Corruption, tourism, education, debt and health are just a few points that the newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan had talked about and provided a brief overview of the solutions for these issues in his astounding first address to the nation.
In the beginning of his speech, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan thanked all those who stood by him throughout his 22-year battle to take Pakistan out of the ‘dark’ and breathe new life into the country that has immense potential to become a ‘super power.’
“I never considered politics as my profession; it was always about trying to save Pakistan and mold it into an Islamic welfare state as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam,” the PM said.
The first issue that Imran Khan talked about was national debt. “Our national debt has doubled, it has reached Rs28, 000 billion,” he said, adding that the situation of Pakistan has never been as bad as they are right now.
Elaborating on previous claims of the expenses of the Prime Minister’s house, Imran said, “Leaders living in the PM house in the past have all had 524 workers, 80 cars (30 of them bulletproof), private helicopters and planes.” He further said that this is the living style of the supreme leader of a nation which is under tremendous debt.
“If we do not change our own mindset, this nation is bound to fail. In order to shape this country into the ‘Naya Pakistan’, we need to change our thinking,” the PTI chairman said, adding that the law needs to be kept above everyone regardless of their ‘power’ or designation. “We are heading towards a very disastrous road and to avoid that, we need to change our ways,” the PM warned.
Talking about Pakistan’s health situation, the PM explained that our country is among the only five nations in the world whose mortality rate is extremely high for the children under the age of five. He also said that most of our children also experience stunted growth due to the lack of a good diet. “The number of women, who die during childbirth, is also very high in our country,” he added.
For this, the PM said that he would improve the situation of the government hospitals so that everyone could get good healthcare. “Building a hospital from scratch is easier than improving already built hospitals. But, I will constitute a task-force for this matter and we will provide high-quality healthcare to every Pakistani,” the PM said.
“We need to implement progressive taxation, which would help in providing basic amenities to people with low-income,” Imran said. With the help of progressive taxation, a method of tax collection in which the rich pay tax according to their income, the huge class difference would be reduced and the poor people of Pakistan would have the chance to live a better life.
Coming back on the topic of PM house expenses and the situation of our national debt, PM Imran promised to put up all cars, previously held by the prime ministers, on auction. “All the cars, given to the PM, would be sold in an auction and the money earned from that will be put in the national treasure to make sure we have some cost to tackle our problems,” he said.
Imran Khan also explained on his promise to not live in the PM house and said that the PM house would be transformed into a state-of-the-art research university in which renowned scientists would be called to give lectures and help with research and the running of the university.
He further said that he would be living in the residence of the military secretary and will only keep two cars and two workers with him. “My personal choice was to reside in my own house, but the agencies warned me about the threat to my life and urged me to live in the military secretary’s residence,” he explained, adding that none of the governors will live in the Governor House as well.
“Under the leadership of Dr Ishrat Hussain, a taskforce will be made to reduce costs in the country,” he said, adding that the money saved from the taskforce and the selling of the PM’s cars would be used to uplift the neglected members of our society. “We will get ourselves out of the terrible situation by standing on our own feet, not by taking loans,” he said.
The PM explained that only 800,000 Pakistanis pay taxes. He then enlightened the country with a solution to this problem as well saying that the Federal Board of Revenue would be fixed so that it can root out all those who hide their incomes and wealth to avoid paying taxes. “It is your responsibility to pay taxes, and now I am liable for the taxes that you pay,” he said.
Imran Khan also said that he would make another taskforce to bring back the money which was taken out of Pakistan illegally. “The money stolen from the people of Pakistan would be brought back into this country to strengthen the exchequer,” he said. He also asked the nation not to vote for someone who would put his money in a country besides Pakistan. Imran also urged the overseas Pakistani’s to keep their money in the banks of Pakistan to build up the country’s economy.
“Corruption is deep in the roots of every department of Pakistan and we will make sure that the corrupt are brought down,” he said, while warning the nation that the dishonest people would protest when they would be taken, “so I ask the nation to be ready.” He also said that the SECP would be fixed and he would keep the Interior Ministry under him so that money laundering could be kept under check.
Coming to the topic of the police system, the PTI chairman said that he already has shown capability to transform the system as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police was exceptionally improved by PTI. “We will ask Nasir Durrani to help out with the system in Punjab as he was the catalyst in changing the police in KP,” the PM said. Imran also said the cases of child abuse will be dealt with and severe punishment would be given to the culprits.
On education, the PM said that the state of government schools and madrasas was terrible. “We need to work towards fixing the situation at all our government schools so that the poor can get good education as well,” he said. Imran also said that the middleclass families struggle to give their children good education through the private school, so the government would work towards making the people trust public school.
“There is a dire need to create opportunities for the youth,” Imran said. He also said that interest-free loans would be given the youth of our country in order to start businesses, which will in-turn help the nation as their income would generate taxes and if the business is successful, through their company, the name of our country would shine.
The PTI chairman also said that the farmers of our country would be empowered. He said that the farmers would be given every kind of help so that they do not need to import seeds from abroad, through which, the cost of the agriculture products would be reduced.
“Pakistan has a lot of potential for tourism. I am one of the few people lucky enough to travel all of Pakistan, as well as abroad and I know, Pakistan can become the world’s number 1 tourism site,” he said. He explained that his government would establish four resorts every year and would develop the beaches in Karachi and Gwadar to promote tourism.
In his speech, Imran Khan also discussed about the condition of sports in the country saying, “The grounds that I used to play cricket in are gone!” He also said that he wanted to make grounds for every sports so that our youth could see what their talents are and then that potential would be polished so that “Pakistan excels in every sport.”
“I do not care which party a person belongs to, if he/she will work for the betterment of Pakistan, we will facilitate them,” he said, while adding that it was everyone’s responsibility to improve the situation for the children in the street.
Imran Khan also said the he would work towards the implementation of the National Action Plan as it was something all of the political parties were united upon and it something upon which no compromises would be made. “Terrorism is a huge threat towards the growth of our country and every step would be taken to curb it,” he said. “The terrible situation in South Punjab province, Karachi, Balochistan and FATA would also be addressed,” the PM added.
PM Imran Khan concluded his speech by saying that he would lead by example, living a simple life, saving the public’s money and spending it on the underprivileged. “While I am in power, I will not do any sort of business as the people who do so are the enemy of the state,” he said. Imran further asked the Pakistanis to keep a check on his government.
“I want everyone to know that Allah has given everything to Pakistan and we have to do all we can to protect it from harm,” PM Imran Khan said.