Justice Khosa of the Supreme Court had equated them with the Sicilian mafia, he added. The prime minister said that barriers to business in the private sector have been removed, there are 324 projects in the construction industry in which three million houses are being built, 30 industries are connected to it and that is why the growth rate has increased. He said that we will show by collecting more than 6,000 billion taxes, I had promised that we will show by collecting 8,000 billion taxes and we will show by collecting more taxes.
The prime minister said that criticism is a good thing but media should avoid one thing and that is propaganda and fake news. These are not politicians, they are mafias, he said referring to the opposition politicians. He said that the people sitting in the media are constantly spreading frustration. My question to them is what is the answer to this question: If the situation was so bad then how the GDP growth was over 5 per cent and then the country should have gone bankrupt and unemployment should have increased.
He said that employment is increasing, poverty is decreasing, the country's wealth is also increasing, the country's taxes are also being collected more so what is the disappointment and Bloomberg predicts that Pakistan is on the move in the right direction.
Asked about the failure to deliver justice in the country, the PM Imran Khan said it would take time to reap fruits of reforms and emphasised that the state of Madina will not be formed in a day. But for that we have to follow the model made by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
He said that “they tell me that you do not shake hands with the Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif but I consider Shehbaz Sharif not the Leader of the Opposition but the culprit of the nation. The Leader of the Opposition has a very high status and his prolonged speech is not a speech but a job application.
PM Imran said that Shehbaz had still not provided answers in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case and appealed to the courts to decide the matter at the earliest by conducting daily hearings. "Nations are not [just] destroyed by atom bombs. They can also be destroyed by doing away with ethics."
Giving the example of Switzerland, he said that the country just had "cows and mountains" but was ranked among the top in the world due to ensuring rule of law. He further said that different cartels and mafias had been active in the country making huge windfalls through hoarding and price hike.
The prime minister said that eight regulators in the country had informed that these cartels had got 800 stay orders from different courts. An amount of 250 billion rupees had been stuck up due to such litigation.
According to FBR, he said, 2,500 billion rupees cases were lingering on due to litigation. The 19,000 customs related cases were also pending involving billions of rupees, he said, adding the country suffered due to the theft of powerful.
The prime minister said that he would give good news to the nation in the next few months. He said that out of 220 million population, only 2 million had been paying taxes.
If they did not pay tax, the country could not achieve progress, he said, adding now with the introduction of FBR’s track and trace system, they had got the data of those people living in luxurious homes and affording big vehicles but paying zero taxes. He said the government would give them an opportunity to contribute to the progress of the country by paying taxes.
The prime minister said in US, if you evade tax, you would land directly in the jails. India had the double tax collection, he said, urging the citizens to pay tax to steer the country out of poverty.
The prime minister, however, made it clear, “I am ready to talk to everyone, this is what democracy means, whether anyone agrees with me or not, but the day I reconcile with the criminals, I will betray this country and Allah”.
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