SWAT: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday claimed that endemic corruption has driven out foreign investors and cost Pakistan tens of millions of rupees.
Acknowledging that graft has deep roots in the existing system, Imran said it is blocking the country’s economic development as well as foreign investment.
“Due to the growing level of corruption, foreign investors have pulled out their investment from Pakistan and they are now investing in countries like the UAE, Malaysia and even in Bangladesh, where the socio-economic indicators are healthier and corruption is on the back foot,” Imran said.
The PTI chief was addressing the inauguration ceremony of an 84MW Gorkin Matiltan Hydro-Electric Power Project at Kalam Valley. The ceremony was also attended by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Education Minister Atif Khan and large number of local elders.
Talking about the level of corruption in the country, Imran said rampant corruption has been eating away at the very fabric of the state and has gone unchecked for a long time because of poor governance of the federal government.
“The level of corruption in K-P is the lowest as compared to other provinces and this is the main reason why an Italian has firm invested money in the power project and joined hands with the K-P,” he said.
Imran said the federal government was interested in establishing coal-based power stations which pose serious health and environmental hazards.
“We are keeping in mind every aspect and that’s why the K-P government lays stress on producing power by setting up hydel power stations in the area,” Imran said, adding that he was pleased to see his policies on power, health and education being followed by the K-P government.
The PTI chief said the project, a joint venture between the K-P government and an Italian firm, will be completed at a cost of $20-billion rupees. This is a big project and no other province in the country can kick off such project, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2016.