PM rules out NRO even for PTI's own

Premier says ideology is more important to him than power

Our Correspondent May 24, 2021


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said the PTI government would not let anybody to be subjected to injustice but at the same time would not allow itself to be blackmailed by a pressure group.

“If someone's goal is to overthrow the government, they should fulfill their desire, but we won’t back down from our manifesto  by falling prey to blackmailing,” the premier said while presiding over a meeting of the PTI core committee in the wake of the formation of the “Jahangir Tareen group” within the party.

The group of the PTI's dissident lawmakers, who claim that they are not a forward bloc, are backing former party general secretary Tareen in the wake of the fraud and money laundering charges against him.

According to sources, the premier ruled out giving an NRO (dropping corruption charges) to anyone, stressing the need for the process of accountability to carry on uninterrupted.

Read: Mafia will never succeed in getting NRO: PM

“Our entire political struggle has been for the rule of law and we will ensure that no matter what,” he added.

The prime minister categorically said ideology was more important for him than power.

“I didn’t even treat my political opponents unfairly, then why would I do so with one of my own [party members].”

The prime minister maintained that nations died without ideology.

“The whole party and all its members should stay together on the ideology of PTI. Merit and transparency are the core components of the PTI,” he claimed.

The party's core committee endorsed the premier’s position on accountability.

It noted said that the PTI government was fighting against mafias and its purpose was to provide justice to every person.

The PTI government will make every possible effort to achieve these goals, it added.

The participants of the meeting were briefed by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on his meeting with the members of the Tareen group.

He said the Punjab government was not taking any retaliatory actions against any MPA.

“We will address all legitimate reservations of our MPAs,” he added.

Buzdar further said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other departments were working independently on various cases.

“The Punjab government will not interfere with the proceedings of any investigating agency.”

The participants of the meeting also discussed and condemned the tweet of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that showed a journalist criticising the use of electronic voting machines in the general elections.

The expressed their reservations over the ECP's recent statements and tweets and raised questions about its impartiality.

During the meeting, the prime minister directed the chief ministers of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to hold local government elections in their respective provinces this year.

He also issued directions to step up the pace of the preparations for the elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Minister Ali Amin Gandapur briefed the committee on the amendments made to the election law.

He informed the participants that the PML-N government had changed rules for rigging and sabotaging the elections.

The committee expressed its concerns over possible election fraud, misuse of money and government resources, and stressed the need for electoral reforms.

It reiterated that the PTI was working hard to introduce electoral reforms so that  transparent and fair polls could be held.

The party's core committee appreciated the prime minister's efforts on the Palestinian cause.

Thee participants of meeting were briefed on the economic situation of the country.

The committee lauded the policies of PM Imran and his economic team.

Read more: ‘Will not grant NRO to union of crooks’, PM hits out at PDM

It noted that the effective policies of the government had resulted in “revolutionary progress” in the country's agricultural sector and farmers were prosperous.

Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, the government’s policies have not only kept the economy afloat, but also brought about a clear stabilisation, it added.

The committee congratulated the government on the progress made, especially in the construction and agricultural sectors.

The prime minister and the committee praised the K-P chief minister on the measures taken to alleviate poverty and the provision health cards in the province.

The committee directed party chief organiser Saifullah Niazi and secretary general Aamir Kiani to bring in candidates for the by-elections in consultation with the MNAs and MPAs concerned, and devise a political strategy for this purpose.