As the opposition’s deadline for the government to step down on January 31 passed without incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday raised a challenge, saying he would resign if opposition leaders returned the wealth they had stolen from the country.
The opponent Pakistan Democratic Movement The (PDM) has given the government a deadline to resign before January 31, saying it will force the ruling party’s resignation by long marching and resigning en masse from the assembly.
“It takes courage to resign,” said the prime minister, while chairing a cabinet meeting. “If they dare to resign, they will not flee the country with an NRO,” he said, referring to Musharraf’s era of political amnesty under the National Reconciliation Law.
“That opposite cannot hold long marches or gather people, ”he told the ministers. On the other hand, he offered his resignation but on the condition that: “If [PDM leaders] Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman returned the stolen money from within the country, tomorrow I will resign, ”he said.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, the prime minister, while noticing an accident in the federal capital last night, looked for security details given to ministers to stop abuse of security protocols.
Then, briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said the prime minister was concerned about an incident in which a squad of vehicles had damaged a red light in Islamabad and four people were killed.
“The prime minister instructed the federal and provincial governments to strictly prohibit the use of security forces and protocols on the roads which creates a culture of fear and impunity,” the information minister said.
The minister said the issue of land grabbing was also discussed at the meeting and was informed that operations against illegal invaders of state land, including those who have encroached on the railroad land are continuing.
“The Minister of Railways Azam Swati is working on the railway land issue and he has been further instructed to recover government assets,” the information minister added. “Land grabbing has weakened law enforcement and also created a sense of insecurity for the community,” he added.
He said that according to the government’s plan, construction activities were continuing with more than 100,000 housing units being built on various projects. He added that people get loans from banks for cheap housing units.
The bank provides loans with a mark-up of 5 to 7% for the construction of a 5-marla house and the loan limit is set at Rs3.5 million. Parliament has also passed a foreclosure law to protect those bank loans, he added.
He said two projects, including the Ravi Riverbank Urban Development Project and the Bundle Islands, are currently underway. According to the Housing Ministry’s explanation, around 35,700 housing units are being built, while more than 21,000 will be built in six other projects.
On the opposition party, the minister said that everyone knows what they are doing, because they have their own priorities to focus on, rather than playing a democratic role in highlighting weaknesses in government.
When asked about the PDM’s passing deadline for the government’s resignation, the minister said that the media should ask the opposition what happened to their resignation as the January 31 deadline had passed.
About a section of the road that was closed for several months near the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, Faraz said there had been controversy for a long time, but the issue was being discussed and lasting steps were being taken. He hoped that within a month or so, there would be good news.
Regarding the constitutional amendments to open voting in the Senate elections, the minister said it was the government’s statement that Senate elections should be transparent, adding that the opposition in the Democracy Charter also calls for transparency in Senate elections.
The minister said that the Senate elections in the past had been tainted by buying and selling the vote of MPs. “Everyone has seen how a party with six or seven votes got 20 votes in the previous Senate election,” he added.
“The government with that objective has approached the Supreme Court for direction regarding this calculation and one option is a constitutional amendment. However, it will show which side the opposition stands on. Opposition will be revealed if it opposes the constitutional amendments. “
The money factor, according to Faraz, also tarnishes international perceptions about elected people’s representatives. “The PTI has moral justification for promoting transparency, having repatriated 20 members of its parliament for receiving money to get votes.”
Responding to journalists’ questions, the minister said that the government really believes in media freedom and that no one wants the (media) channel of communication between the government and the public to be disturbed.
He stressed that he, as minister, never questioned any media outlet about releasing any news, and only had one request to make it when filing a report, the government version should also be included to provide a balanced view because it shouldn’t. be one-sided.
Criticism, he said, helped improve the government’s performance because the media showed weaknesses in its government. The minister added that the government wanted a friendly relationship with the media because neither the government nor the media wanted bitterness.
On the rejection of the journalist rights bill, the minister said opposition parties were against it even though they had representatives in the relevant DPR, which had approved it. Traditionally, a bill approved by the committee was not challenged.
He promised that after having numerical power in the DPR, the government would not only propose the bill again but also enact several other laws for media actors for their rights, salary protection, job security and health protection.
He also said that point-to-point replies will be sent to the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editor (CPNE) in response to his report on Wednesday. “There is something that is exaggerated and some things related to the government are not true,” he added.
On rising prices, he said tariffs = many goods fell while others – mostly imported commodities such as cooking oil, tea, nuts, powered milk and petroleum products – saw increases due to increases in world markets. The prime minister, he said, has been holding weekly meetings on inflation and rising prices are a temporary phenomenon.
(With input from APP)
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