PM underscores ‘inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan’

Sehat Sahulat Card program uplifting health sector: PM


Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasized for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. In an interview with a US media outlet, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), he said the Afghan government that includes all sorts of different factions will be the best outcome. He said there is no other outcome as the military solution has failed. The Prime Minister said from Pakistan’s point of view, a protracted civil war in Afghanistan will be a worst case scenario. He said Pakistan is already hosting over three million Afghan refugees and we fear the civil war will bring more refugees to Pakistan. Our economic situation is not such that we can have another influx. Secondly, he said, the worry is that the civil war will flow into Pakistan, because the Taliban are basically ethnic Pashtuns and those on our side will be drawn into it. He said this is last thing we want. Reaffirming support to the Afghan peace process, the Prime Minister made it clear that Pakistan want to be a partner in peace but not in conflict. Imran Khan recalled that Pakistan was devastated by joining the US war on terrorism. He said seventy thousand Pakistani people died in this war and the economy suffered losses to the tune of 150 billion dollars. He said the aid provided to Pakistan was minuscule compared to the amount of money the country lost in the economy. He regretted that Pakistan still is blamed for the failure in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister said the US really messed up in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan’s position is very straightforward. We want to help and we have helped getting the Taliban to talk to the U.S.  We have done our bit.

Responding to a question, the Prime Minister said Islam gives great respect and dignity to women. He said his comments on rape were taken out of context, clarifying that anyone who commits rape is solely responsible for the crime.

In an another commitment, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the federal and provincial governments and State Life to establish special units to constantly oversee the implementation of Sehat Sahulat Card program and immediately address any problem.He was chairing a review meeting regarding government’s historic health sector initiative of Sehat Sahulat Card in Islamabad on Wednesday. The Prime Minister also directed the authorities concerned to appropriately publicize the program with the cooperation of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting so that the maximum number of people could benefit from it.

Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over the relief reaching to the masses through Sehat Sahulat Card. He said it is the country’s largest and historic program, providing quality healthcare services to the people.The Prime Minister said it is the first time that any government has launched such a comprehensive program in the health sector whilst caring for the weak segments of the society. He said this program is providing them quality healthcare services both through the public and private sector hospitals.The Prime Minister said the Sehat Sahulat Card program is bringing a change in the health sector. He said this program will promote the private sector hospitals and encourage them to provide services in rural and far flung areas. The meeting was informed that 8.5 million families have been provided with the health card in Punjab province. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, millions of people have benefited from this program. So far five point three billion rupees have been spent in the province on provision of indoor health services to the people. Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the relevant agencies including National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to be on high alert with ready and rapid emergency response actions in view of heavy monsoon rains. In a tweet on Wednesday, the Prime Minister also asked the people to stay alert and take special care.

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