PM says corrupt societies cannot make progress
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that a corrupt society could not make progress, whereas those countries made economic strides that had eliminated this curse from their societies.
The prime minister said there was a rule of law in prosperous countries. “Corruption at the low level did not bankrupt a country, it had always been the ruling elite that ruined the countries through their teeming corruption,” he added.
To save their skins, the corrupt junta would first weaken the anti-graft bodies, resulting in the destruction of a country, he said.
The UN secretary general formed a fact-finding panel as to why the poor countries were mired in poverty, he said, adding that the panel has submitted a report, indicating that around $1,000 billion were being siphoned off from the poor countries to the rich countries through money laundering tactics by the powerful and corrupt ruling elite.
The prime minister was responding to public queries in a live television programme.
The prime minister also termed the government’s efforts against corruption and for the rule of law as “the biggest Jihad”. There would be no two separate sets of laws for the powerful and for the poor, he added.
Prime Minister Khan asked the people to fully cooperate with the government, in this regard, as they wanted to make the people free from the clutches of injustices.
“We want the country to stand on its feet. It should not seek loans or beg for assistance, and should not take part in the other’s war in return for money,” he added. They wanted the nation to become self-reliant.
“It is the fight for the future of Pakistan and [the] fight for the rule of law. We are striving for the rule of law for the future of our generations,” he said, adding that the powerful corrupt elements wanted NRO and wanted a deal, as the one extended by Musharraf. Such elements had been blackmailing that otherwise, they would pull down the government.
The prime minister referred to the chaotic situation in South Africa where the authorities took action over Zuma’s corruption, their former ruler. He said in the Western democracy, an accused could not resist accountability.
The two families had accumulated pelf through corruption. For the first time in the country’s history, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested the powerful people, he said.
The first principle in the Riasat-e-Madina was the rule of law where even the Caliphs were answerable to ordinary people, the prime minister said, adding that in the initial stages, the Muslims faced hardships in Madina, but later they achieved remarkable successes and became the world leaders.
The government was striving to introduce such a system of public welfare and the rule of law in the country, Prime Minister Khan said, adding that in the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan, they had given health card facilities to each family. Each family was entitled to Rs1 million free-of-charge medical treatment.
The prime minister termed it a revolution, “the biggest step ever taken in the country’s history”.
Moreover, the government was mulling to expand the network of Panahgah (shelter homes). Currently, 22 Panahgahs were catering to the needs of the labourers and daily workers, whereas 11 more would be established soon.
The prime minister said even in countries such as the US, homeless people didn’t have such facilities and they were forced to live under the open sky.
Besides, 12 trucks were plying in poor areas and providing free meals to people, he said and hinted that the number of such trucks would be increased in the near future.
Another biggest step, the prime minister said, was the Kamyab Pakistan Programme, which would be launched this month to facilitate around 40 per cent of the poor families of the society. Each member of the family would be imparted technical education, besides these poor families would get health cards facility, interest-free loans and micro-finance for house construction.
The prime minister also regretted that the past rulers had ruined the government entities such as the Pakistan Television (PTV), Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and others through nepotism and political inductions.
The result of political inductions added to the ballooning of the pension bill, as the budget allocated for various entities went to payment of pensions. So the institutions could not work for the achievement of the purpose for which they had been created, he said.
He referred to the Pakistan Steel Mills, which was closed after running into huge losses due to corruption, mismanagement and political inductions by the previous rulers. The government would review such a scenario, he said.
To a question regarding promotion of sports activities, the prime minister said he had been familiar with the sports, as he could have ‘triple PhD’ in this arena but regretted that he could not focus on sports, as the government was busy in addressing other burning economic issues.
Once the country’s hockey and cricket teams were among the world’s top teams. In squash, Pakistan produced two giants, Jehangir Khan and Jansher Khan who dominated the arena for long. But the subsequent corrupt rulers shamelessly looted and plundered resources and destroyed the institutions. In sports, they placed their blue-eyed people in different departments, he added.
“On the other hand, different countries make their sports more competitive with innovative training and new techniques and they have professionals at the helms of affairs,” he said.
He referred to New Zealand, a country with four or five million population that defeated one of the most populous country India in the world cup test series.
The prime minister expressed the resolve to fully focus on the promotion of sports in the country by bringing professionals at the top. However, he said, the rotten system would take some time.
He stressed that playgrounds should be constructed at the union council level to nurture the young talent.
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