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March 16, 2019

Imran warns of possible Indian mischief in 30 days

Top Story

March 16, 2019

KHAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said his government would not extend National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to corrupt politicians, adding that those who looted the country’s wealth would not be spared.

“Corrupt people say the country is in danger, but I say they themselves are in deep trouble,” he remarked while addressing a gathering in Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur district.

Chief Minister Mehmood Khan was also present on the occasion. “I can talk to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sake of the country but there can be reconciliation or deal with the looters and money launderers,” he said.

The prime minister announced Rs2 billion development package for Bajaur, restoration of 3G and 4G internet service, establishment of Bajaur campus of Fata University, opening of Ghakhi Pass and linking Barang Road in Bajaur with the Swat Expressway,establishment of a sports complex and Darul Aman, solarisation of all mosques and provision of Sehat Insaf Cards. Talking about the plight of the people of merged districts, Imran said the government would have to spend on their well-being and development or else ‘our enemies could exploit the situation by fomenting trouble in the former Fata’. “I will talk to the Sindh and Balochistan governments to persuade them to give three percent funds under the National Finance Commission Award to the tribal districts,” he announced.

Imran said the people of erstwhile Fata had rendered matchless sacrifices for restoration of peace and it was time to return the favour. He said the country was passing through a difficult phase, as its economy was still unstable. The prime minister said the country’s foreign debt had increased manifold due to the misrule of two political parties. He said the former tribal areas used to be called “Alaqa Ghair” (no-man’s-land) where there was no university and no industry and most of the people lived below the poverty line. Imran urged the tribespeople to show restrain, as completing the merger process was a herculean task. He said his government would generously spend on development of the merged districts. He said small industries would be set up in the merged districts to create 8,000 jobs for the local youth.

The prime minister said the personnel of Khassadar and Levies force would not be rendered jobless and their services would be merged into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police. Imran said he had visited Bajaur some 27 years back and wanted to do so again but circumstances did not allow him. He thanked the people for arriving in large numbers to attend the gathering. He said the government would honour the pledges made to the people and it would not let them down. He said militancy had ruined the infrastructure and lives of the people of erstwhile Fata. Reiterating Pakistan’s desire to normalise relations with India, he said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was indulging in warmongering in a bid to win the forthcoming election.

“We want peace and development [in the region]. We want trade with India. We don’t want war, but our desire for peace must not be construed as our weakness,” he explained. Imran said Pakistan has to be on alert for 30 days before the Indian elections for possible Indian mischief.