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Imran Khan Addresses Nation: “We Need To Rethink Our Approach”

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Hundreds of thousands of people were stuck to their television screens last night as the newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan outlines his government’s plan to transform the country into an ‘Islamic Welfare State’ in his first ever address to the nation as the Prime Minister.

The address began with the recitation of Holy Quran and the national anthem of Pakistan.

First of All, PM Imran Khan thanked his party workers who have been with him for 22 years in his struggle. He paid tribute to all the party workers who backed and supported him when no one else was ready to do. He also mentioned his late companions of early days by naming Ahsan Rasheed and Saloni Bukhari.

Reminding his promise to make Pakistan a Madina-like-state, he said: “Following the footsteps of my role models Quaid-e-Azam and Prophet Mohammad PBUH, my aim would be to make this country what it was supposed to be”.

Expressing his concern on the current situation of the country, the Prime Minister referred the UNDP report to quote the rising debts and the downward trend of country’s human development index.

“We are from the nation where newborn babies and women still die at the time of birth. Over 45% of children in Pakistan die due to malnutrition, Khan added.

“I am telling you this because we will try and change all of this.”

The newly elected PM unveiled the fact that, despite being a poor country, the prime minister of Pakistan enjoys 524 servants, 80 cars, and 33 bullet-proof cars, costing Rs50 million each despite being a poor country.

“On one hand, there’s a poor nation and, on the other, there’s this ruling elite. They live like the British when they colonized us.”

Imran Khan also discussed the fact that the country is passing through the most severe economic crisis. The debt has surpassed Rs28,000 billion. “Rs650 million were spent on PM’s foreign trips. The National Assembly speaker has a budget of Rs160 million, out of which he spends Rs80 million on foreign trips.”

PM Khan also showed his concern for more than 20 million children, that is not going to schools in the country. “Pakistan is 7th on the list of countries which will suffer the most from global warming,” said Khan.

“We need to rethink our approach and the way we live. The country cannot progress if it keeps heading the way it is. Countries of the West only developed when they started following the principles laid down by the Holy Prophet PBUH.”

He also opposed the extravagant lifestyle of the ruling class, at the time, when the country is indebted to the throat at one end.

Khan also announced that none of his governors will reside in the governor houses. “We’ll build an elite university in the PM House where research will be done.”

Keeping his promise, PM Imran clearly announced that he will not live in the PM House and vowed to build a high-profile research university at the premises. Moreover, he also announced to auction luxury vehicles of the PM house and put the money into the national kitty, as per media reported.

The new government will form a task force under Dr. Ishrat Hussain, which will recommend austerity measures that can be adopted by the government.

“We will have to cut down our expenses,” said the PM Imran Khan, emphasizing that taking loans and aides from other countries was something the government will have to learn to live without.

The newly elected premier also decided to live with simplicity and announced to use only two cars and live in a three-bed house. As a Prime Minister, he will only keep two servants. He also said that he wished to live in Bani Gala to save public money but security agencies didn’t allow him due to security reasons.

Imran Khan assured that the austerity would be practiced at all CM and governor houses of the country.

“When a leader begs for money, a nation loses its respect … we will have to become a great nation by giving sacrifices, not begging.”

The premier also said that only very few people of around 0.8 million of the 200 million pay taxes in the country. “The country cannot progress like this … FBR needs to be reformed,” he added.

Another task force will be formed by the new government with an objective to recover money that is being laundered out of Pakistan. “Never vote for a political party whose leader has wealth stacked abroad,” said Khan.

While emphasizing the need to increase the country’s exports, the prime minister ensured that the new government would facilitate industries in this regard. “Small industries are the backbone of any country and we will create ease for them to do business in the country.”

According to Khan,  the PM Secretariat would have an office to deal with problems faced by investors. “We need to uplift small-scale industries.”

Khan also discussed the curse of corruption in the country. He believed that no country can progress where corruption is rampant. “We will strengthen the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) … we will pass the Whistle-blower Act like we did in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.”

Speaking about not appointing an interior minister, PM Khan said he is keeping the portfolio of Ministry of Interior. “In order to reform the justice system for the masses, I will meet with the chief justice of Pakistan.”

Country’s severe water crises were also one of the topics PM Khan covered in his inaugural speech. He believed that without building Diamer-Bhasha dam the country would not overcome the crises. He also spoke about ensuring ease to farmers.

The newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan also announced the introduction of civil service reforms.“Right to Services Act would be introduced like we did in K-P … through the Act, bonuses and penalties would be given to civil servants.” Khan added.

The PTI chief Imran Khan also said that his government will provide interest-free loans to the youth so they can invest in businesses. “We will build parks and playgrounds and plant billions of trees throughout Pakistan,” he concluded.