Embattled PM vows to defeat ‘clique of looters’

Imran says won’t give NRO in his life; urges women’s empowerment

Our Correspondent March 08, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a meeting with digital media journalists in Islamabad. PHOTO: PID


Prime Minister Imran Khan promised a jaw-breaking response to the opposition over its move to dislodge the government, saying on Tuesday that his strategy to defeat the no-confidence motion was ready, and declared that his foes would not get any amnesty for their corruption.

Imran addressed a meeting with digital media journalists in Islamabad and an event at the Fatima Jinnah University in Rawalpindi in connection with the International Women’s Day. The prime minister said that the government was not going anywhere, rather it would emerge even stronger.

The prime minister’s engagements on Tuesday came as the opposition filed a no-confidence motion against the prime minister. The prime minister told the ceremony in Rawalpindi that he would not give an NRO to the opposition leaders in his life.

The NRO or the National Reconciliation Ordinance, referred to the political amnesty granted to the opposition by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007. The ordinance was later struck down by the apex court.

Imran said that the government was waging “the biggest Jihad” because the powerful were not ready to come under the law, and were seeking NRO and continuing to blackmail the government on the grounds that if their slate was not wiped clean they would topple the government.

“This is the tragedy in Pakistan,” he said, admitting that even the most powerful military ruler like Gen Musharraf had to bend his knees and give NRO. “The man standing in front of you is not going to give you NRO but would also like to make it absolutely clear that he would not give NRO till he is alive.”

While recalling why he was named among the top-five captains in the cricketing history, Imran said that he was closely monitoring opposition parties’ move and ready for whatever plans they had to oust him from power. He reiterated that he would wage a Jihad against them.

Regretting that non-implementation of the rule of law was the biggest issue of Pakistan, he mentioned a Hadith of Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that society could not survive unless the most powerful were brought under the law.

“Look at the poor countries around the world, you will find that there is no rule of law,” Imran said, adding that the problem in the poor countries was not that they lacked resources but the fact that the powerful were always protected, while the poor were handed down the severest of punishments.

“A powerful thief goes for big (theft) and can buy huge mansions in London,” he said in a veiled reference to the Sharif family’s Avenfield Apartments in the British capital. He added that a poor thief could steal an animal or a motorcycle at the most.

He reiterated that the poor countries had abundant resources but the fault in their stars was that the powerful go scot-free. To add insult to injury, he added, the acceptance of the corrupt in society led to the downfall of the country.

Giving reasons for the success of China, the prime minister said that they put 450 ministers in jail over corruption, adding that his fight for the rights of the downtrodden would continue. He called the opposition leaders “a gang of thieves” and “a bunch of dacoits”

The prime minister told the audience that there was a reason for him being named among the top five captains: “The captain has eyes on every step of the opponent and stays ready” for other side’s every move. “I am ready for everything that they are planning to do,” Imran said, smilingly.

Read: Bilawal vows ‘constitutional attack’ on PM on reaching Islamabad

The prime minister stressed that the “rights should always be given across the board”. While explaining, he added: “It can’t happen that only a woman in a poor family was given the rights but the husband or the children or other family members are deprived of their rights.”

Referring to his party name, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Prime Minister Imran emphasised that he had been waging a Jihad for the last 25 years and expressed his firm belief that “God will help him again in what he had been doing now”.

In his speech, Imran reminded the audience that Riyasat-e-Madina was formed on two principles: rule of law and to differentiate between good and bad as well as striving for spreading the good. He said that no country came into existence in the name of Islam other than Pakistan. “The youth must remember that Pakistan should be run on the principles of the State of Madina,” he added.

Saying that he always wanted to empower women, Imran credited his mother for making him do homework, when all he wanted to do was to focus on sports. Revealing that his mother was educated and had inherited property, Imran said that “my mother has a big hand in my success”.

Imran regretted that families where mothers were uneducated were at a disadvantage, adding that the government gave more stipends to parents for enrolling their children, especially girls, because an educated woman uplifts the whole family. “The country can’t progress until we educate our girls,” Imran said, adding that government’s 60% scholarships were for girls and 40% for boys.

‘The final attempt’

Talking to the digital media journalists, Imran said that the government was not going anywhere, rather it would emerge stronger. Alluding to the no-confidence motion, he said, this would be the opposition’s final attempt. “We will defeat them in a way that they will not be able to rise until 2028.”

The prime minister revealed that there were “not one but many outside hands” behind the opposition. He added money was being “used everywhere”. “Eighteen crore [180 million] is being offered to [each] member. I have told my members to take the money from them and distribute it among the poor.”

Stressing that he was ready to thwart the opposition’s plans, Imran said: “Our strategy against the opposition is ready.” However, he added hastily that a good captain did not reveal his strategy at once.” He said he knew disgruntled PTI leader Jahangir Tareen and “he [Tareen] will never side with thieves”.

On demands for the removal of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, the prime minister said that Buzdar was an easy target. “Only those who themselves were the aspirants for the post of chief minister disliked Buzdar.”

Imran said that when the no-confidence motion would fail, the US might exert “pressure on us” through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “We will see when the pressure of IMF comes,” he said, adding that a mind game was going on at the moment and “I am the master of mind game”.

Imran Khan said that the army stood with Pakistan and it would never support thieves. If the people were not with the opposition then they claimed that the establishment was with it, he added. He also stressed that Pakistan had good relations with every country.

“We have an independent foreign policy, and those who do not want to see an independent foreign policy are supporting the opposition. I am neither against the United States nor against India, but I am critical of their government policies,” he said.

Safe investment

Chairing a review meeting on high-rise building projects in Islamabad, Imran said that the government was creating opportunities of safe investment for overseas Pakistanis. He said high-rise buildings were needed in the federal capital because of growing population and unplanned expansion of the city.

He said the federal capital would be provided with more facilities in the near future. He directed for ensuring transparency in the sale of land and completing the projects on time. He also ordered for accelerating actions against land mafia encroachments.

And in a tweet, according to Radio Pakistan, Imran said that the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) had expressed its satisfaction with Pakistan’s economic progress under the PTI government.

According to OICCI, he said, in 2021, 68% viewed accelerated growth in their businesses in the next two to three years against only 27% in 2019. He added that given the significant improvement in business climate, they wanted to conduct international road-shows to showcase the opportunities in Pakistan.



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