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People would not come to streets on opposition’s protest call to defend corrupt: PM

NNI

11:00 PM | March 25, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan while dismissing the call by the Opposition for a million march to the capital has expressed the confidence that the people would not come out on the streets to defend some corrupt families. 

Talking to the media at the PM Office in Islamabad Monday, he said there has not ever been even a single public movement in the world, which was driven only to protect the corruption of a family.

Offering his specially designed Container truck for the long sit-in before the Parliament House, Imran Khan said the Pakistan Threek-e-Insaf launched its movement against the electoral rigging and later went in for protest on the Panama Papers issue.

To a question about the ongoing cases by the National Accountability Bureau, he said his government has nothing to do with initiating the cases of money laundering against the Pakistan People’s Party leadership.

He said these were initiated in 2016 by the Pakistan Muslim League-N government. He said he wanted the NAB to target the top men involved in corruption rather than singling out the corrupt at the lowest tier.

The Prime Minister said you can only eradicate corruption when you get to the men at the top.

When asked whether the former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would be allowed medical treatment abroad, Imran Khan asked under which law can he be allowed to proceed abroad. He said hundreds and thousands of prisoners are already in various jails and there has to be justice.

Imran Khan said his government would be launching country’s largest comprehensive poverty alleviation project on Wednesday. He said with the input from China, he is looking forward to undertaking measures to fight country’s rampant poverty.

Regarding the role of Opposition in the parliament, Imran Khan regretted that they were not taking democracy seriously.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was flanked by Information Minister Ch. Fawad Hussain, Finance Minister Asad Umer, Nadeem Babar Chairman Task Force on Energy Sector Reforms said the government has undertaken a number of measures to revive the economy and specific steps are being taken to cut down the circular debt in the energy sector.

Finance Minister Asad Umer said there has been progress in talks with the International Monetary Fund and the two sides have managed to bridge the gap between their points of view. He said the new IMF Chief will arrive in Islamabad tomorrow but said it is not for formal talks.

Asad Umer said the government has successfully curtailed its imports and managed to bring it down to 72% and was in a better position to manage the country’s economy.

Nadeem Babar gave a detailed briefing on the position of natural gas and regretted that over the past five years, not even a single license was issued to explore gas. He said the country has to import excess LNG in December and January to meet growing domestic demand.

Regarding over-billing of gas bills, he said the issue of computation of gas tariff at higher rates of next slab, has been rectified.

Referring to the power sector performance, he pointed that the country did manage to generate additional 3700 MW, but was unable to feed it to its consumers owing to the poor transmission and distribution system.

He said the prime minister did not give a nod to an increase of Rs 4.50 in per unit tariff. He said the government has decided, in principle, to launch smart-meters for electricity users and all existing ones would be replaced in 4-5 years.

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