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Imran Khan promises to vaccinate majority of Pakistanis by year end

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ISLMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his government would try to cover a majority of population by the end of this year.

“The first shipment of COVID vaccine had arrived that would be first administered to the frontline health workers and then the elderly people will get their dose,” he said while responding to the questions of the general public in a live television program – “Aap ka Wazir Azam Awam kay Sath“ – through telephone.

He expressed his determination to develop Pakistan as a welfare state in line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) and the principles of Riasat-e-Madina.

“Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in his last sermon gave a charter for humanity. The principles given by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are now being followed by many countries of the world,”

The prime minister said the Riasat-e-Madina gave the concept of a truly modern welfare state to the world by ensuring rule of law and care of the poor.

He said the government was introducing a special subject about the Life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) – Seerat-e-Nabi (SAW) in the syllabus of 8th, 9th and 10th grades so that the youth had full knowledge and understanding about the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the State of Madina that he created.

The Prime Minister said the countries which adopted and followed the principles of Riasat-e-Madina achieved progress and development. “Unfortunately, we did not follow those principles,” he remarked.

He said that developing Pakistan on the principles of the State of Madina was a struggle and was not “like switching a button”.

“Inshallah Pakistan is going to become a great nation,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister in his interaction on the telephone with the general public responded to their queries on a host of issues ranging from Risasat-e-Madina to everyday issues, confronting the people in their day to day lives.

The Blasphemy issue

Prime Minister Imran Khan to a question said regretfully the trend of blasphemy, which causes a lot of pain to Muslims across the world, began in the West, after a book written by Salman Rushdi in 1989. He said the practice was hurting the sentiments of the Muslims as the West continues with the practice under the garb of freedom of speech.

He said the West, unlike the Muslims, did not fully understand the religious sentiments of the Muslims and reverence they have towards their Holy Prophet (PBUH).

The Prime Minister said he took up the matter at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations General Assembly, along with Dr. Mahathir Mohammad and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to seek the support of the international bodies in an effort for concerted efforts to put a stop to such a negative trend.

He said the whole Muslim world needs to raise a strong unanimous voice on the subject to make the Western world realize the gravity and seriousness of the issue.

National Reconciliation Ordinance

Prime Minister Imran Khan in response to a question on why he denies NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to the opposition leaders, said; “Then we should open the jails. Why should those involved in petty crimes like stealing a motorbike or a buffalo be jailed?”

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the NRO to the opposition would be like “committing treason to the country” to pardon the looters.

He said the country was still repaying the loans the previous governments had taken a decade ago

He again referred to the State of Mdina and the golden principles put in place by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said no country can achieve progress and development without following the rule of law. Any country that pursues; “might is right” could neither achieve any development nor prosper, he added.

The Prime Minister said many nations that did not ensure rule of law faced destruction. “NROs lead a country to destruction,” he remarked.

He said Pakistan was one the most resource-rich nations but was lagging behind just because of the corruption of its previous leaders, who laundered money abroad. On the contrary, he said the countries with rule of law like Switzerland and Scandinavian countries were prospering despite having no huge resources except tourism.

He said the money laundering by leaders hit the country two-way – the money they laundered reduced the dollars in the country and also led to the depreciation of the local currency.

He said the accountability of the leaders was more important than that of patwaris or SHOs.

He said President Pervez Musharraf gave NRO to looters which multiplied the debt burden over the 10 years and today half of the collected revenue goes to pay a markup on the existing loans, he added.

First Shipment of Covid-19 vaccine

He said Switzerland, being half of the Northern Areas was earning $80 billion US dollars, while Pakistan’s total exports were only $25 billion US dollars.

He assured one called of construction of s

Senate Election

Asked about the Senate poll, the prime minister said previously the parliamentarians used to sell their votes against huge money. Anyone buying the Senate seat would ultimately make money, which would give way to corruption.

He said the government would present a constitutional amendment in the Parliament for open balloting, which would also test the opposition parties whether they backed legislation to end the corrupt practice or not.

Broadsheet Scandal

Asked about the Broadsheet scandal, he said the firm hired by General Musharraf had dug out $100 million assets of Nawaz Sharif in London, but instead of retrieving the money, he (Musharraf) gave an NRO to the PM-N leader. The London court ruled in the firm’s favor asking the Pakistan government to pay the agreed 20pc of the assets’ value found by the firm.

He said the purpose of Justice Azmat Saeed’s commission was to probe the assets of PPP leader Asif Zardari abroad as the justice had vast experience in the accountability system for having served as a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor.

LoC Violations

To a question, the prime minister said the government had been urging the United Nations to pressure India to stop violations at the Line of Control (LoC).

The Kashmir issue, he said, had reached a point where the whole world was looking at it. On February 5, he would also address a gathering in Kotli to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day, he added.

Land Grabbing

As a questioner complained about the illegal occupation of his land by private housing in Islamabad’s rural area, the prime minister urged the people to report such cases on the Citizen Portal.

“We have declared a war against the land mafia. We will go after them to the lowest level,” he resolved and hinted at a new civil procedure code to ensure the disposal of such cases within a year.

He said land mafias got strengthened for enjoying the patronage of political leaders and the poor people or overseas Pakistanis became their worst victims.

Earlier Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz shared a video clip where the Prime Minister was heading to interact with the people on the telephone.

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