JEHLUM: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday came down hard on the opposition for showing a non-serious attitude towards accountability.
“They [the opposition] claim that democracy is in danger when we stress accountability into corruption of billions of rupees,” the minister said while addressing a workers’ convention at Fatehpur (Jhelum).
He said the attitude of opposition parties was not serious as they walked out of parliament over the government’s demand of holding accountability into corrupt practices committed during the last 10 years.
He said funds amounting to Rs1,500 billion had been given to Balochistan during the past but there was not even a single well-equipped hospital in the province. “It is because of this that people had to go to cities of other provinces to get treatment.”
“Demanding to know where the money was actually spent is not a sin,” the minister said, adding the government would; however, ensure accountability into embezzlement of billions of rupees.
He stated that Khawaja Saad Rafique used to ride a motorcycle before he entered politics. “When we question their means of income, the former government’s leaders walk out of the parliament saying democracy is under threat”.
Fawad said the people of Jhelum contributed billions of rupees to the national exchequer each year but the city was not getting its due right in development and welfare projects.
The minister said equal distribution of resources was crucial to make the country a welfare state and the incumbent PTI government would fulfill all the promises which the party had made with the people at the hustings.
The minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would provide all basic facilities to the masses as per the party’s election manifesto.
Lamenting over the attitude of previous governments, he said the common people were deprived of basic health and education facilities in the country while the children of former rulers used to study abroad and get medical treatment there.
The schoolchildren in Pakistan, he said, did not have chairs to sit in classrooms with no English teachers, but those of the former rulers were studying in London.
The rich even went abroad for treatment of minor diseases, he added.
The minister said the farmers and common people of Jhelum and Domeli, which had historical significance, were struggling for their basic rights. Provision of clean drinking water and employment opportunities were their due rights like those of the main cities.
The previous governments instead of giving priority to the basic issues, spent huge amounts on unnecessary projects like Orange Train and Metro Bus services, he added.
The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan had always talked to strengthen the local government system in the country so that the public money could be spent for the welfare of common people and on improving the infrastructure at the grassroots level.
Fawad said the government was committed to introduce such a local government system where the public funds would be utilized for the welfare and betterment of the masses.
It was the government’s responsibility to take steps for the uplift of remote areas, which was only possible through a vibrant local government system, he added.
Member of the National Assembly Chaudhry Farrukh Altaf, members of the Punjab Assembly Raja Yawar Kamal and Sameera Javed, and notables of the area, including Raja Muhammad Munawer, were also present on the occasion.