Imran Khan promises equal rights to religious minorities
‘Will show PM Modi how to treat minorities’
Lahore: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday doubled down on the need to dispense equal rights to religious minorities in Pakistan, by saying that Islamabad will show Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi how to treat these groups.
Speaking at an event to highlight the 100-day achievements of the Punjab government in Lahore, he said that giving religious minorities their due rights was the cornerstone of the vision of the country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
PM Imran said that if justice is not given to the weak then this will only lead to uprising. He said a nation is torn apart only if they are not given their due rights and this is a cause for uprising.
“The people of East Pakistan were not given their rights which was the main reason behind the creation of Bangladesh,” he added.
The premier said that if citizens are not given rights in a province then they feel ostracised. He said that the previous governments would use half of the province’s budget on Lahore alone.
The country’s premier added that this caused the population of the city to swell with people from across the province coming to the city.
PM Imran added that the pollution levels in Lahore were one of the highest in the world, adding that,”This is having a detrimental effect on citizens.”
He said that there was immense backlash on appointing UsmanBuzdar as chief minister of Punjab, however, honesty is one of the main traits of a leader and in the first 1oo days, he has not received a single complaint about Buzdar being involved in any corrupt practice.
“Everything that UsmanBuzdar possesses is within the country, this is very important,” he said, adding, “The leaders of previous governments had all their interests overseas and would claim to be sincere to the public.”
PM Imran said there is no way the country could have prospered with its leaders not having a stake in Pakistan.
“Look at Malaysia and Singapore, they used to be behind us, but now are miles ahead of us solely because of the policies of the previous governments,” he said.
Speaking of the anti-encroachment drive, he said that billions of rupees of land belonging to the people of Pakistan had been recovered in the initiative.
“The drive is purely for the betterment of the masses,” he said.
The prime minister said that corruption has a ruinous effect not only on the economy but the society as a whole.
Giving an example of the anti-corruption drive in China, he said that, “400 ministers were put behind bars for corruption.”
Drawing the opposition parties into his line of fire, he said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders had been initiated before the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government came into power.
He said the country’s anti-graft body was insulated from the government. “We will let them [opposition] do anything they want, but we will never allow the accountability process be derailed,” he said. “The prospects of our future generations is at stake here,” the country’s premier added.
Speaking of judicial reforms, he said to ensure that justice is being served to the public, the government would soon table a legislation in the parliament for each civil case to be concluded within a one-year period.
The country’s premier said there is also a dire need to end the politicisation of the police in Punjab.
PM Imran added that agricultural reforms must look to improve the productivity of farmers in order to compete in the international market by using modern methods for improving crop yield.
The premier also said that the onus is on all ministers to prove their worth by performing in the respective ministries handed to them.
He said that ministers must lead by example with their hard work and slashing their personal spending.
“No minister will be allowed to lead a lavish lifestyle,” he said.