LAHORE - Describing the opposition’s Azadi march a gathering of the corrupt elements, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday reaffirmed his resolve not to give any NRO (deal) to the corrupt politicians in his life time.

“Mark my words, whatever united efforts they make [through long march], I will not give them any NRO (deal) till my last breath,” the prime minister said at the ground-breaking ceremony of Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib.

Khan believed the opposition parties’ call for protest was unwarranted and without any genuine cause.

“They are only using it [Azadi march] as a cover to their corruption committed during their respective tenures,” he remarked, adding that they had been looting the country one after the other by signing the so-called charter of democracy.

The prime minister said it was like his prediction come true. “Immediately after taking oath as prime minister, I had predicted that all corrupt people [in the country] would ultimately get united at a single platform [against him]”, he said.

He disagreed with opposition parties’ stance that government had failed to deliver on all fronts. He asserted that the government was making strides on economic front and projected it as a fact even endorsed by the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier unveiled the plaque to mark ground-breaking of the Guru Nanak University, which will be constructed at an area of 107 acres with a cost of Rs6 billion.

Punjab government has released initial funds for the construction of the university comprising academic blocks for various disciplines and hostels for accommodation of students.

The ground-breaking ceremony of the university comes ahead of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the founder of Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak next month.

Talking about the economic achievements of his government, the prime minister cited a recent World Bank report and said that Pakistan had attained top position in sub-continent and sixth in the world in Ease of Doing Business.

He compared the statistics from the first year of the PPP and the PML-N tenures, and claimed that the PTI government had recorded the lowest inflation in its first year.

The prime minister was confident that the country would make progress as the PTI government had put it on right track by expanding the tax net. He said traders had now agreed to pay fixed-rate tax.

In reiteration of his earlier speeches, the Prime minister regretted that the country’s debt touched Rs30,000 billion from Rs6,000 billion due to money laundering by public office-holders through Aqama (resident permit) of foreign countries.

He said the countries who had given Aqama to Pakistani politicians were disinclined to providing information about them as they considered them as their citizens.

“Now as the noose tightens around their [opposition leaders’] neck, they have started using the tactics of blackmail and pressure,” he said.

Commenting on the illness of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said the federal and provincial governments were providing him the best possible medical care including advice of consultants from Karachi and Shaukat Khanum Hospital.

“We can try our best, the rest is with Allah Almighty,” he said, in response to criticism by certain political quarters on Sharif’s deteriorating health.

“I cannot even guarantee my own life, how can I give assurance about the life of any other person,” he said in reference to a comment by Islamabad High Court that if the government could guarantee the life of Nawaz Sharif till bail.

Without making any direct mention of the preferential treatment being offered to Nawaz Sharif in jail, Imran Khan said there should only be one law for all the citizens.

“Abolishment of socio-economic class system was one of the pillars of the State of Madinah which ensured that an offender from the elite class met the same fate as that of the poor”, he observed.

Imran Khan quoted a Hadith of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) who said that if his daughter had been caught in a theft case, he would have cut off her hand.

He said previous civilizations were destroyed because they would spare the powerful people on committing crime and give punishment to the weak.

“All are equal before the law and we want the privileged class in the country to also be answerable before the same law,” he asserted.

The prime minister said the countries like Switzerland, Singapore and Europe who upheld the rule of law, experienced progress and development.

He said history showed that no country or society could progress without giving priority to education. “We used to be ahead of other nations in education, but it is unfortunate that previous governments did not give due priority to education and left us behind,” he added.

The prime minister said that besides the Sikh community from across the world, the local population would also benefit from the Guru Nanak University, which would offer education in various disciplines including the Information Technology, Science and Technology and other modern subjects.

He directed the Chief Minister Punjab to utilize all the “Auqaf” lands at various shrines like Baba Farid Shakar Ganj in Pakpattan for the construction of universities, educational institutes and hospitals for the benefit of local populace.

The prime minister said all the Sufi saints like Baba Farid, Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, Mian Mir etc. had a single mission of serving the humanity, and that was why people still loved them and visited their shrines.

“Allah Almighty bestows those with honor, who serve the human beings. People do not remember the rich but those who serve humanity”, he remarked and cited the example of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) for whom people were always ready to sacrifice their lives.

Responding to criticism from opponents about opening of Kartarpur Corridor when India was unleashing atrocities on innocent people in Occupied Kashmir, the prime minister said that Pakistan had to give way to them since it was the most sacred place for Sikh community.

He said that Madaris had very important role in history of the Subcontinent, adding, that in early 19th century Sikh, Hindu, Muslims and other elite used to get education from two big Madirs of Delhi despite the presence of British schools.