Pakistan PM Imran says he is ready for talks with all except looters of nation’s wealth

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Imran Khan addresses a public gathering in tribal area. File

Gulf Today Report

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said his government was ready to sit down and talk with anyone except for those who stole and laundered the nation’s wealth abroad.

Addressing a big public gathering after inaugurating and laying foundation stone of several development projects in his hometown Mianwali, the prime minister said he will not disappoint the masses and this country will be transformed into a great nation for which it was created.

“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 be they are in Balochistan or erstwhile tribal areas or Waziristan. Only the ones whom we will never make any reconciliation with are those who looted and laundered the Pakistani people’s money,” he said. “My government will never reconcile or give NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to those who did corruption,” he reiterated.

“God willing, when we will complete our five years, I can claim, Mianwali will witness the development which never happened in the 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.

He announced that the federal, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governments will award scholarships to youth to pursue higher education. An amount of Rs47b will be spent on it.

Imran said the entire population of Punjab will be provided with health cards by March next year under which each household will be eligible to get medical treatment worth Rs1m annually.

The prime minister pointed out that inflation is an international phenomenon caused by COVID-19 related lockdowns. He, however, said the prices in Pakistan are still lower when compared with other countries. He said Ehsaas Rashan Programme has also been launched to provide wheat flour, ghee and pulses to the underprivileged lot on 30% subsidised rates.

He said Kamyab Pakistan programme envisaging interest free loans of up to five hundred thousand rupees is also aimed at uplifting the weak segments of the society.

Imran said there will be record development in backward areas of the country including Mianwali. Alluding to the ground breaking of Balksar-Mianwali-Muzaffargarh Road, the prime minister said the project will be completed in one and a half years. Apprising the gathering of Pakistan’s reshaped foreign policy, the prime minister said now Pakistan would never bow before anyone rather would make independent decisions that would be better for its own people.

In his remarks, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said the government is especially focusing on the development of backward areas. He said it is the first time that district development package of Rs360 billion has been introduced to ensure equitable development.

Buzdar said the local government system will soon be introduced in order to address the problems of the people at grassroots level. Buzdar said the provincial government has also approved one hundred thousand jobs in public sector departments.

The projects that were inaugurated on the occasion included Establishment of City Park at Old Cattle Mandi Mianwali, Dualization of Sargodha — Mianwali Road (Phase-1) and Establishment of Miyawaki Forest at NAMAL Lake. Earlier, he unveiled the plaques to inaugurate three projects worth Rs5.4 billion including the first phase of Mianwali-Sargodha Road which cost Rs3.6 billion; City Park and Miyawaki Forest near Namal Lake.

He also performed the groundbreaking of upgradation of 38-kilometre Kalabagh-Shakardara road which would cost Rs2.70 billion and upgradation of DHQ Hospital with Rs2 billion estimated cost.

The prime minister also launched multiple projects under Rs6.6 billion PM Package-II and District Development Package which consisted of Rescue 1122 service, 72 road projects and the upgradation of schools. The rehabilitation and upgradation of Balkasar-Mianwali road with estimated cost of Rs13.5 billion and the Wooded Land at Namal Lake and Kundia Forest Park costing Rs120 million are also among the new projects.

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