ISLAMABAD - While reiterating strict action against corrupt elements, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said those who burdened the country with heavy debts would be treated as ‘national criminals.’

Chairing a meeting of PTI’s parliamentary party here, he said past rulers had adopted a royal and lavish lifestyle and plunged the country into the quagmire of debts.

He said half of the country’s income is being spent on paying installments of loans taken by the previous governments.

PM said due to hectic efforts of the incumbent government, the global community is looking towards Pakistan as the most significant country in the world, blessed with huge strategic and investment opportunities.

The prime minister said the high-powered commission would investigate the hefty 24,000 billion rupees debt, borrowed by the ‘national criminals’ during the last decade to match their luxurious lifestyle.

Khan said that his government faced the toughest situation in first ten months of power. He said government’s efforts have brought economic stability to the country.

He mentioned that the government faced tough financial situation during its initial 10 months and expressed gratitude to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and China for extending support to Pakistan in the hour of financial difficulties.

He regretted opposition’s attempts to disrupt proceedings of the House during budget debate.

He asked the parliamentarians to play active role in getting the federal budget passed and regretted the attitude of Opposition parties for their deliberate attempt to disrupt the proceedings of National Assembly during the budget session.

Regrets unpleasant

happening with senior journalist

Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday regretted the unpleasant incident happened to senior journalist Sami Ibrahim in Faisalabad.

Talking to Sami Ibrahim, Prime Minister said that the PTI leadership does not encourage such individual acts which intentionally or unintentionally undermine someone’s self-esteem and hurt ones feelings.

Khan said that government and media are two integral parts of democratic process. He said the difference in opinion should not be taken to the level of personal difference.

Last week, Ibrahim had reportedly filed a complaint at Mansoorabad police station in Faisalabad, accusing Chaudhry of slapping him at a wedding ceremony in Faisalabad.

A copy of the complaint that was circulating on social media and was retweeted by Ibrahim alleged that Chaudhry had slapped and cursed him without any provocation. It also accused the Science and Technology minister of threatening Ibrahim.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Science and Technology had issued a clarification, saying that the “incident” should not be treated as a “clash between the two institutions but as a conflict between two individuals”.

The statement added that Chaudhry had “reacted after another person tried to wound his self-esteem”.

“To term a patriotic Pakistani and government office holder an agent of [enemy agencies] is contrary to moral and journalistic ethics,” the statement had said.

The row between Fawad Chaudhry and Sami Ibrahim came to light earlier this month, when the minister unleashed a Twitter tirade against the journalist for accusing him of plotting against the ruling party.

Sami Ibrahim responded to Chaudhry’s remarks in a television programme on Bol TV and accused him of using state vehicles for personal purposes during his tenure as information minister.