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Tuesday, June 18, 2024  
11 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Opposition’s campaign aimed at hiding its corruption: PM Imran

PM Imran said that he was fully aware of the country’s crisis and had told in my prev...

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the corrupt opposition cannot run campaign for public as their entire movement is aimed at hiding corruption and to get National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

In an exclusive interview with a private television channel, the Prime Minister said that he never made excuses of not being prepared but talked about being briefed before assuming office as the prime minister.

To a question whether he was aware of the situation of the country when he claimed to turning the fate of the country after becoming PM, the Prime Minister said: “I was fully aware of the country’s crisis. I have told in my previous interviews that there were no easy solutions to the country’s problem. The country was under the debt of 6000 billion in 60 years but the country’s debt reached to 30,000 billion during the last 10 years of the previous governments.”

Clarifying his statement regarding his preparation, Imran Khan said that his statement was taken in wrongly and he had given an example of the US president-elect Joe Biden who was being given briefing by every govt departments regarding their situation and when he would assume office, his entire team would be ready to tackle the challenges being faced by their ministries. When I came into power, I came to know the PIA was under 450 billion debt and the steel mill was shut down due to its 3.5 billion debt. The PSM employees had filed cases due to which the investors didn’t show their interest in investing. “I was of the view that the presentations would be helpful before coming into power and when you assume office, you would immediately start work,” he added.

To another question regarding criticism on him over his claims that he had a team who could steer the country out of crisis, PM Imran Khan said that no one even thought what his government has done during the past two years. He said: “Pakistan’s major problems were its historical fiscal and current account deficit and last not the least but the country’s debt which rose four times during the tenure of previous governments, adding that the half of the income collected through taxes goes into paying the debt installments.”

“A newly elected government should be given at least four weeks to get briefings from govt departments so better preparation to govern the country,” he added.

The prime minister said after 17 years, Pakistan’s current account balance has been surplus for the last five months, adding that the country’s exports and imports have also increased while remittances have also increased due to the benefits given by the state bank.

Responding to a question regarding forming a coalition government, the PM said that he had said in his interviews in the past that he would prefer to sit on the opposition benches than to form a coalition government with the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). “We had to form a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the province that never gave anyone another chance to rule, gave the PTI another chance to rule.

The accountability process could not have been initiated once the PTI had formed a coalition government with the PPP or PML-N who had ruled the country for over 35 years.

To a question if he is satisfied with the team, their performance and reshuffling in the cabinet, the prime minister said that changes in the cabinet or bureaucracy becomes irrelevant whether Imran Khan raised the living standard of the people and my goal is to raise the living standard of the public, eradicate poverty, improve justice system during his five year tenure.

Earlier today while speaking at the launching ceremony of new vehicles being introduced in Pakistan, in Islamabad, he said that Pakistan is moving in the right direction with the policies aimed at bringing people out of poverty through wealth creation.

The premier said the government will incentivize the business community and the industrial sector that will lead to increasing exports. He said the wealth creation through exports will be used for uplift of the living standard of the ordinary people in the country.

Imran Khan said the government will focus on industrial development during the current year that will have a positive impact on economic growth. He said cement and textile sectors have recorded fast growth in the recent months.

The prime minister said his two major public welfare objectives during the current year are ensuring universal health coverage through Health Card Scheme and launching of an initiative under Ehsaas Program to make sure that no one goes to bed hungry.

Describing the Chinese model of development as the most suitable model for Pakistan, the Prime Minister said Pakistan desires to learn from China in industrial development and agriculture. He said the government will make efforts for relocation of the Chinese industries at Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones.

The premier said the government has dealt with the Covid-19 challenge in an effective manner. He said Pakistan is among the few countries, which have been appreciated by the WHO for better handling the pandemic. He said we followed the policy of saving lives as well as livelihood of people.

On the other hand, in a series of tweets, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that we are moving forward to making Pakistan a welfare state. He said our Ehsaas programme provides social security and our health card scheme provides the poor with proper medical access.

PM Imran Khan said my New Year resolution for 2021 is to complete two projects. One, universal health coverage to all our citizens and second is "Koi Bhuka Na Soye" under Ehsaas Programme. By the end of the year, the premier said, these two projects will move us closer to our goal of making Pakistan a welfare state.

About 2020, the Prime Minister said it was a tough year for us and for people across the world because of Covid19. He said we not only managed to protect our people but also saved them from hunger. NNI

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