Lahore : Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday,
dismissing the call by the Opposition for a million march to the capital, said he was confident that the people would not come out on the streets to defend some corrupt families.
Talking to the media here at the PM Office, Imran Khan said: “There has had not ever been even a single public movement in the world, which was driven only to protect the corruption of a family”.
The Prime Minister, who seemed amused to hear the question about the million people march by the Opposition, said “We did protest for four and a half months, but it was against issues.”
He said the Opposition on the other hand wanted to cover up its money laundering cases while some wanted to hide under the garb of medical treatment.
Offering his specially designed container truck for the long sit-in before the Parliament House, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf launched its movement against the electoral rigging and later went in for protest on the Panama Papers issue.
Imran recalled his long case of Bani Gala property and said he provided every document, asked by the Supreme Court, however on the contrary the former prime minister did not provide even a shred of
evidence to prove that he had nothing to do with the Avenfields apartments.
To a question about the ongoing cases by the National
Accountability Bureau, he said his government had nothing to do with initiating the cases of money laundering against the Pakistan People’s
Party leadership. He said those were initiated in 2016 by the Pakistan Muslim League-N government. He said former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar wanted to probe fake bank accounts in the wake of arrest of
model Ayan Ali, who was trying to smuggle foreign currency abroad.
He said he wanted NAB to target the top men involved in corruption rather than singling out the corrupt at the lowest tier. “You can only eradicate corruption when you get to the men at the top,” he said and added the Supreme Court too raised the same issue with the National Accountability Bureau.
When asked whether the former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would be allowed medical
treatment abroad, Imran Khan asked, “Under which law can he be allowed to proceed abroad?”
He said hundreds and thousands of prisoners were already in various jails and there had to be justice. Imran Khan said he always believed in the rule of law and quoted a Hadith of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), stressing that the powerful in a society cannot be given preference over the less fortunate. “The PML-N government remained in power in the Punjab province for around 30 years, and they could not build even a single medical treatment
facility to cater to the illness of their political elite,”
Imran Khan said “They can build their factories and business empires, but they cannot build hospitals,” he regretted. He cited the examples of the absconding former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other family members of the Sharif family, who always had their medical checkups and treatments abroad. “I would not like to be blackmailed that there is no medical doctor, or hospital in Pakistan that cannot provide the
requisite treatment,” he said and added the best possible facilities were already being extended. Imran Khan said his government would be launching the country’s largest comprehensive poverty alleviation
project on March 27. He said with the input from China, he was looking forward to undertaking measures to fight the rampant poverty.
Regarding the role of Opposition in the parliament,
Imran Khan regretted that they were not taking democracy seriously. “They wanted to have a NAB accused as head of the Public Accounts Committee and use the parliament to cover up their misdeeds,”
he said and added the people paid for holding of parliament session and each minute cost the nation around Rs 80 to 90 thousands.
The Prime Minister, when asked about the performance of his Cabinet, said he along with his team, had attended more Cabinet meetings than those of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in his five years tenure.
When asked about the performance of Chief Ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran Khan said they understand and realise the problems of the masses. He said Usman Buzdar was being compared to
former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who was in power for past 30 years and the province had incurred losses in billions. “Let him give a chance. They stand with our mission,” he said and added their performance was satisfactory.
Imran Khan said his government inherited Rs 30,000 billion as loans when it came into power while the PML-N inherited Rs 15,000 billion and the PPP faced a deficit of Rs 6000 billion. The Rs 6,000 billion figure, he said was equivalent to the total loans the country had
borrowed since 1947, he added.
He said he had managed a cut of Rs 350 million in the
expenses of the Prime Minister Office and said he had shifted to his private residence at Bani Gala and was paying from his own pockets the salaries and expenses. He said the PTI raised Rs six million on its own to construct the fence around his residence, the road from his residence to the main road was also constructed through his own resources, and was paying the expenses of the Zaman Park residence
also from his own pocket.
He said it needs to be compared to the five Chief Minister Houses at Lahore and the huge mansions at Raiwind that were being funded from the public money.