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Imran to jihad against poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption

02 January, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that his government’s resolve in the new year was to wage jihad (struggle for a rightful cause) against the country’s four ills: poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption.

“Our New Year resolution is to wage Jihad against the 4 ills of our country: poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption. InshaAllah 2019 is the beginning of Pakistan’s golden era,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet – his first in 2019 – posted on his twitter handle.

During the day on Tuesday, the PM met Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Nawaf Saeed Al-Malki, to discuss matters of bilateral interest.

Nawaf Saeed Al-Malki conveyed the special message of Saudi Arabia’s leadership to PM Imran during the meeting at PM’s office in Islamabad.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on November 19, had received the first tranche of $1 billion under the balance of payment support from Saudi Arabia. According to a SBP spokesperson, out of the promised $3bn Saudi assistance in foreign currency support, the central bank has received $1bn dollar, while the remaining amount of $2 billion is expected to reach in next few days.

Separately, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) chairman Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik apprised Prime Minister Imran Khan that 194 ghost employees, 73 cabin crew and seven pilots possessing fake degrees were expelled from the organization in the last two months. The PIA chairman briefed the prime minister about steps taken to revive and run the national flag carrier.

The prime minister, who presided over the high level meeting, was apprised that the PIA had been incurring a total loss of Rs 414.3 billion, including Rs 247 billion loans, Rs 144.7 billion arrears and Rs 4 billion for payment of loans on monthly installment basis, besides payment of Rs1.5 billion as monthly interest.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Privatization and Aviation Mohammad Mian Soomro, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Senator Faisal Javed and other senior officials, PM Office media wing in a press release said.

The prime minister directed the PIA chairman to finalize a comprehensive and complete business plan, so that its losses could be netted, by making the PIA a profit-earning and financially stable organization. The prime minister was further told that due to lack of attention on the profit earning and non-profit earning routes in the past, the PIA was suffering a loss of Rs 500 million alone on the seven international routes. Considering those losses, the current management was reviewing the international routes. Moreover, it was also separately running into losses on different inland non-profitable routes.

The meeting also took stock of reforms being undertaken for the revival of the national flag carrier, efforts for acquiring of new aeroplanes, simulators for training of pilots, training of the cabin crew and other financial issues. The prime minister was told that it was being ensured to pay salaries and pensions to the lower grade employees of PIA, similarly, its resources were being retrieved from those who had occupied them illegally, so that it could be spent judiciously. In a meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister, Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan, the PM said that no hindrance in health reforms will be tolerated in the province.

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