GHOTKI: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Saturday addressed a public gathering in Ghotki following his visit to Karachi for announcing development and prosperity plans.
In his address at the palace of Grand Democratic Alliance’s (GDA) Ali Gohar Khan Mahar in Khangarh, the premier strongly responded to what he termed as the ‘alliance’ of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by stating “do whatever you can, we would not let you escape.”
“If you want, we can provide you container at D-Chowk [for protest], and food as well,” he said, adding we [the ruling PTI] will see for how long you can sustain. He recalled that the PTI staged the sit-in for 126 days while the reason behind the protest was to secure democratic norms in the country, and holding of free, fair and impartial elections.
“This country will not forgive you. You have only one way out: return the state’s money and we will leave you be,” the premier said.
“In 2008, total debt to be paid by Pakistan was Rs6,000 billion while in the year 2018, the total debt rose to Rs30,000 billion. Where did the money go?” he asked.
Earlier he said, “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad visited Pakistan on my invitation. He is the leader you has brought change in his country as when he had come to power, Malaysia’s per capita was around 1,000 to 1,500 but now it stands around 9,000 per capita.”
He called Malaysia as an example state that follows democracy and through effective measures by the PM Mahathir, the change could be observed.
He termed ‘corruption’ as a primary reason for destitution of any country.
Regarding the financial situation in Pakistan, he said Pakistan has to pay Rs6 billion per day as interest on the total loan.
“Following ineffective policies and corruption in the last ten years, the tax collected is Rs4,500 billion. From which Rs2,000 is paid as an installment on the loan,” he added.
Concerning Sindh, he said the province should have been a prosperous province as Karachi, the financial capital, is located in the province.
“So what’s the reason of poverty in the province?” he asked, while terming corruption responsible for the current financial condition of Sindh.
“Sindh’s 70 percent gas is produced from Ghotki as 250 gas wells are present in the district. This region should be far ahead of others, and industrial zones and schools should have been built here,” he said.
While criticizing the 18th amendment, he said the federal government was already in loss of Rs700 billion from the total tax collected on the yearly basis.
“After transfer of development funds from the center to provinces, the amount should have been spent for development of the provinces. Sindh received Rs234 billion gas royalty in 10 years,” he said following the NFC award.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was accompanying the premier addressed the rally and said, “Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will not be seen in Karachi now. Today, Zulfiqar Mirza and Safdar Abbasi are sitting among us. Ghotki joins Punjab and Sindh.”
The foreign minister said that he had announced his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) during a rally in Ghotki. “I decided to join the PTI and bring change,” he said and added that the paryty “has the thinking of a federation and will become its symbol.”
“You would not see the PPP in Karachi now, it has shrunk and is limited to interior Sindh and the people of the province know the reason why.”
Further criticising the PPP, Qureshi questioned, “They have been in power in Sindh for the last 10 years. Has the situation in the province improved or become worse?”
“The people of Sindh should decide whether they want to embark on a new path,” he added. “The winds of change started from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and entered Punjab. Those who were the symbol of the federation no longer exist in KP, Punjab, Balochistan or Karachi,” the foreign minister said.
“In Punjab, people saw the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz be uprooted,” Qureshi said and asked whether the ANP or JUI-F can be seen in KP. “If the people of KP can bring change, then why not the people of Sindh?” he asked.