No corrupt element will be spared come what may: Imran Khan
08 October, 2018
LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday ruled out the possibility of any national reconciliation ordinance (NRO) for the corrupt elements.
“No corrupt element will be spared come what may,” he told journalists at a presser here at the Chief Minister’s Office. “Those who are raising a hue and cry over the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif are actually scared of being arrested themselves. I want to make it clear that their turn will also come soon,” he said. “If they want to hold a sit-in, I am even ready to provide them a container … they are also most welcome to protest in the assemblies, but I want to make it clear that no corrupt element will be spared at all because I have promised with the nation that the corrupt will be held accountable during PTI’s government,” he added.
“They are staging dramas that the democracy is in danger. Bilawal [Bhutto] has also said that he is ashamed over the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif. All the corrupt elements unite when you arrest any of them and same is the case here,” the prime minister said. “I revealed a long ago that both PML-N and PPP are brothers and now they have proved me right as both are contesting the by-election jointly against the PTI,” he added.
Imran said allegations are being levelled against him that he is doing the politics of victimization but the reality is that all these cases of corruption were registered against them some 10 months back when they themselves were in power. The prime minister said that he had a difference of opinion with the NAB chairman on the issue of action against those who are contesting the election. “Any crime demands prompt action and it doesn’t matter whether someone is contesting election or not. There would have been 50 arrests so far if NAB worked under me … they all should be thankful that I am not heading the NAB,” he said. “The pace of NAB taking actions is quite slow … the government is ready to provide whatever assistance it requires from us,” he added.
Painting a gloomy picture of the state of country’s economy, Imran said the current deficit was at two billion US dollars in 2013 which has now climbed up to $16 billion. “The circular debt in power sector ballooned to Rs 1,200 billion in 2018 from Rs 480 billion in 2013. Pakistan Railways is under debt of Rs 37 billion, while Pakistan International Airlines(PIA) has a total debt of Rs 360 billion. Gas sector is also under debt of Rs 157 billion,” he said, adding that the previous governments are responsible for the current state of economy. “The debt would further increase if we do not increase the prices of gas and electricity … we have been left with no option but to increase the prices,” he said.
The prime minister said a unit including people from the State Bank of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue and the Federal Investigation Agency has been set up in the PM office for the recovery of looted wealth. He said recently 10,000 properties worth Rs 900 billion owned by Pakistani nationals had been detected in UAE and an investigation is this regard was underway. He said details of 895 properties have been sought so far whereas 300 people had been put on notice. He said the government was working to broaden the tax net but it would take time.
The prime minister said the government was still having deliberations on approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “Given the circumstances, we may have to approach the IMF,” he opined. “There is only one option that can help us not increase prices: if we manage to bring back the looted wealth of Pakistan stashed in foreign banks,” he said, adding a strategy in this regard is also being made.
Imran Khan once again defended the appointment of Usman Buzdar as chief minister of Punjab. “Buzdar is the symbol of change that PTI promised with the nation,” he said. “The expenses of CM House have come down from Rs 5.5 million to just Rs 0.8 million in a month under Buzdar. I am sure that Buzdar will prove himself as most successful CM of Punjab,” he added.
The prime minister said his government was introducing the whistle blower act under which 20 percent of the recovered amount will be given to the people who will identify the corruption.