Leaked tapes are drama: PM

-Vows to make Pakistan a great nation, check corruption
-Slams PML-N over corruption cases
-Laments absconder allowed to share stage with CJP
-Says Speech of a culprit at Asma Jahangir Conference was regrettable

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Vowing to make Pakistan a great nation, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday stressed for adopting high moral standards and checking corruption to achieve progress and prosperity.
“Nations are not destroyed due to corruption alone, but due to moral bankruptcy and when corruption is not considered a crime,” he said while addressing a ceremony here to launch four new projects for the uplift of youth. The projects include Kamyab Jawan Markaz, Kamyab Jawan Youth Movement, Kamyab Jawan Innovation League and Kamyab Jawan Talent Hunt Youth Sports League.
The Prime Minister regretted that a convict person (Nawaz Sharif) made a speech in a function at Lahore, in which Chief Justice of Pakistan and other honorable judges were invited.
Quoting Maulana Rumi, he said, the nations without distinction of good and bad are destroyed. The Prime Minister said that Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) founded Riasat-e-Madina on the principles of morality.
He said that Japan could not be destroyed through atom bomb and emerged again due to moral standards.
“This nation is going to become what you cannot imagine. Since the system had been made corrupt, we are taking time to fix it,” the Prime Minister told the enthusiastic gathering of youth.
Referring to statements of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Safdar, Imran Khan said that instead of giving any evidence about the sources of money used for purchasing flats in London, they were abusing the country’s judiciary and army. Prime Minister Imran Khan referred to the surfacing of alleged tapes of some judges and said after coming into politics 25 years ago he had stated that Pakistan’s biggest problem was corruption.
“In a country where prime minister and ministers indulge in corruption and take the money abroad, it is destroyed,” he said and added that nations do not get destroyed due of paucity of resources but due to corruption of leaders and the country cannot move ahead.
Recounting the events after Panama papers leaks in 2016, which showed Maryam Safdar as beneficial owner of four flats in a most pricy area of London, the Prime Minister said that the court heard the case, JIT (Joint Investigation Team) was constituted and Nawaz Sharif was convicted. But, he added, instead of telling the source of funding for the flats, first the mantra of “Mujhay Keun Nikala” started and then they started abusing the judiciary, army and him (Imran Khan).
The Prime Minister referred to his court case of flat in London and said despite the fact that he was not a public office holder or a politician but he presented 40 years of his property record.
“On the contrary, Nawaz Sharif first told lie in National Assembly, then came Qatari letter and the Calibri font. They have not so far presented even a single paper [of evidence] about the financial source of flats,” he remarked. The Prime Minister said that when corruption was not considered a crime, it destroyed the nations.
Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighting the importance of struggle for and conviction of doing and achieving something big in the lives of individuals and nations said, “When you stand before a challenge with big a dream, you will achieve it”.
Imran Khan recalled how he was criticized or discouraged by majority of people whenever he thought to do something since his childhood, be it his dream of becoming a world class test cricketer, or establishing Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in Lahore, NAMAL University in Miawali and joining politics and said but he continued to stand with conviction to achieve the goals. “People used to say that with two-party system in the country, there is no place for third political party. Now for the last three years, people are saying that I will fail,” he remarked.
The Prime Minister, however, vowed to make Pakistan a great country and nation. This is my ambition and I hope to achieve its with the grace of Allah Almighty,” he maintained. He said the secret of any success was struggle and having a big dream and thinking. The Prime Minister said that Allah Almighty, Who has given huge strength to human beings, also asked the human beings for struggle to achieve the goals.
Stressing for facing the challenges, he said that the character of people was tested in hard times. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan, like the whole world, was passing through difficult period due to negative effects of Covid-19 which hit the economies worldwide due to down and disruption in supplies and caused price-hike of various goods including petroleum products, coal, gas etc.
About Kamyab Pakistan and Kamyab Jawan programs, he said that for the first time in the country’s history four million families were being provided interest-free loans for starting small businesses and constructing their own houses. The Prime Minister said that he was proud of the present government’s initiative of introducing universal health insurance in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
He said that from January 1, 2022, health insurance scheme will be implemented throughout the Punjab province, under which every family will have Rs. 700,000 to 1,000,000 facility of getting medical treatment from any public or private hospital. The Prime Minister said that even when he was not in politics he used to think about such a health scheme and made commitment with himself to introduce the scheme if he ever got the chance.
He urged the youth benefit from the interest-free loans and skill development schemes under the government’s Kamyab Jawan program for their as well as the betterment and future of country. The Prime Minister was all praise for his Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar for working hard for the betterment of youth through various programs and schemes.
Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Planning Asad Umar and Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar also spoke on the occasion and high various aspects of the Kamyab Jawan and Kamyab Pakistan programs.
Earlier, the Prime Minister launched the four new projects for the uplift of youth and also distributed awards among various banks and institutions to make the Kamyab Jawan program a success.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday gave in-principal approval to the merger of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) into National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The decision was taken at the 14th meeting of the ERRA Council chaired by the prime minister and attended by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, National Assembly members Saleh Muhammad, Abdullah Khan and Chairman ERRA Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz.
The prime minister issued directives to hand over 2,200 completed projects of ERRA to the concerned provincial governments and departments, and for early completion of 230 under-progress projects by the year’s end. He stressed considering proper guidelines of construction in areas on geological fault lines to sustain earthquakes. He also urged promotion of tourism in areas particularly northern areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The meeting was briefed on the progress on New Balakot City and the handing over of unfinished projects to the provincial governments under ERRA. The prime minister directed to expedite the progress on New Balakot City as well as on the semi-completed projects.