PM snubs calls for his resignation

I’ll neither resign nor give NRO to anyone, says Imran


Shabbir Mir November 01, 2019
They want an NRO, but I’ll not give them any NRO, says Imran Khan. PHOTO: FILE

GILGIT: Prime Minister Imran Khan has snubbed the creshendoing calls for his resignation, saying the opposition parties have led their so-called ‘Azadi March’ into the capital because they want to pressure his administration into dropping corruption cases against them.

“They want an NRO, but I want to tell them that I’ll not give NRO to anyone,” said the prime minister while addressing a public gathering in Gilgit. He was referring to a notorious law – National Reconciliation Ordinance – promulgated by the then military ruler Pervez Musharraf to drop hundreds of cases against top politicians in the name of political reconciliation.

The prime minister took a jibe at the politico-religious cleric who is spearheading the ‘Azadi March’, saying that there was no need for any ‘Jewish conspiracy’ to destabilise Pakistan as long as Maulana Fazlur Rehman was there.

“Today, the Indian media is giving unprecedented coverage to the Maulana’s protest as if he is an Indian national,” he added. “I want to ask who these [opposition] parties are seeking freedom from.”

The prime minister said his political struggle spanning over 22 years was against corruption which is responsible for rampant poverty in the country. “Pakistan cannot progress until and unless corruption is rooted out and those who looted the country are taken to task,” he added.

The corruption cases against all the ‘political orphans, rightists and leftists' gathered in the capital have surfaced and none of them would be spared, he added.

The premier said his government would provide food to participants of the Azadi March. “They can sit there for as long as they want, but one thing is given: I’ll not give them an NRO.”

The prime minister said the opposition parties were confused with no clear agenda. Bilawal Bhutto is participating in the march as a liberal while Mahmood Khan Achakzai, a strong opponent of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, is also attending it.

He came down hard on Maulana Fazl and his opposition allies, saying gone are the days when the name of religion Islam was used for making money and to reach the corridors of power.

He was critical of the Maulana’s role as the Kashmir committee chairman, who, he said, was a favourite of the Indian media, which was portraying him as an Indian national.

He said two opposition parties in their 10-year tenure had increased Pakistan's debt fourfold. The total debt in first 60 years was $6 billion which reached $30 billion in last 10 years. The people who siphoned off the looted money through Hundi and money laundering and became billionaire are not ready for accountability, he added.

The prime minister also paid tributes to the martyrs of 1947-48 Independence War from Dogra Raj, saying he had come to celebrate the 72 Independence Day with the people of Gilgit Baltistan (G-B), which is the land of Ghazis and martyrs.

“I congratulate the people on this Independence Day as they fought a war to win their freedom,” said the premier who earlier visited the graveyard of the martyrs of the War of Independence. “The people of G-B must be thankful to Allah Almighty that they are not experiencing the sufferings which the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) are facing right now.”

He reiterated Pakistan's support for the people of the IOK, saying that he was the ambassador of and spokesperson for the Kashmiris and would plead their case at every forum.

Criticising the Indian prime minister, he said Narendra Modi had played his ‘last card’ by revoking the special status of IOK. “Once the draconian curfew is lifted, the people would take to streets against the Indian government,” he added.

He said the scenic Northern Areas had great potential of tourism. He said his government was fully focusing on promotion of tourism in these areas as it had opened Pakistan for international tourists.

(With additional input from APP)

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