LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised that health cards, interest-free loans, Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, and the Ehsaas Ration Programme will stir up a silent revolution in Pakistan.
At a speech in Lahore during the launch of the Naya Pakistan Sehat Cards for Punjab, the premier said that God has promised to uplift nations that follow the path laid out by the Prophet (PBUH). “All these programmes and initiatives are our [PTI government’s] efforts to take the nation towards that path.”
If you look back at the government in Madina, you will see that it always focused on bottoms-up development, he pointed out. “Unfortunately, in all these years, only the elites have benefitted in the country.”
The prime minister regretted that despite being formed in the name of religion, Pakistan has drifted apart from the teachings of the Holy Quran. “This will be a betrayal to the Muslims of the Subcontinent.”
He highlighted that today, in the truest sense, it’s the Scandinavian countries that are following the model of Madina. “Go and ask people living there. They will tell you what a welfare state is. It’s the one that has feelings and compassion for the poor segments of the society.”
The PM lamented that despite having a myriad of resources, Pakistan lags behind, only because it lacks the values that Islam preaches. “We fast the most, offer the most prayers, organise huge tablighi jamats but fail to follow the path of God.”
The prime minister said that the introduction of health cards in Punjab is the biggest step Pakistan has taken towards becoming a welfare state.
“Nearly 30 million families will be given Rs400 billion for health insurance. It will not just benefit the people but also improve the health structure of the country,” he said. “They will help spread a network of hospitals across the country, even in the most remote areas.”
The premier said that for the first time in the country’s history, banks have approved house loans for over 110 billion people. “Around Rs34 billion loans have already been disbursed.”
Meanwhile, nearly two million families have been provided interest-free loans worth Rs2.7 million.
Under the Ehsaas Ration Programme, 54% of families across Pakistan have been given subsidies on flours, ghee, and lentils.
“By March Punjab will get their health cards. The next in line now are Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and AJK,” Prime Minister Imran Khan added.