ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday inaugurated the 24th new train started by his government in the last 10 months as he reiterated his resolve not to offer any National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-style deal to former rulers no matter which ‘monarch’ they approach to put pressure on him.
“Those who plundered the national exchequer and burdened the nation with financial woes would be made answerable. There would be no concession for looters and plunderers no matter which monarch they approach for a relief. I won’t be moved [by such recommendations],” the premier said.
He was addressing inauguration ceremony of the Sir Syed Express, a non-stop train from Rawalpindi. Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and high officials also attended the ceremony that was held at Rawalpindi Railway station.
The prime minister said during the last decade, the two successive governments of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) saddled the country with Rs30,000 billion debt but their leaders became billionaires.
“Two houses of [former prime minister Nawaz] Sharif and [former president Asif Ali] Zardari became billionaires while the nation suffered. There will be no NRO whosoever they approach to save their skin.
“I will make them answerable. In democracy, leaders are answerable for every deed they commit and they do not flee the country in the face of accountability.”
The prime minister said if Zardari and Nawaz Sharif bring back the looted money, the rupee will be strengthened. He said those who gobbled billion of rupees have been demanding the VIP treatment in jails. "This is Naya Pakistan. There will be one Pakistan for all – same law for all and sundry," he added.
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In the country, he regretted, the jails are only meant for the poor. He said the law minister has been directed to look into this matter as the jails are meant for punishment. “In Naya Pakistan all citizens will be treated equally with focus on facilitating the weaker classes.”
In his speech, Khan appreciated the performance of the railways minister.
“With his [Sheikh Rashid] efforts, he has brought down losses of railways from Rs36 billion to Rs32 billion in 10 months,” he said, adding that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), power, gas sectors and railways were all facing huge losses due to corruption.
"A country does not become poor due to lack of resources but due to the cancer of corruption. It is the corruption which makes the elite class richer at the cost of the poor," he said. “Two houses of Sharif and Zardari became billionaires while the nation suffered.”
The prime minister referred to the Rs200 billion 'Ahsas Programme' aimed at uplifting the conditions of the poor segments of society. He said it is happening for the first time in the country that its resources are being spent on the poor strata of society.
Khan rebuffed the opposition's claims of being vengeful. He said when he had taken up the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court, the previous rulers had registered 32 FIRs against him and filed six cases in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
"That can be called as vengeful approach by the PML-N government," the prime minister said. He added that he had answered all the questions in the Supreme Court which declared him as 'Sadiq' and 'Amin'. "I did not escape to London but replied to every question," he added.
Premier praise for power ministry
Meanwhile, the prime minister also spoke out to almost 10 million followers on Twitter congratulating the power ministry for reaching the highest ever power supply at 22,550 megawatts in national grid.
PM Imran added that the current power supply is almost 3,000 megawatts more than the maximum supply last summer.
I want to congratulate the Power Ministry. On 2nd July we reached the highest ever power supply at 22,550 MW in national grid with the system running smoothly across the country; almost 3000MW more than the max supply last summer. 1/2— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2019
"As committed, our government is cracking down on gas theft. Since mid April, the campaign against gas theft has traced and disconnected over 18,000 illegal connections, with a monetary value of over Rs2.3 billion," he wrote on the micro-blogging website.
2/2 As committed, our govt is cracking down on gas theft. Since mid April, the campaign against gas theft has traced and disconnected over 18,000 illegal connections, with a monetary value of over Rs 2.3 billion.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 3, 2019
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