KHYBER - Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday reaffirmed that his government would not give any NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) and safe passage to any corrupt politician and the accountability process would continue till the recovery of looted public money from them.

Addressing a press conference here after inaugurating round-the-clock functional Torkham Border Terminal, he said elimination of corruption was imperative for sustained progress and development in the country.

“The country cannot make progress unless we eliminate the menace of corruption,” he said.

He said Pakistan was burdened with Rs 24,000 billion loans during the last 10 years due to two NROs given by former president Pervez Musharraf to the corrupt politicians.

The prime minister said since the inception of his government, the opposition parties were making a hue and cry and raising questions on the accountability process to get NROs for their jailed corrupt leaders, but he would not yield to their pressure.

The corruption cases against the opposition leaders were not initiated by his government rather they themselves had instituted the same against one another when they were in government respectively, he added.

The heavy loss of Rs24 trillion to the national exchequer resulted in fiscal and trade deficits, besides devaluation of the currency, he added.

Describing the current deadlock in Taliban-US dialogue as “unfortunate”, Imran said Pakistan would make every possible effort for the resumption of negotiations as peace in the region was also in the interest of Pakistan.

“If the Taliban-US talks do not move ahead, it will be a tragedy and I will insist on [resumption of dialogue] during the meeting with US President Donald Trump on [upcoming] Monday,” Imran told the news conference.

He said since the people of Afghanistan were facing difficulties for the last over 40 years, Pakistan would push for the resumption of peace talks.

The PM recalled his meetings with the leaders of Central Asian states, including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, during his visit to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, for attending the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) Summit in June, who he said were keen to have trade links with Pakistan.

Peace in Afghanistan would also help bring peace and economic development in the whole region, he said, adding the opening of Torkhum Terminal would help push bilateral trade with the neighbouring country and create job opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was badly hit by the war on terror.

To a question, Imran said he planned to have a meeting with a Taliban delegation only after the success of Taliban-US dialogue and the signing of a deal, to bring the Afghan government and Taliban closer.

 

RS150B FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TRIBAL DISTS

 

The prime minister announced dispensation of Rs150 billion for the development and uplift of tribal areas. The generous development package, he said, was unprecedented in the last four decades and was being given at a time when the country itself was facing financial constraints.

To a question regarding the AGN Kazi formula for implementation of net hydel profit for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran said the matter was currently under consideration.

 

NO DIALOGUE WITH INDIA

 

On the recent situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, he said Pakistan would not hold any dialogue with India till the curfew was not lifted in the valley.

He vowed that he would forcefully present the case of Kashmiris at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York. “I promise to fight for Kashmir in a way it had never been done before.”

Imran warned those intending to cross border from Pakistan to India in an attempt to ‘wage a Jihad in Kashmir’ as it would be an act of extreme enmity towards the Kashmiris.

“Anyone who thinks that he will cross the border to join the Kashmiris (fighting for their right) is a big enemy of them and Pakistan,” he said.

Any such move on the part of individuals, he said, would help India exploit the situation, which would term it cross-border infiltration. “Don’t give India an excuse to cover its human right violations in Kashmir. This can make life more difficult for the Kashmiris, who are already suffering at the hands of 0.9 million violent and oppressive Indian troops,” he said.

 

GHOTKI INCIDENT A CONSPIRACY

 

Imran Khan strongly condemned the recent unpleasant incident of attack at a Hindu temple in Ghotki, Sindh terming it a conspiracy and an act of sabotage before his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

All the minority communities and their holy places were fully protected inside Pakistan and they were free to practise their religion without any fear, he said while addressing a press conference after inaugurating round-the-clock functional Torkham Border Terminal.

He said “Our religion Islam and the Constitution of Pakistan give full protection to the rights of minorities.” Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also assured protection to the minorities.

The prime minister said the Ghotki incident was a conspiracy to tarnish Pakistan’s image at a time when he was going to address the United Nations to take up the issue of Kashmir.

He said nobody would be allowed to target the minorities or their holy places, and assured that strict action would be taken against the culprits.

SHARP RISE IN BORDER TRADE

Earlier, Imran Khan formally inaugurated the Integrated Transit Trade Management scheme to keep open the Pak-Afghan sharing border, Torkham, for 24 hours.

Flanked by KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and provincial ministers and officials Imran Khan formally cut the ribbon to open the scheme.

He also opened the Pak-Afghan friendship hospital, established at the Zero Point to facilitate patients from across the border.

Earlier, the PM was briefed by the official of National Logistic Cell on his arrival to the terminal and he unveiled plaque to initiate work on the erecting of trade terminal.

Later on, Imran Khan flew to Landi Kotal Cantonment where he addressed the media conference.

Speaking on the occasion he said that it was historical moment not only for Pakistan but also for the countries of Central Asia who were eager to have trade ties with Pakistan.

Soon after establishing of the Integrated Transit Trade Management scheme, export had increased 50 percent which was a good omen for the economy, the PM added.

 

PM BRIEFED ON KP GOVT PERFORMANCE

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan was briefed over one-year performance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government at Governor House in Peshawar.

The Prime Minister met with provincial cabinet members and reviewed the one year performance of the government.