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rime Minister Imran Khan addressed the opening segment of the 77th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).
In his video statement, the Prime Minister underscored the need for pursuing the right mix of national actions, regional collaboration, and multilateral cooperation, in order to ensure that “no one is left behind” during the response and recovery efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister called for putting the people “front and centre” for pro-poor and inclusive policies, while highlighting that people-centred economic security is at the core of Pakistan’s development paradigm – in line with the shift in the country’s focus from geo-politics to geo-economics.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that peace and development must be anchored in human rights and the international community should pay special attention to situations of foreign occupation.
The Prime Minister stated that, in building back, countries of the Asia and the Pacific region have the opportunity to model their economies on more resilient and sustainable grounds through ambitious climate action.
In addition to calling for addressing the debt issue of developing countries in a fair and sustainable manner, the Prime Minister stressed the need for mobilizing adequate financing for development.
The 77th session of UN-ESCAP, based in Bangkok, Thailand, is being held in a virtual format from 26 to 29 April 2021 under the theme of “Building back better from crises through regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific.” The session will analyze the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries of the region, take stock of actions taken thus far, and set out a policy agenda for building back better.
Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said that establishment of South Punjab secretariat was a step towards new beginning as now, the allocated development funds would be spent on the prosperity of the people of this neglected area.
Addressing a groundbreaking ceremony of South Punjab Secretariat, the prime minister said that according to statistics, the area consisted of 33 per cent population of Punjab province, but in the past only 17 per cent of the budget allocation was made.
Due to re-allocation of these uplift funds, about Rs260 billion losses incurred on these areas by the policies of the previous rulers of the province, he added.
The prime minister said they had also decided that South Punjab would get its due job quota according to its size and population. All the issues of the area would be resolved in the secretariat. He said “South Punjab secretariat is a historical event, a new beginning for South Punjab province and a transition.”
The ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Ministers Khusru Bakhtiar, Fakhar Imam, Zartaj Gul, provincial ministers and other high officials.
Criticizing self-centered policies of former rulers of Takht-e-Lahore especially ex-chief minister Shahbaz Sharif towards the South Punjab people, the prime minister shared that he had entered into politics after witnessing that a small segment, a ruling elite was enjoying all powers and impunity.
“Laws have been different for them as they frequently indulged in corruption, deals and NROs. No law of the land was applicable on them. They lived in palatial houses abroad which they had purchased through money laundering,” he added.
The prime minister said these people had been living in posh areas of London where even a British minister could not afford to purchase a property.