PM Imran Khan says shedding energy ‘is not going to make a distinction in my life’

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the nation in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 4, 2021. Geo News/through The News

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s challenges “originate from Senate elections such as these”, Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned Thursday, a day after the ruling PTI suffered a shock defeat by the hands of the Opposition within the Senate elections 2021.

PM Imran Khan mentioned cash had been “influencing the Senate elections” for the previous 30-40 years. “What type of a democracy is this where the country’s leadership is elected through the Senate vote?

The country’s leadership originated from the Parliament, he said, adding that he started campaigning for an open ballot in Senate elections to “finish this menace” and that the ruling party presented a bill in that regard.

“When different events — that beforehand supported open balloting — didn’t help our demand, we approached the Supreme Court,” he added.

“What kind of a democracy is that this the place individuals are spending cash to turn into Senators? When we came upon that 20 members of the PTI had bought their votes for cash, I expelled them from the celebration.

“A video even surfaced in which Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MPAs were seen receiving bribes in exchange for Senate votes. The Supreme Court told the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] that it is the electoral body’s responsibility to hold transparent elections.

‘Pressure on me’ for NRO

“We didn’t make the corruption circumstances in opposition to Yousaf Raza Gilani,” the premier noted, referring to the former premier whom the Opposition had put forward as its candidate in the Senate elections 2021.

“Their solely goal was to place a lot strain on me that I capitulate and provides them an NRO. First, they tried to say the election was rigged, then they tried to strain me throughout the coronavirus [pandemic] and, now, they did the identical when it got here time to go the FATF invoice.”

PM Imran Khan underscored how if the conditions set forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) were not approved, the Pakistani rupee would have depreciated so much that oil, electricity, and other necessities would have become extremely expensive.

“Our imports and transport issues would have turn into dearer if FATF invoice wouldn’t have handed,” he said, adding that the Opposition parties had told the PTI government they would sign the FATF bill if some powers of NAB were clipped.

He claimed that “all of them” said in the beginning that money influenced the Senate elections but “are actually going to the Supreme Court and saying that they need a secret poll”.

“The actual goal was to hold the sword of a vote of confidence over my head and blackmail me,” he stated. “Imran Khan is the one politician who had every part earlier than he got here to energy. I’m the one Pakistani, most likely, who was probably the most well-known one earlier than I got here into politics.

“I was among the very first Pakistani generation who were born in an independent country,” he mentioned, stressing that the nation used to have a correct standing on this planet earlier than.

‘Justice and rule of legislation’ tied to prosperity

The premier reminisced how again within the day, the American president as soon as acquired the Pakistani prime minister throughout a go to to the US. However, “after 1985, our country started going downwards,” he lamented.

Asserting that justice and legislation was the one distinction on this planet why some international locations prospered whereas others didn’t progress regardless of having loads of assets, he mentioned rule of legislation meant that “when the powerful and the poor are treated the same”.

“In Pakistan, there is one law for the powerful as no one catches them while there is another law for the poor. When I spent some days in prison during the Musharraf era, I saw that there were only poor people in jails then.

“When ministers and the prime minister are concerned in theft, it leaves a rustic indebted. Common folks pay the worth for the corruption undertaken by these elites,” he said, adding that the same was true for most poor countries across the world.

Struggled ‘to make the powerful accountable’

PM Imran Khan emphasised that his struggle “was meant to make the highly effective accountable” and that even though Pakistan was not a poor state, “no nation can progress when the corrupt highly effective launder cash”.

He further claimed that the Opposition “created a drama and invested all the cash” for the Islamabad seat during the Senate elections 2021. “Ever since our authorities got here into energy, the corrupt mafia has been petrified of it.

“When a country’s leadership is corrupt, how can you expect a common person to be honest? What message have we sent to the young population of our country with this Senate election?”

ECP ‘gave a chance’ for horse-trading

Speaking of the ECP, he mentioned the federal physique “gave an opportunity for horse-trading to take place in Senate elections” however requested how a society may progress when it “openly accepts these corrupt people”.

“When Yousaf Raza Gilani will become a senator and allow corrupt practices to prevail… what example will we set for the younger generation?Is it Imran Khan’s sole responsibility to root out corruption?

“We are right here, at this degree at this time, as a result of we’ve got all the time accepted theft and corruption. This cash that has been stolen and gone overseas, isn’t my cash. It is your cash. These folks make cash off [government] contracts.”

‘I fear God’

The premier lambasted Pakistan’s “most corrupt” people for getting “VIP therapies”, saying the law alone could not end the corruption in the country.

“I’m going to the Assembly day after tomorrow to hunt a vote of confidence,” he announced, noting that he had told all the lawmakers of their democratic right to vote against him if they “suppose I shouldn’t be eligible to be prime minister”.

Speaking of the expenses apart from his travel and security, he mentioned that he bore them by himself because “I fear God” and that he wished to save Pakistan because there was hunger in the nation.

“If I lose energy, it is not going to make a distinction in my life. I’ll by no means depart you alone until you do not return looted cash,” he added, in a jibe at the PDM.

“As lengthy as I’m alive, I’ll proceed to work for the supremacy of legislation on this nation. I name the individuals who loot cash from Pakistan and take it overseas as traitors of the nation,” he added.

PTI to back Sadiq Sanjrani in Senate

Earlier, Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz had confirmed to Geo News that PM Imran Khan would address the nation Thursday evening.

Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the ruling party’s candidate from Islamabad, had suffered a shocking defeat, losing to Yousaf Raza Gilani, the former prime minister and the candidate fielded by the Opposition’s anti-government coalition under the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) banner.

Faraz had revealed that the PTI had decided to back Sadiq Sanjrani for the post of Senate chairperson again after holding consultations with senior party leaders and allies.