PM Imran vows no letup in accountability drive


–PM says willing to accept ‘each and every demand’ of Opp leader but won’t scale down accountability campaign

–Promises civil reforms for disposal of cases within one year

–Buzdar says Punjab govt committed to empowering minorities 

–Punjab finance minister aims for 7 per cent growth target



LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said the government will accept “each and every demand” of the opposition but it won’t back down on the on-going accountability drive.

Addressing a ceremony marking the 100-day performance of the Punjab government, the PM said the government, despite protests from the political parties, won’t stop accountability.

“These cases were set up during the tenure of the previous government and the PTI government has no role in the matter,” he added. But this time the PTI won’t stop the accountability process unlike previous governments.

The premier highlighted the performance of Punjab government in the first 100 days, mentioned that the corrupt practices of former rulers have ruined the economy of the country.

The PM said that the corrupt practices of the previous rulers ruined the economy of the country and exports were only worth $24 billion which was far less than small states like Singapore. However, the incumbent government would ensure the rights of the people and all resources would be utilised for masses uplift.

In past, half of the entire provincial budget was spent on Lahore alone, even labour funds were used for the uplift of the provincial capital.

During his address, the PM also promised the civil reforms for early disposition of cases within one year. Moreover, he said police reforms were mandatory to depoliticise the department and make it a modern law enforcement force.

The PM said that agricultural reforms were also very important as it acts as a backbone of the country. He said small farmers would be empowered and facilitated to raise their living standards.

He also affirmed his government’s commitment to the minority rights. “Protection of rights of minorities is part of the vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah who struggled for a separate country for Muslims that would also ensure equal rights to people of other faiths,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Islamabad will show Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi how to treat these groups.

On the occasion, he also met Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s honesty and integrity and appreciated the finance minister for a comprehensive presentation about the provincial government’s performance.

Addressing the ceremony, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said the time has come that dream of a new Pakistan will come true. He said all-out steps were being taken to improve the institutions in Punjab.

He said record legislation have been made in a short period of time, and thirty-one bills have been sent to the law ministry hitherto. He said an empowerment package was being brought for minorities as per vision of the PTI government.

Speaking about the south Punjab province, the CM said executive councils had been set up in the Center and Punjab to declare the region a new province.

He said land worth 171 billion rupees had been retrieved from encroachment mafia. A new industrial policy has been approved which will lead to employment of 1.2 million youth.

He said under the guidance of PM, shelter homes have been established in Lahore and Rawalpindi to provide facility to homeless people.

Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, while giving a presentation of the achievements, said a foundation has been laid down for the change of system in the first 100 days.

He said the government inherited a loan of 1,140 billion rupees and it had to go to litigation to resolve the cases of unpaid amounts of 56 billion rupees, left by the previous government.

Giving salient features of the trajectory of progress, he said the provincial government has set a target of 7 per cent growth rate.

It will not only look for foreign investment in various projects, but also encourage local investors by giving them all facilities. He said new urban areas will be established to cater to the needs of the rising population.