PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the interests of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) clash with the interests of the country as the opposition alliance wants to get corruption cases against its leaders closed.
In a talk with the PTI’s social media team at Governor’s House here, whose video was uploaded on Facebook, the premier said the opposition was staging a drama that was doomed to fail.
He said he had predicted two and a half years ago that the opposition leaders would get together to protect their vested interests.
“They are big dacoits who are trying to blackmail me, but I will never give them an NRO,” the prime minister said. “If I were to give an NRO to them, what is the crime of common people who are languishing in jails for years.”
Says govt intends to hold Senate polls ahead of schedule and it will go to SC for this purpose
Replying to a question, Mr Khan said the government intended to hold Senate elections ahead of its schedule and it would go to the Supreme Court for this purpose.
He said everyone knew that money was used to buy votes in the previous Senate election, and that was why this time the government wanted to hold the election through a show of hands.
The prime minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had expelled its 20 MPAs on charges of selling their votes in the previous Senate polls.
He said the PTI enjoyed majority in the parliament and could easily win the Senate election.
Responding to another question, he reiterated that the government was ready for a dialogue with the opposition, but it should not seek an NRO.
Mr Khan said on the day the PDM held its public meeting in Lahore, he felt relaxed, which was visible from his activities on that day.
Without naming Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, the PM said while he was busy shopping in London, he was asking the people to take to the streets.
“I believe that the people are not fools that they would take to the streets,” Mr Khan said, adding that he could hold a bigger rally than the PDM’s but he did not want to put the masses’ lives at risk.
Earlier, addressing a ceremony held to distribute cheques among the youth of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the PTI government’s flagship Kamyab Jawan Programme, Prime Minister Khan said the government had launched the ambitious programme to extend financial support to unemployed youth and skilled labourers.
He said the youth of Pakistan had enormous potential to excel in different fields of life and his government was encouraging small and medium enterprises through the programme for sustainable economic growth in the country.
He said KP had a great potential in tourism and massive revenue could be generated by investing in this sector. He said KP’s hilly areas, including Malakand and Hazara divisions, were suitable for adventure sports and mountain tourism.
He said skiing was an important winter sport and Pakistan’s upper areas were suitable for winter sports.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC), the prime minister said cancer and heart ailments caused more deaths than other illnesses worldwide.
“Two years ago, we had to close the cardiac department at the Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, due to high mortality rate after which was cruelty to the local people. It is a blessing for the people of the province that finally a long-delayed project has materialised,” he said.
“Lack of funds had hampered its completion but now we have completed the state-of-the-art institute which will extend services not only to the people of the KP but also those from Afghanistan,” he said.
The standard of the PIC, he said, was impressive and it should be maintained so that the institute could compete with private hospitals and patients could get better services.
The PM also spoke about the extension of Sehat Sahulat Programme to the entire population of KP. “It is a model of a welfare system under which people get free services at the public and private hospitals.”
During his daylong activities in Peshawar, Prime Minister Khan inaugurated Hayatabad Sports Complex expansion project which aims at developing the sports complex as per the international standards, including standards of the International Cricket Council, at a cost of Rs994 million.
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and provincial ministers accompanied the premier.
KP Sports Secretary Mohammad Abid Majeed, giving a briefing on the project, said work on the cricket stadium at the sports complex would be completed by June 2021 and it would offer all facilities, including main pavilion, general stands and digital score board.
He said a gym and all-weather swimming pools were parts of Hayatabad Sports Complex project which would also provide indoor sports facilities to women athletes. The scheme would be completed in Dec 2021 at a cost of Rs100m.
Besides, the official said, work on playgrounds in 66 tehsils had been completed while work on 10 others was underway. He said 50 playgrounds had been constructed in 50 union councils and similar projects were being executed in 209 union councils.
Mr Majeed said monthly scholarships were being given to medal winners of the 33rd National Games and a grant had been allocated to give sports scholarships to the medal winners of the U21 Games soon after completion of its second phase to be organised at the district level.
He said the construction of Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium in Peshawar would be completed by November 2021 at a cost Rs1,377 million.
He said KP has taken lead by establishing nine Astroturf hockey grounds and four international standard squash courts had been constructed in Peshawar Sports Complex while another 10 were being constructed in different educational institutes.