Corruption eradicated in first 90 days: PM

Mumtaz Alvi
Thursday, Jan 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the report of Transparency International should be taken as an opportunity and emphasised the government has been fighting for the rule of law from day one while past regimes had been making deals and compromises.

He was presiding over a meeting of the government spokespersons here. It was learnt that the forum discussed the current political scene, economy and the Transparency International report, health card and corruption cases against Shehbaz Sharif.

Prime Minister noted that no financial scandal had surfaced during his government rule so far and added the promise of eradication of corruption was fulfilled in the first 90 days. He contended unlike PTI government, big scandals like Panama Leaks kept coming to the fore in previous governments.

He directed that Shehbaz Sharif’s corruption cases and money laundering cases should be exposed and highlighted so that people should know how the Sharif family carried out money laundering in the name of peons and clerks.

PM Imran called on the spokespersons to keep the details of the properties of the former rulers before the public, after the formation of public office holders and to bring out the properties of the former. He made it clear that after coming to power his property did not increase: he did not earn anything for his children, whereas Sharifs bought flats in London after taking over the public office.

He noted his government has taken the most steps against corruption adding the law was different for the powerful and the poor in the country while he laid hands on all without any discrimination.

The prime minister said that he had said on the first day that he would lay hands on the perpetrators of corruption. He directed that the people should be made aware of the best economic indicators and facilities like health card. The prime minister said that the public should also be informed about the reports of international organisations on the economy. He said that if no major incident took place then the economy would get better.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain briefed the meeting on the report of Transparency International and said that there was no mention of financial corruption in the report, only issues related to rule of law and state capture were highlighted.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday discussed professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Army here.

According to PM Office, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Army were discussed during the meeting, it said in a brief statement.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high level meeting on his visit to China. Federal ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Hammad Azhar, Shaukat Tarin, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Trade Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yousuf, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant CPEC Khalid Mansoor and senior officers participated.

During the visit, the prime minister was briefed on the ongoing discussions with Chinese officials on concrete plans to enhance cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, information technology and exports and also Afghan situation.

Separately, PM wished good wishes to former prime minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He tweeted, “my prayers and good wishes go to my friend Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his speedy recovery”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday that the government is making necessary changes in the laws of the civil and criminal justice system to ensure that the justice system in the country is effective and accessible to the poor.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting on civil law reforms here. The meeting was briefed in detail on the reforms implemented during the three-year tenure and the future course of action.

He pointed out that for the first time since 1908 the government is changing the civil law while no government in the past has thought of reforming a century-old law.

The meeting was further informed that the reforms in the civil justice system and criminal law would not only speed up the process of justice but also the rule of law by electronic evidence, electronic FIRs and other measures and a law for rich and poor: The manifesto will be put into practice.

The premier noted it has been the misfortune of the country that the main reason for the failure of the previous governments to change these laws was to protect the ruling elite (ashrafia) and prove them a way for escaping from the grip of law under the guise of these laws. He emphasized that in the incumbent government, the judiciary is independent and for the first time in the history of the country, the government brought reforms for the rule of law in Pakistan.

“Prompt and guaranteed delivery of justice is directly linked to improved governance. Providing quick and cheap justice to the people is one of the top priorities of the government,” the prime minister maintained.

The meeting was informed that the provision of inheritance certificate is being ensured from January 2021 in Islamabad, June 2021 in Punjab and Sindh and December 2021 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: In Balochistan, too, work is in full swing on the passage of this law.

The forum was told so far, a total of 10,485 families have received inheritance certificates under the new system (over a period of 15 days). Twenty-two counters have been set up in Pakistani embassies abroad to obtain hereditary certificates of overseas Pakistanis, including 12 countries.

The meeting was also informed that under the law for protection of women’s inheritance rights, in a short span of one year, 136 out of 198 cases were decided in Islamabad, 122 out of 810 in Punjab and 78 out of 421 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Under the said law, provision of inheritance to women is being ensured.

The prime minister directed that these measures be implemented on priority basis, strengthen linkages and enhance cooperation between the institutions and take all stakeholders into confidence.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers, Farogh Naseem, Fawad Chaudhry, Special Assistant Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar, Parliamentary Secretary Law Ministry Malika Bukhari and senior officials. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Provincial Law Ministers Raja Basharat, Fazl Shakur Khan and concerned provincial officials participated through video link.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said people provide national security when the entire nation becomes stakeholder and then it decides to own the country.

Addressing a health card (universal insurance) launching ceremony here, PM Imran described the event a defining moment and said time would prove that it was the path of greatness and a step towards a welfare state on the principles of state of Madina. Under the scheme, all households of Islamabad, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Tharparkar would be provided free medical treatment at government and private hospitals.

The prime minister distributed the health insurance cards to the beneficiaries and termed the facility an ambitious programme to facilitate the entire population, the rich and the poor alike.

He said, “When the common man feels that the country also belongs to him, as it cares for him, a nation gets strength as well as that country but if this all is like health and education facilities are meant for a small section of the society i.e. the elite and if you have looted more money, then you even get medical tests abroad without caring a bit about the remaining population.”

The premier said that in such a case, the ruling elite have no stakes in the country and the common man thinks why he should fight for the country and pray for its survival every day, which does not care for him at all and does not meet his basic needs of life.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Allama Iqbal had a dream that Pakistan would become an ideal state in the world but in the 74 years of history no one had even thought of moving towards the state of Madina. He said a total of Rs450 billion was being spent on the health insurance and never before anyone even reached close to it in the country’s history.

He acknowledged cooperation from Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and said his cooperation was required for this historic step. He reminded the audience that Buzdar belonged to a backward tribal area of DG Khan, where at times patients die on the way to a hospital, as their areas lack such facilities.

The prime minister said the health card would ease pressure on the government hospitals, as patients would have the option of going to private hospitals, if they would not get the due attention there and hence, they would have the revenue. He continued likewise, private hospitals would put pressure on district government hospitals, lacking healthcare.

He noted that though it was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which took the lead in provision of health insurance, but it had a small population unlike Punjab, where 220 million would be provided this facility. He pointed out that he had never seen the kind of campaign that was run against Buzdar but when a survey was carried out, he topped in terms of performance among the chief ministers.

The prime minister said before Buzdar, there was a chief minister, who would wear hats and long shoes and would not care about people while would get treatment even for cough abroad and his family members also after one after the other, would also go abroad for treatment.

About healthcare, he said to have seen the UK health system very closely, and it has impressed him that any citizen can go to a government hospital for treatment, but this programme goes beyond the UK health programme and anyone can seek treatment in a private hospital.

He said, “There is hardly a country in the world where such a programme has been launched. It is a programme for the rich and the poor. We have seen the decline of government hospitals, I and my siblings were born in Mayo Hospital that was the standard of this hospital at that time.”

The prime minister said, “We gradually saw the decline of government hospitals and then there were private hospitals for the rich and the poor used to go to ordinary public government hospitals, doctors did not go to the district hospitals to treat people from Mianwali to Rawalpindi.” He said that health card is not just a card but a complete system of health, under which if government hospitals do not provide treatment, they will incur losses.