PM Khan rules out any NRO to Opposition

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Says opposition wanted an NRO to spare their corruption; no nation could prosper with ‘an island of rich and a big sea of poor’

LAHORE, MAY 06 (DNA) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is demanding National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) but those who had ruled the country for 30 years were not ready to face accountability.

He pointed that the Opposition wanted an NRO from him to spare their corruption, however he said that such efforts would go in vain.  “Those who ruled the country for 30 years are not ready to be made accountable,” he added.

Addressing the launching of Punjab peri-urban housing project for low-income groups in Raiwind, Imran Khan said the government was focusing on equitable distribution of resources to rich and poor by ensuring basic amenities of life for all. “The notion of ‘elite capture’ and the prevailing mindset that Pakistan belongs to a particular class only is regrettable,” he added.

Imran said no nation could prosper with ‘an island of rich and a big sea of poor’ and regretted that during last 74 years only a particular elite ruled the country. He said the elite-centric policies inflicted huge damage upon the poor whose access to civic facilities including health, education and jobs greatly suffered.

He said his vision was to make powerful answerable to law and strengthen the weaker segments of society. He said Islam’s first socio-welfare State of Madinah was a model to be emulated where rule of law and justice prevailed regardless of the status of a person.

He said the political elite in the past patronized illegal land grabbing that led to litigation and obstructed development work. Imran said the government had launched several affordable housing schemes for low-income groups, adding that construction industry was resulting in economic boom in the country. As construction sector was connected with 30 other industries, he said, the step would help resolve the problems of accommodation and unemployment.

He mentioned that the recently cleared foreclosure law of banks greatly helped in materializing the low-cost housing schemes. He said ill-planning of infrastructure and encroachment in cities was leading to civic problems including poor sanitation, pollution and mushroom growth of slums. He said a plan to equip slums with basic amenities was on cards and vowed to give ownership rights to the slum-dwellers.

The prime minister, who also virtually inaugurated the work at nine other sites including Chiniot, Dera Ghazi Khan, Chunian, Khanewal, Khushab, Mandi Bahauddin, Mianwali, Jalalpur Pirwalla and Sargodha, said the project would facilitate the common man.

He lauded Frontier Works Organization and the government of Punjab for executing the work on low-cost housing in record time. Imran said Pakistan was blessed with areas having spectacular natural beauty, adding that proper tourism strategy could earn the country huge revenues.

He said the government was focused on bringing a revolution in agriculture sector and mentioned that he was personally overseeing the area to facilitate farmers. He said during last two years, the farmers were given an additional payment of Rs11 billion and the yields of wheat, rice and corn witnessed a record production.

He mentioned that Pakistan was also undergoing development in information technology with a record exports of equipment in 11 years.  Imran appealed to the public to observe standard operating procedures to contain the dangerous wave of pandemic and stressed to continue the use of face mask as a crucial precaution.

“The next two weeks are very significant and our target is to bring down the coronavirus cases,” he said, adding the situation in India was a lesson to learn from. Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said in first phase over one million houses would be constructed and the project would later be expanded to the tehsil level. He said the Punjab government would extend Rs0.3 million subsidy on each house to low-income groups.

Earlier, Imran Khan launched Punjab peri-urban low-cost housing scheme project at Raiwind to be built at 10 sites to facilitate low-income groups living in smaller cities and rural areas of the province. The project is being finalized in collaboration with the Government of Punjab and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority.