Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he had joined politics with an aim to build the nation rather than just striving to know the prices of alloo and tamatar (potato and tomato).
Addressing a rally in Hafizabad on Sunday, he said nations are founded on the basis of an ideology. His objective for “entering politics was to make the Pakistani nation, particularly the young generation, realise the ideology of Pakistan as propounded by Allama Mohammad Iqbal,” he added.
The premier said “Unless a nation realises the ideology behind the creation of a homeland, it cannot become a nation and often recedes into oblivion.”
The prime minister defended his strong reaction to the joint letter of the heads of various foreign missions, recounted achievements of his government during the past three and a half years and rebuked the opposition leaders in his speech.
Referring to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazal) Chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, Prime Minister Imran said: “The three rodents have joined hands to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, but you all will see them being preyed upon soon.”
Western societies had very high moral standards against horse-trading and corruption, he said, while citing the example of a rich man whose family abandoned him when he was caught in a corruption case.
Asserting that he had joined the politics not to learn about the prices of potatoes and tomatoes, but to make Pakistanis a great nation, he said he established the Rehmat-ul-lil-Aalamin Authority to spread the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) among the youth.
Also, he added, his government introduced single national curriculum to ensure that all students, including those studying at seminaries, should study the same curriculum and get level-playing field to compete and excel in life.
The government also instituted 2.6 million scholarships, he said, adding that two latest universities, including an aerospace university, were being established so that Pakistan itself manufacture planes in future. “No one thought on these lines during the past 70 years,” he asserted.
The premier promised the people of Punjab that his government would work on the development of the province, something which he claimed would be “unprecedented” in the country’s history.
“This country will break records in terms of development in the next one-and-a-half years,” he claimed.
The prime minister also referred to the missile ‘mistakenly’ fired by India and stated that the Pakistan government responded in a very calculated manner. “Pakistan has all the abilities to protect its boundaries and heading in the right direction,” he said.
He also explained his government’s other initiatives, including provision of health insurance cards to low-income families, setting up of shelter homes, Kamyab Pakistan programme, Ehsaas ration scheme, management of coronavirus pandemic, record tax collection, reduction in petrol and electricity prices and meeting the challenge of climate change. Three of the 10 dams being planned would be ready within the next three years, he said.
The prime minister said a nation could never rise until it respects itself and added that it was also a leader’s responsibility not to let its peoples down.
FOREIGN POLICY: Chiding former premier Nawaz Sharif for sitting before the US President with a note in his hand, PM Imran said he responded the European Union ambassadors in the same coin when they wrote an open letter asking Pakistan to give statement against Russia.
“When I criticised the EU ambassadors, all three opposition leaders started blaming me for harsh statements,” he said.
“I know West well. It welcomes those, who hold their countries’ interests supreme and look down on those, who look for their vested interests,” PM Imran said.
He said former premier Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari had never condemned the country [the US], which fired some 400 drones inside Pakistan, despite the fact that Islamabad was fighting for that country’s war in Afghanistan.
“I myself protested, staged sit-ins and criticised the West for firing drones in Pakistan,” PM Imran recalled.
“Pakistan wants to keep cordial relations with every country but being the prime minister of 220 million people, he cannot compromise on country’s interests,” he said.
When a head of state visited any country, his complete life details, including his character and honesty report, reached the host country through agencies and foreign office, he said, recalling his visit to meet the then US president Donald Trump.
He said he used a commercial flight and stayed in Pakistan Embassy’s room to give the message that he had gone there to protect Pakistan’s interests.
“I spent only $150,000 on the US visit in comparison to Nawaz Sharif’s visit that had cost country around $1.2 million,” he said, claiming that it was for this reason China respected Pakistan.
He said China gave its fighter aircraft J10C in just seven months and the Russian president gave three guards of honour during his recent visit to Moscow.