–Imran says changed ‘batting order’ of team in order to achieve his purpose and would continue to do so in future
–Prime minister endorses PTM’s grievances, warns against ‘maligning state institutions’
–Stresses need for educating tribal youth, promoting tourism in northern areas
–Media reports hint at major reshuffling in Punjab cabinet
ORAKZAI: A day after a major reshuffle in the federal cabinet that had seen some big guns losing their portfolios, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday warned his cabinet members, saying he would not hesitate to make more changes to his cabinet if required.
Addressing a rally in Peshawar’s Orakzai district, the premier said, “I want to tell my ministers that if they do not perform for the country, I will change them.”
He also advised the chief executives of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), saying, “A good captain is always looking towards his team to win and is constantly monitoring their performance because his sole purpose is to ensure the team’s victory.”
“My only purpose is to ensure that my country wins and for that, I am answerable to Allah,” he added.
Justifying the reshuffling of the federal cabinet, he said, “I change the ‘batting order’ of my team in order to achieve my purpose and would continue to do so in the future.”
According to reports, the prime minister has summoned progress report from the Punjab chief minister and is likely to replace him. Besides Buzdar, several Punjab ministers’ job is on the line as well.
As per a local media outlet, a list of change in the province’s bureaucracy has also been prepared as per which, chief secretary, four secretaries, three commissioners, 11 deputy commissioners, and 31 assistant commissioners will be replaced.
Punjab information minister, however, says that there is no plan to change the cabinet at the time. He said it was the prerogative of the chief minister if he wanted to change his team.
‘PTM SHOULDN’T RUB SALT INTO PEOPLE’S WOUNDS’
Commenting on the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), the prime minister admitted that what PTM is saying is right, but its behaviour is not right for the country.
“Chanting slogans against your country and armed forces will hurt the nation and nothing else,” he added. “PTM should not rub salt into people’s wounds,” he further said.
He said that when the war against terror started, he was the only politician who had visited and knew the tribal areas and wrote a book.
“I said it then that Pakistan Armed Forces should not be sent to tribal areas on US direction because the people living in the tribal areas are our army,” he maintained.
“I have come here to assure you that Pakistan will never forget your sacrifices and will support you,” the premier said.
PM Imran further added, “Pakistan Army had no fault in this and the only person to blame is the leader who sent the army there on US’ direction, which caused severe damages in the area.”
According to the prime minister, he was the one who spoke up when people in the tribal areas faced bad times. “Today, we have to think about how we can move forward. The real challenge is how the youth and children of tribal areas can acquire education and jobs,” the prime minister stressed.
Imran said the solution to the hardships faced by residents of tribal areas was to provide them redressal and compensate them for the damages caused to their houses.
He announced that he has directed KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to provide financial aid to internally displaced persons to enable them to rebuild their houses and restart their businesses.
He also revealed that the government will take steps to promote tourism in the former tribal areas to create opportunities for locals.
He said young people would be given interest-free loans under the ‘Rozgaar Scheme’ to set up businesses along with skills education.
Speaking about the current situation, he said that the country’s economic outlook would have been far better had Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari were not given amnesty through a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), closing their cases of money laundering.
He also said that Bilawal Bhutto, Asif Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been threatening to remove the government to conceal their corruption. No country could progress amid corrupt rulers, he remarked.
He further said the fear of jail was haunting them and factually, it was not the democracy but their looted money under threat.
Speaking about Afghanistan, the premier said that it is hoped that the lukewarm ties will turn better one day.
“If there is peace in Afghanistan, then our trade will increase through the route,” said the PM, expressing hope that peace prevails in the country which has been bracing war since the past 40 years.
PM Imran recounted that in his earlier visit to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, he met with two patients from Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif. The PM hoped that relations with the neighbouring country become better so that a cancer hospital be built there.
Earlier, the people of Orakzai tribal district accorded a historic and impressive welcome to the prime minister on his arrival.
People from all tehsils, towns and villages of upper, central and lower Orakzai, including Kalaya, Bazidkhel, Samuzai, Esakhel, Umarzai, Ismailzai, Mamezai Mishti, Ayazkhel, Adeezai, Mastikhel, Darwikhel, Jaysialkhel, Gheratkhel and other areas thronged to the venue to have a glimpse of their great leader.
On this occasion, all roads and squares leading to the venue were beautifully decorated with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) flags and banners displaying the photos and portraits of the premier.
Imran Khan is the first elected prime minister of Pakistan who visited Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber and Orakzai tribal districts after assuming office.