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PM declares war against ‘mafias’

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday declared a war against ‘mafias’ who, according to him, are the biggest hurdle in the way of transforming Pakistan in line with the golden principles of Riyasat-e-Madina.

While responding to questions of general public in a live television programme through phone calls, the prime minister said that the country will only progress towards prosperity when rule of law will be strengthened. “Giving the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to the powerful and throwing the poor in jails will only destroy the country,” he said. “Then we should open the jails. Why should those involved in petty crimes like stealing a motorbike or a buffalo should be jailed,” he argued.

Speaking about the opposition, Imran Khan said that the biggest looters of the country came together and formed a union and these looters have been trying to pressurise the government for the past two years. He added that former president General Pervez Musharraf gave the NRO to the biggest looters during his tenure. “The corrupt rulers of the country stole people’s money and laundered it abroad,” he said, adding that by bringing up the foreign funding case against the ruling PTI, the opposition has put itself in a troublesome situation. “We have provided names of 40,000 donors to the Election Commission of Pakistan in relation to the foreign funding case but the opposition parties cannot even name one hundred donors.”

Citing the example of Malaysia, the PM said that the country also witnessed the rise of “PDM-like” alliances which pushed the country into debts. “The country has been pushed into crises during the decade-long rule of the PML-N and PPP combined,” the PM said, adding that people expected the PTI government to come into power and change everything overnight which is only possible in fairy tales. “It takes time to fix the problems of the country,” he stressed.

Upon action against land mafia, the prime minister said that PML-N has issues with the drive against the mafia who had occupied the state-owned land in the past. “This land mafia is the ATM of the opposition,” he added.

The prime minister said developing Pakistan on the principles of the State of Madina is a struggle and not ‘like switching a button’. “Be patient, Insha Allah Pakistan is going to become a great nation,” he said, adding that he believes in the concept of Riyasat-e-Madina because it was based on modern-day principles of welfare. “Every nation that followed the golden principles of Riyasat-e-Madina has succeeded,” he maintained, adding that whenever he advocated the concept of a welfare state people discouraged him but he did not back down. “I have envisaged turning Pakistan into Riyasat-e-Madina and I will do so, there is no way to deflect from this goal,” he said. “Pakistan will also turn into a great nation.”

To a question, Imran Khan said unfortunately the practice of blasphemy, which caused a lot of pain to the Muslims across the world, started in the West after a book written by Salman Rushdi in 1989. He said the West, which did not take the religion like that of the Muslims, did not fully understand the religious sentiments of Muslims as well as the sensitivity of the subject. The prime minister said he took up the matter at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations General Assembly. He said the whole Muslim world needed to raise their voice on the subject to realize the Western world about the seriousness of the issue.

Responding to a question about the Senate elections, the PM said that ‘MNAs sell their votes in the Senate elections’ and many people ‘become senators by giving bribe’. “Those who became senators by bribing others come to power to make money,” he said. “The PPP and PML-N said in the Charter of Democracy that there should be an open ballot system in the elections,” he said. “We will be introducing an amendment in the Senate elections this week for an open ballot system of voting,” he said. “The nation will see who supports the open ballot system and who opposes it,” he added.

Addressing a question on increased petrol prices, the premier acknowledged that it was a “tough time for the people because of inflation”. He said he held weekly meetings on the inflation issue and blamed the depreciation of the rupee for it.