FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the “dacoit leaders” of the opposition parties, who looted the national wealth during their terms in office, have ganged up in fear of getting convicted in cases of corruption against them.
He was addressing the launching ceremony of the National Health Card Programme in Faisalabad Division here on Wednesday. “The opposition leaders, who had earlier boasted about tearing up each other’s bellies to recover looted money, have now joined hands before any verdict is announced on their pending corruption cases,” he said, adding that his undeterred stance against corruption has caused the opposition to be in a haste to save the corrupt mafia.
Imran said that he wanted to give a last warning to the gang of dacoits as he had been hearing for the last three years that they would oust his government in a day or two, or the other. He said that they were entertaining high hopes of PTI government’s toppling because they feared that they would be caught and therefore, they were seeking adjournments of their cases and the judges were giving them prolonged adjournments but the cases had to be taken up and once these cases were heard, these gangs would end up in jail.
He said that these gangs of looters were in a haste to topple his government otherwise they would face jails. So they, instead of recovering money by tearing down the bellies, were joining hands against the PTI government.
He mentioned that former president Asif Ali Zardari has emerged in the scene with a “cheque book to buy loyalties of other parties”. “This is a loud and clear message to all corrupt leaders that I will continue to fight against them,” he said, adding that the country could not prosper until the weak and the powerful are equally treated before the law.
He said he joined politics 25 years ago to wage a war against corrupt people and vowed to ensure rule of law in the country. He quoted the saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who had said that many earlier nations were destroyed where there was one law for the powerful and another for the weak. He said the foundation of prosperity of a nation is linked with rule of law.
Imran said the previous rulers used to visit abroad “even for the treatment of cough”, but showed apathy towards the improvement of the health system for the people of Pakistan. Referring to the criticism of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto against the government’s national health card scheme, he said his party in its tenure remained incapable of bringing development in Sindh.
“He [Bilawal] now says that they will spend money on hospitals rather than health cards. But, who stopped them during their over 13-year rule to take such steps for the facilitation of the common man,” he said, adding that the corrupt leaders looted money from the national exchequer and transferred it into the accounts of other persons to hide their crime.
"It has been 13 years and you [Bilawal[ still cannot speak in Urdu,” he said and repeated Bilawal's remarks "barish ata hay tou paani ata hay” (more water accumulates when it rains more).
He said the national health card programme is in line with the vision of Islam’s first socio-welfare state of Madina that cared for the common man. He said the programme was launched to accommodate people in view of the expensive medical treatment that put an immense burden on them.
He lauded Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Health Minister Dr Yasmin and their team on the launch of the health insurance scheme. He said that besides providing health facilities to women, the government would also ensure their right to inheritance.
About his recent visit to China, he said progress on industrialization is his focus under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and expressed confidence that it would boost trade activity in the country.
Usman Buzdar said around 1.5 million people of Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Chiniot would benefit from the health programme. He said after its launch in Faisalabad Division, about 73 per cent of households of Punjab would be able to avail the facility.
State Minister for Information Farrukh Habib said the government’s national health card is a revolutionary programme providing free medical treatment facilities up to Rs 1 million per family annually at selected public and private hospitals.
Apart from Punjab, the National Health Card Programme has so far been launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Tharparkar, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Also on Wednesday the prime minister, while presiding over a meeting of the members of parliament belonging to Gujranwala Division, directed the PTI elected representatives to activate party workers to ensure victory in the upcoming Local Government elections in Punjab.
He also directed them to speed up mass-contact campaign in their respective constituencies and work for early redressal of people’s problems in coordination with the district administration.
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