- PTI chief Imran Khan addresses a charged crowd in Lahore; says health, education top priorities
LAHORE: Unfolding an 11-point agenda to turn the country into ‘Naya Pakistan’, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan told a rally at the iconic Minar-e-Pakistan that eradication of corruption, self-reliance, health and education are top priorities of his party.
Khan asserted that today’s Pakistan did not match the dream of Allama Iqbal or the Quaid-e-Azam’s vision.
The Quaid, he said, had dreamt of a country where all citizens, including all minorities, had equal rights. According to Imran Khan, the Quaid wanted to establish Pakistan based on the model state of Madina, which was the first social welfare state in the world.
Pakistan, Khan said, must choose between dishonour and dignity.
Citing the country’s foreign debt, he said that it had touched an alarming level of Rs27,000 billion, of which half had been incurred over past five years of the PML-N government’s tenure.
The country, he said, was heading towards a default because it lacked sufficient resources to repay its debts.
The PTI chief said he would collect money from Pakistanis, including those residing in other countries, to do away with the ever-increasing debt. “Self-reliance in Naya Pakistan will remain on top of our agenda,” he said. “We will collect Rs8,000 billion from the people of Pakistan through strong institutional reforms every year,” he said, adding that people had trust in him due to his honesty and integrity.
He said after coming to power he would massively cut taxes on electricity, gas and petrol.
Chiding the incumbent PML-N government for ‘economic murder’ of farmers, Khan said the PTI would announce “agriculture emergency” and take action against the sugar mills mafia. He said farmers would be given best seeds besides subsidies on electricity.
He also said his government would construct inexpensive five million houses for poor people.
Khan maintained that no nation could survive and progress by investing in infrastructure only and promised that the PTI after coming to power would invest more and more in human development, particularly in the education and health sectors.
Supporting his assertions through different videos, the PTI chief said only those countries became Asian tigers which invested in education. He chided PML-N president and Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif for failing to provide quality education and healthcare facilities to people despite spending Rs350 billion development funds. “With just Rs110 billion development budget of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PTI government was able to develop better schools, colleges and hospitals,” he claimed.
Khan said the PTI government would wage a war against corruption through strong institutions. He said he ousted 20 lawmakers from his party on corruption charges.
The PTI chairman said his party would strengthen the federation so that smaller provinces did not feel deprived. He announced that the PTI government would declare “South Punjab” as a province with a population of some 110 million people.
Khan said the people of FATA would also be brought to mainstream by giving them substantial development funds.
For women who do not approach police stations fearing harassment, Khan said, women police stations would be set up. He said primary schools would be established to give quality education to girls. He said women would be given the right of inheritance through strong legislation and implementation.
Khan said police would be made apolitical so that they check crime without taking any political pressure.
He also vowed to introduce a programme for promoting tourism and better environment. He said he would not let the Pakistanis tread on the path of destruction any further and would “serve this brave nation till the last drop his blood”.
Citing the example of his decision to expel his own party’s lawmakers for selling their votes in recent elections, Khan promised that he will curb corruption by strengthening the system of accountability and justice.
Khan said his government will encourage investment by creating an investor-friendly environment in the country.
Overseas Pakistanis possessed huge wealth abroad. They just need to be assured of a business-friendly environment.
He said that investment will also help create new jobs and increase domestic exports for which tax rates and energy tariffs will be reduced to make Pakistani products competitive in the international markets.
Khan promised youth of Pakistan better employment opportunities by offering incentives in tourism, housing and construction sectors.