Published On: Fri, May 3rd, 2019
Published in Category: Corruption

No NRO will be given to the corrupt elements: PM Imran

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MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan says peace has been restored in the country due to the sacrifices of the security forces and tribal people. He announced that no NRO will be given to the corrupt elements. He

Addressing a public meeting in Mohmand district after performing the ground-breaking ceremony of Mohmand Dam on Thursday, he said confidence of entrepreneurs has now been restored and they are coming for investment in the country.

Imran Khan said the problem of unemployment will be solved with the investment. He said Pakistan made unprecedented development in 1960s as several dams were constructed in that period.

Prime Minister said the country will be made a true welfare Islamic state on the pattern of the state of Medina which was based on justice and equality.

He said the country will be developed on the style of China which has always made long term development planning. Imran Khan said the country was pushed into backwardness due to corruption by the ruling elite in past. He said the national resources will be spent on public welfare.

Imran Khan said all the provinces will give three percent of their share in National Finance Commission for development of the tribal people during next ten years.

He announced that four and a half billion rupees will be spent on the development of Mohmand district alone. The Prime Minister said peace and tranquility in Afghanistan will help in the promotion of trade which will greatly benefit the tribal people.

PM asserted that the country could not prosper unless the restoration of peace in the society. The premier reiterated the resolve to help the nation overcome water scarcity.

“Water crisis persists nationwide and it is linked to the construction of dams,” he said. PM Imran Khan called out former heads of the states for not showing commitment towards the cause.

“Dams are not built due to fear of elections,” he added, implying that construction of dams outlives a single democratic government’s tenure due to which former rules did not pursue the matter at all.

The prime minister elaborated that former governments were ‘selective’ in serving their people because they only performed as much as it took to strengthen their vote bank.

“Balochistan and the tribal districts should not have been neglected for constituting a smaller portion of the vote bank,” he continued, recounting that the development fund allocated to Punjab was mammoth as opposed to the rest of the country.

On the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the premier maintained that it was a ray of hope for the country. “We have to elevate impoverished areas as well as the rest of Pakistan,” he said.

Among other prevailing conditions, Imran Khan named lack of healthcare facilities and increasing unemployment as growing concerns.

He outlined significance of peace for investment in the country, and stated: “Investment is impossible unless peace is restored.” He considered it vital to eradicate unemployment and poverty.

The premier lashed out at political rivals and said those who were inflicting damage to the system were saying that they are saving democracy.

“In 1960s, we [Pakistan] were far ahead of many other states in the world, however after that even countries in the subcontinent moved ahead of us,” he added.

He praised measures of development adopted by China, and said there is no example alike China as it has already prepared for the next 20 years. “China doesn’t think merely of elections,” he continued.

He said that China has about 5,000 dams as big as Tarbela and Mangla in Pakistan, and that there is a reason why China has been building so many dams.

He maintained that China has decided to help Pakistan, and with the use of advanced technology and techniques, the dam could be built in less than five years of time.

He stated that we [the government] have to built five million houses in the country, and not one city but the entire state would be uplifted

For Mohmand district, he said Rs4.5 billion has been allocated for the development of the region.

Regarding peace process in Afghanistan, he expressed Pakistan resolve to find a solution to that, and termed it vital for trade activities in Afghanistan. “I will fulfill a demand of opening the doors with Afghanistan,” he went on to say. “Besides, demands of 4G and [building of] education institutes will also be accepted.”

He said that under the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the provinces were to give a share to tribal districts.

Moreover, he paid rich tributes to former chief justice Saqib Nisar and armed forces of Pakistan for their remarkable services for the homeland.

Prime Minister Imran thanked ex-CJP Nisar for raising awareness about the country’s water crisis and the need to build dams.

“Our government had failed in thinking about the future of Pakistan. This led to a chief justice of the country raising an issue which should have been done by the prime minister and government. I want to thank Justice Saqib Nisar for this,” he said.

“I’d like to speak about Faisal Vawda for a minute, because he delivered such a fiery speech. He completely forgot to speak about the dam, he just spoke about it for a couple of minutes and then moved onto other subjects,” the premier said, as the camera zoomed in on an uncomfortable-looking Vawda. “But he spoke from the heart,” he added.

While addressing the ceremony former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar proposed that the monthly costs incurred on constructing the dam along with ancillary expenditure details should be made available to the public.

Recounting his trips abroad to raise funds for the dam, Nisar lauded the Pakistani diaspora for being invested in the country’s water crisis. “Their wholeheartedness in addressing the country’s water woes is commendable,” said Nisar. The support of the nation proved invaluable to the cause, he claimed.

The former apex court judge added that that the dam project was a responsibility the Supreme Court undertook and he fulfilled. “I hope to see this to its completion,” he maintained.

“The Supreme Court hasn’t done a favour to any one [since it initiated the dam fund]. It [the dam] has become a campaign and a movement,” he said.

“I am hopeful, because of the manner in which you worked and the will and resolve with which the Chairman WAPDA worked, that the dam will be completed within the stipulated time and budget,” he asserted. He also thanked immigrants for contributing to the fund.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Water Resources Mohammad Faisal Vawda addressed the ceremony, while thanking the premier for instilling confidence in him and his team, and criticised previous politicians by stating that schools, hospitals, jobs and dams were not built and created as they were busy in playing politics.

He also expressed his gratitude to the army chief and the Water and Power Development Authority chairman for their contribution in the project.

He outlined that the real threat to the state is from within, and not from powers outside. He stated that he had tried to pursue the Kalabagh Dam project, but was unsuccessful.

The minister rebutted what he called propaganda against him that he had some sort of issue with the dam fund.

“We are working without any fear for the interest of the state,” he said, adding that those who pushed the country towards darkness were advising them on how to run the affairs.

He said through the Ehsas Programme, the government aims to provide employment opportunities to youths.

Regarding accountability of corrupt elements, he maintained that the process would not be halted under any circumstances.

“We have not only started the preliminary works, but for the first time have received a Rs18 billion straight discount,” he said, addressing the premier.

“We have created 27,000-28,000 jobs in the Mohmand and Diamer-Bhasha dam projects,” Vawda said, adding that “for the first time, a minister (Vawda) will from his own pocket, his friends’ pockets and with the help of Pakistanis announce 200-400 businesses and jobs in his own constituency in Karachi” before the 10th fast of Ramazan, in line with the prime minister’s vision for poverty alleviation.

Faisal Vawda said work on Dasu and Bhasha dams will also be initiated soon.

Earlier on PM Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar performed the groundbreaking of the dam.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noorul Haq Qadri, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Senator Faisal Javed Khan, MNA Sajid Khan, PTI leaders and WAPDA officials were also present on the occasion.

WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Muzamil Hussain and project director of the dam briefed the PM about salient features of the project.

Mohmand Hydropower Dam project will generate 800 megawatt electricity besides water storage capacity of over 1.2million acres feet which will directly benefit people of Charsadda, Mohmand and adjoining areas of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

Mohmand Dam is being constructed on River Swat about 48 kilometers from Peshawar at confluence of Mohmand and Charsadda district and the dam’s reservoir area extends upstream to Mohmand, Bajaur and other northern districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The project will supply 13.32 million cubic meter water to Peshawar City for drinking purposes.

The dam will also address the long awaited problem of water scarcity in Mohmand district and will save Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera and other districts from floods in future.

The project is scheduled to be completed in five years with an estimated cost of 309 billion rupees.

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