Imran Khan assails the PDM govt for bringing country to the cusp of default
Accuses media of turning a blind eye towards economic matters & instead focusing on the Toshakhana wristwatch
Imran Khan accused former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa of giving “NRO-2”
LAHORE ( Web News )
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday assailed the PDM government for bringing the country to the cusp of default, and accused the media of turning a blind eye towards economic matters and instead focusing on the Toshakhana wristwatch, which he said was rightfully his to “sell or do whatever I want to with it”.
Imran Khan made these remarks at a press conference in Lahore where he began by comparing his government’s performance with that of the incumbent PDM setup, whom he blamed for the looming threat of default.
“The reason for my media talk today is to make the people aware of the direction that our country is heading in,” he said. “If we don’t raise our voice then Pakistan will experience something it has never before and we will default. All the funding from abroad will be stopped.
“A default would mean the country’s income in dollars has stopped, and the rupee will devalue further. The cabal of crooks imposed on us doesn’t care about any of this. They have been stealing money for the last 30 years. They have stashed huge amounts of money abroad.”
Imran Khan said that the ruling elite does not “care if the country defaults because their money is stashed abroad in the form of dollars”. “But the circumstance of a default is worrying for the common man,” he added.
“A default will be a very big loss for Pakistan. No investment will come back into Pakistan. No overseas Pakistani will be willing to invest in Pakistan.”
He recalled that the dollar rate was Rs178 when he was ousted as the prime minister. “Today we can’t even purchase a dollar for Rs250.”
The PTI chief claimed that when he came into power in 2018, he had inherited a fragile economy but had turned it around, only to see his work undone by the present setup.
“When we got Pakistan [government] in 2018, we had the largest current account deficit,” he said. “When our government was ousted, the GDP growth was at six percent. These figures were usually only seen during the martial laws of Ayub, Zia and Musharraf. This was because [during their eras] we were receiving dollars from the US.
“They didn’t make any dams but we made six dams, out of which two were massive. We launched the health card that was praised by foreign magazines. Our Ehsaas programme was internationally acknowledged. The billion tree tsunami was praised around the world. UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned my name and our climate change programme at the UN.”
Imran Khan accused the media of looking the other way on important matters and instead focusing on what he implied were trivial issues, such as his Toshakhana watch. “The channels that used to bash the PTI government for inflation, those channels are quiet now and are instead focused on a watch,” he said. “It’s my watch. I can sell it, and I can do whatever I want. No one is talking about the economic murder being committed now.
“Today, the inflation is double and at a 50-year high. Where are those media houses now? No one cares about inflation now. No one believed us when we used to say that inflation was due to global reasons. When these cabal of crooks say the same thing, no one is questioning.”
Imran Khan said that the PDM government does not have a roadmap to drag the country out of the economic crisis. “The economic situation will keep worsening if this government stays in power because there will be no political stability. The economy only grows when there is a certainty.”
Imran Khan claimed that his victory in the next elections was so certain that the government was running away from the polls. “They are only trying to delay elections as much as they can,” he said. “Nawaz Sharif will do anything but he won’t go for elections. They are scared that the cases will be revived when they lose power after the elections.”
When asked if he had noticed any change in the military’s policy towards him and his party, he replied: “I haven’t seen any change so far. The new army chief is here, and he should be given time. We have heard good things about him. We have a lot of expectations of him.”
Imran Khan accused former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa of giving “NRO-2” — a reference to amnesty granted by former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf – to incumbent rulers.
“The first NRO was granted by General Musharraf and the second one was given by the one who was in power,” he said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.
Speaking about the detained PTI leader, Senator Azam Khan Swati, Imran Khan condemned the treatment being meted out to him over his controversial tweets against the state institutions and military officials.
“He [Azam Swati] was arrested just for saying General Bajwa gave NRO to thieves… the entire Pakistan knows that he [Gen Bajwa] gave NRO-2,” he remarked.
Imran said in civilised societies a sitting senator cannot be “tortured or stripped naked” just for sharing his opinion. “You can deny his [Swati’s] claim,” he added.
Speaking about his party’s demand for early elections, Imran said the economic condition of the country will continue to worsen until the incumbent government remained in power. “The country is heading towards economic collapse with debts are rising, while exports, remittances and foreign investments are declining,” he remarked. “I ask my establishment, aren’t you concerned where the country is heading?”
The PTI chief said he had not been demanding elections for his party. “I know my party will win elections even if elections are held on time… but I am afraid that economic crisis will worsen due to delay in polls.”
Imran said the economic stability will never come without political stability. “They [incumbent rulers] don’t have any roadmap. Their only aim is to dispose off their corruption cases as they know they cannot win elections.”
Despite using the entire state machinery, Imran said PML-N and other allied parties lost by-elections.
Speaking about the return of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shehbaz, Imran said, “one by one all thieves will get relief in corruption cases and get themselves exonerated from corruption charges”. “After Ishaq Dar, now he [Suleman Shehbaz] will be dry-cleaned.”
The PTI chief reiterated his allegations that the “two thieves” — Nawaz and Zardari — would go to any extent to delay elections in the country “because they don’t want to waste what they have achieved by ending their corruption cases during the last seven months”.
Moreover, Imran said the incumbent rulers were buying time to lodge cases and disqualify him in collusion with the chief election commissioner.
For this reason, Imran said he was pressing institutions to pave way for early elections in the country to avert the default risk and save the country from economic collapse.
“What would happen If China and IMF do not bail us out? If country defaults, it will be a big loss for all of us,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday in a statement issued on twitter, Imran Khan said Azam Swati had been “badly tortured”, while proclaimed offenders like Suleman Shehbaz was brought back through NRO-2.
Imran Khan posted on Twitter, saying, “If anyone wants to understand why Pakistan s economy is on the verge of collapsing, only two events are enough: Senator Swati was arrested and beaten in custody, and even in front of his grandchildren, a part of his house was torn away and locks were installed there forcibly.
He continued by saying that because Mr. Swati was the subject of multiple cases based on which he was being moved from one state to another, even human rights were disregarded in his situation.
Taking a jibe at PDM led government and allies, Khan said “Suleman Shehbaz, a proclaimed offender who was involved in money laundering cases was brought back to Pakistan by NRO-2.”
Imran Khan also shared a Hadees-e-Mubarik in addition to his tweet saying “The blessed hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should be kept in front of everyone, in which The Prophet (PBUH) warned how injustice brings destruction to nations.”
Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (S.W.A) Said: “The nations priorto you were destroyed because if a noble amongst them stole, they used to excuse him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would apply (AAlah’s) Legal Punishment to him”.