Non-performers to be changed, PM Imran warns ministers after cabinet shakeup

  • I have one purpose to make my country win and I am answerable to Allah: Imran Khan
Pakistan

ORAKZAI – Defending his recent cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Imran Khan warned on Friday that if the ministers do not perform for the country, he will change them.

Addressing a rally in Orakzai agency, the premier said he had changed the batting order in his team and would continue to do so in the future.

“The captain’s sole purpose is to make his team win. I have one purpose to make my country win and I am answerable to Allah,” he shared.

Referring to Chief Minister Punjab Usman Ahmed Buzdar and Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, the prime minister said a good captain constantly monitors his team for victory.

Premier Acknowledges Grievances of Tribals

The prime minister who wore tribal turban said, unfortunately, the rulers were naïve to the nature, traditions and history of the tribal people adding that what actually happened to the tribal area (during the war against terrorism) was not fully known to those living outside the region.

He said it was the leader, not the Pakistan Army, responsible for military operation in the tribal areas making the people suffer adding that no Pakistani prime minister ever visited the tribal areas so frequently like him as he knew the area better than all.

Mentioning the losses to the houses, cattle and businesses faced by the people in Orakzai area, the prime minister said the government would not ignore their sacrifices and compensate them.

He said though the demands by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) for protection of Pashtuns’ rights were genuine, the slogans they had been raising against the army was of no use.

Instead of fueling the flame, he said it was time to mull over as how to move forward and uplift the people by providing them education, health and employment opportunities.

He said the government would promote tourism to cash in on the potential of the Orakzai area and directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister to facilitate tourism to open up business and job opportunities for youth.

He told the gathering that Malaysia and Turkey earned $22 billion and $40 billion respectively out of tourism but Pakistan’s earning was minimal.

Terming provision of jobs to youth as the biggest challenge, Imran Khan said under Rozgar scheme, the youth would be given interest free loans to establish their businesses.

He said 60 percent of Pakistan’s population was below 30 years of age and if they were properly educated and imparted skill training, they could boost the economy. Even the women could be trained in information technology (IT) to make them earn living while being at home and maintaining their traditions.

The prime minister said government’s main focus and effort would be to promote education and bring foreign investment to explore gas, copper and other mineral resources in the area.

Khan said the government had decided to provide Insaf Sehat Card to every family in tribal region to provide health insurance cover of Rs 720,000.

He said for the first time, his government would be consulting the associations of seminaries to introduce contemporary education like science and engineering there to provide equal opportunities to 2.6 million students to become doctor, judge or general.

The premier expressed that during the last decade, the previous governments had increased the debt burden from Rs 6,000 billion in 2008 to Rs 30,000 in 2018.

He said the country’s economic outlook would have been far better had Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari were not given an NRO closing their cases of money laundering.

Imran Khan said Bilwal Bhutto, Asif Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been threatening to remove the government to conceal their corruption. No country could progress amid corrupt rulers, he remarked.

He said the fear of jail was haunting them and factually, it was not the democracy but their looted money under threat.