Govt ready to talk with anyone sans ‘looters’: PM

Premier says country to make independent decisions that will be better for its own people

Our Correspondent December 11, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives to attend groundbreaking ceremony of a maternity hospital in Attock. FILE PHOTO: TWITTER/PTI



Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said his government was ready to talk with anyone, including the dissident elements in Balochistan and tribal areas for peace, except those who had looted and laundered the nation's wealth abroad.

“We are ready to talk to everyone who has a different ideology or whom we call right or left. We are ready to resolve our issues with them peacefully whether they are in Balochistan or the tribal areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” the premier remarked while addressing a public gathering in Mianwali.

“Only the ones whom we will never make any reconciliation with are those who looted and laundered the Pakistani people’s money,” he added.

"My government will never reconcile or give NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] to those who were involved in corruption.”

The premier informed the gathering of Pakistan’s reshaped foreign policy.

He maintained that now the country would never bow before anyone and make independent decisions that would be better for its own people.

PM Imran said the whole world including the US was facing unprecedented inflation because of the Covid-related lockdowns that had led to closure of businesses and reduction of production, causing the price hike.

“You will have to understand, it’s not only Pakistan’s issue. The US, which is the richest country, is facing the worst inflation after 1982 because of lockdowns,” he added.

However, he claimed that Pakistan was still the cheapest country and hoped that the prices would come down within three to four months.

Read PM Imran inaugurates Karachi's Green Line bus project

In order to ebb away the pressure of inflation from the poor, the premier added, the government had announced the Ehsaas Rashan Scheme to provide 30% subsidy on flour, ghee and pulses to those whose monthly income was below Rs50,000.

He also highlighted the government’s initiatives of interest-free loans for three million families, Rs2.7 million interest-free loan for building houses, Sehat Cards for the whole of Punjab by next March and Rs47 billion higher education scholarships for 6.2 million students.

Earlier, the prime minister broke ground for 23 projects in the health, education and road sectors worth around Rs36 billion for the uplift of his native district and also inaugurated another three which were completed at cost of Rs5.4 billion.

He performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the upgrading of the 38-km Kalabagh-Shakardara road, which would cost Rs2.7 billion and the upgrading of District Headquarters Hospital with an estimated cost of Rs2 billion.

“God willing, when we complete our five years, Mianwali would have witnessed the development which has never happened in its history… I always promised that if I get a chance, I will provide [the people] their right through my performance,” the prime minister told the gathering.

The prime minister launched multiple projects under the Rs6.6 billion PM Package-II and District Development Package, which consisted of Rescue 1122 service, 72 road projects and the upgrading of schools.

The rehabilitation and upgrading of Balkasar-Mianwali road, at an estimated cost of Rs13.5bn, and Wooded Land at Namal Lake and Kundia Forest Park costing Rs120 million, were also among the new projects.

The prime minister said the upgrading of the Balkasar-Mianwali-Muzaffargarh road would be completed in a year and a half.

He also assured the people of the water-deficient Mohar area that the government was considering the options of a canal as well as solar tube wells to provide relief from electricity bills.

The prime minister said the government was prioritising the education sector with a particular focus on girls’ education.

On his brainchild Namal University, he said it would emerge as the “Oxford University of Pakistan”, which would attract students from across the country, besides facilitating the people of Mianwali.

With additional input from APP



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