Opposition stages Azadi March to avoid accountability: PM

PM equates leniency with corrupt as ‘biggest betrayal to nation’


our correspondent
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday inaugurated Havelian-Thakot section of Hazara motorway and criticised the opposition for the recently concluded ‘Azadi March’.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said getting lenient with the corrupt mafia could have given him a trouble-free rule, but it would be the “biggest betrayal to the nation”.
“Still, I have a choice to get four years of comfort in return of turning blind eye to corruption cases, however in fear of God, I have preferred a tough fight instead,” the prime minister said in his address at the inauguration of Havelian-Mansehra portion of the motorway.
Imran Khan said had he done reconciliation with corrupt politicians as former president Pervez Musharraf did, he would have been enjoying a resistance-free time in government.
The prime minister said from his 22-year-long journey of struggle from cricket ground to political arena, he had the gifted ability to fight difficult situations with courage and resilience.
“I know the highs and lows of winning, losing and bouncing back after defeat. I am trained to fight for my country to get it out of crises,” he said.
Referring to the recent opposition sit-in in the federal capital as “circus”, the Premier said that he had earlier predicted that all corrupt elements will unite under one banner and try to stop the accountability process.
He said those who came to hold protest in Islamabad could not stay for a few days as they had no objective. On the other hand, he said, his party held a sit-in in Islamabad for 126 days, as it had a clear objective and mission. He said the JUI-F sit-in had no clear agenda and the seminary students were brought to participate in it on false promises. The Prime Minister said the selling of religion is the biggest sin.
“Those who feared arrest because of corrupt practices were on the container with the Maulana,” said the Prime Minister and added that the interests of opposition politicians and the interests of Pakistan are different.
“Their effort was focused on pressurising and blackmailing.” Vowing not to curtail the accountability drive against corrupt elements of the country, PM Imran said the initiative will continue till justice prevails in the country.
Imran Khan said leaders of PML-N and PPP also made speeches at the container of JUI-F as they had their vested interests that they wanted to protect. He said their protest was aimed at diverting the attention from the crucial issue of Kashmir.
“Do whatever you can, get together, I promise I will not spare even one individual who looted national wealth,” said PM Imran.
The Prime Minister reiterated that he had struggled for 22 years and did not receive the “political party as part of family inheritance”.
Referring to the newly constructed section of the motorway, the Premier said CPEC will play a pivotal role in the development of Pakistan.
“Earlier, CPEC was only a network of roads, but now it has become a project to further improve our industry and agriculture.”
“This land is blessed with many resources, we just have to manage them better,” added PM Imran and said further that the focus will not be on investing in human capital.
“We will now invest in human capital. The health card that we have distributed among the people, will enable them to attain quality healthcare.”
The Hazara motorway is an integral part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which will serve as the central route for commercial traffic between the two countries, adding that he said CPEC is not the name of a road; rather it is a new vision for development.
Approximately seven million people, mostly residents of Hasan Abdal, Haripur, Havelian, Abbottabad, Mansehra and Northern areas, would directly benefit from the major thoroughfare. It is also likely to boost tourism and will provide access to Mansehra, Naran valley and Gilgit Baltistan.
Imran Khan said the government is working hard to transform the economic situation of the country. He said we have waived off the duty on all hospital equipment and machinery to encourage investments into hospitals and healthcare.
He said we are focusing on agriculture and industry to bring prosperity in the country by providing job opportunities to the youth.
Imran Khan said the housing project started by government will facilitate forty allied industries, creating a number of employment opportunities. He said five million houses will be constructed in five years’ tenure of the incumbent government.
Addressing the ceremony, Communication Minister Murad Saeed said the western route of CPEC will also be completed soon. He said the construction of 300 kilometers long road will begin in February next year.
The Minister said all institutions were facing loss when PTI government came into power. He said due to transparent accountability, billions of rupees are being recovered from corrupt elements. He said over 10 billion rupees have been recovered through audit in NHA and Communication Ministry and deposited in national exchequer. He said Communication Ministry has earned 43 billion rupees last year while it has set target of 50 billion for this year.

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