Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed a bailout agreement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the “best” deal.
The comment by the premier came during his meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet members in Peshawar yesterday.
He said that he would soon address the nation.
Vowing to never turn his back on the masses, the prime minister said that he had struggled against this “rotten system” for 22 years, and that the “political mafia”, which he said had thrived on the old system, wanted to create impediments in the way of a new system.
“This corrupt political mafia wants to blackmail [the government] on the pretext of economy,” the prime minister told the participants of the meeting.
Referring to the prevailing condition of the economy, the prime minister said that from the very first day he had been hinting at tough days ahead as the government had inherited a record fiscal deficit.
He said that the brotherly countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE and China, had extended urgent assistance to provide a breathing space to the economy and the government was thankful for their gesture.
The prime minister said he hopes that the situation would soon improve with the increase in exports and remittances.
Foreign investment would also go up consequent to the government’s ongoing measures, he added.
During the meeting, the prime minister also said that the government’s poverty alleviation programme – Ihsas – would create a social safety network.
For this programme, Khan said, the government would enhance its package from Rs100bn to Rs180bn to ensure its outreach to every poor Pakistani.
He also said that the government would launch a business loans scheme for the youth as another step towards the country’s development.
The prime minister meanwhile directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet to ensure that the price of food in the province is controlled.
He also directed for formulation of a co-ordinated strategy to promote information technology and vocational training in the province.
Prime Minister Khan reiterated that tribal culture, traditions and way of living will remain preserved even after merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Addressing elders of now-merged Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) districts, he said that before the war on terror, the system of tribal areas worked smoothly, and people would get justice.
He said that the new system will work in parallel with the old system.
Khan said that the alternate dispute resolution system had worked well in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the past five years, and it will be implemented in the merged tribal districts.
He said every village will be provided with funds and people will be empowered at the grass root level.
On the matter of the increased number of seats in the National and Provincial Assemblies, the prime minister said that the people of the tribal areas will get more representation in both federal and provincial governments.
Khan expressed appreciation for the role of tribal elders and leaders for helping to preserve peace in their areas.
Later, when addressing a fund-raising Iftar dinner at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital in Peshawar last night, the prime minister said that reforms would be introduced by rectifying administrative and management system of the government hospitals which are currently in poor state of affairs.
He said his government wants to introduce the health system that is being enforced in the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital.
Khan slammed the “big lie” being spread about the privatisation of government hospitals, and declared in clear terms that there is no such plan under consideration.
Referring to the doctors’ protest in Peshawar, Khan said the government would not step back from introducing the reforms in the public sector hospitals, adding that a few doctors are politically motivated to sabotage those reforms.
He resolved that the government would not yield to any pressure and continue to improve standard of those hospitals on the pattern of Shaukat Khanum Hospital, where the prime minister said people are getting the best healthcare facilities and treatment.
He also thanked donors for generously contributing towards the cancer hospital.
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