‘Give back looted money’, accountability will never let you go
Government will not let Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leaders would never off accountability hook, ‘until they give country’s money back’.
Prime Minister, Imran Khan while addressing a rally in Khan Garh, Ghotki said, “This country will not forgive you. You have only one route-give country’s money back and we will leave you be”.
Sharif brothers remained in habit using words for former President, Asif Zardari including ‘corrupt Zardari’ and Zardari’s son, Bilawal Bhutto used to say that Sharif brothers were corrupt.
“Today, both are trying to come together to ‘save democracy’,” Imran Khan remarked. PM also questioned sincerity of two parties’ political moves.
Khan said that he wanted to “challenge” two opposition parties to do whatever they wanted to do, but government would not back down from holding them accountable.
He said that his opponents “can go ahead with train marches”, a reference to PPP Caravan-Bhutto and “can also come to D-Chowk in Islamabad to stage a sit-in ‘dharna’. The government’s containers are ready, he offered.
“We will provide you food in containers,” Imran Khan said, adding that he would see how long they could hold their ground.
“PTI held a dharna for four and a half months not for our theft, but for country’s democracy and for free and fair elections.”
Prime Minister had begun his address citing example of Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who he credited with lifting Malaysia out of poverty.
“Remember, countries are not poor, it is corruption which leaves a country poor and indebted,” premier said.
He said that Sindh should be most prosperous province of Pakistan as it is home to Karachi, financial capital of country; most gas is extracted from province and because it has fertile land, where cash crops such as sugarcane and rice grow in abundance.
However, he said, poverty persists in interior Sindh due to endemic corruption.
He noted that in past ten years, 70 percent of Sindh’s gas came from Ghotki, but regretted that district which should have been furthest ahead had been left behind.
“In past ten years, Rs 234 billion were distributed to Sindh as gas royalties,” premier said, adding that everything had gone to provinces in National Finance Commission (NFC) award even while federal government itself was going bankrupt.
“The money for your development should have come from province, as centre had given them funds,” he said. “Everyone should ask how much of share of royalties was given to Ghotki.”
“This is corruption,” he said, describing it as a few people controlling public resources while rest of country descended into poverty.
Khan said that money that should have been spent on people of country was pocketed by these elements and stashed in fake back accounts and then moved abroad through money laundering.
He asked how country’s indebtedness rose from Rs 6 trillion to Rs 30 trillion in past ten years alone.
“Where did money go” he asked, adding that when people responsible for country’s precarious financial position were being held to account, “they say democracy had come under threat”.
Khan said that money of royalties from gas should first go to those areas where it was found. He cited example of Texas in United States where oil was found and as a result even now the richest people were in Texas.
“First it Texas became prosperous and then rest of America,” he said.
Alternatively, he said in Pakistan, people in areas where gas was found were poor.
He concluded his address by sharing that in ‘Naya Pakistan’, those areas where certain resources were found, would also be first to reap benefits.