FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the ‘dacoit leaders’ of the Opposition parties, who had looted the national exchequer during their tenures, had ganged up in a fear of getting sentenced on their cases of corruption.
“The opposition leaders, who had earlier boasted to ‘tear up each other’s bellies to recover looted money’ have now joined hands before any verdict is announced on their pending corruption cases,” he said, in his address here at the launch of National Health Card Programme in Faisalabad Division.
Imran Khan said his undeterred stance against corruption had put the Opposition in a haste to save the corrupt mafia.
He mentioned that former President Asif Ali Zardari had emerged in the scene with a ‘cheque book to buy loyalties of other parties’. “This is a loud and clear message to all corrupt leaders that I will continue to fight against them,” he said, adding that the country could not prosper until the weak and powerful was equally treated before law.
Imran Khan assailed the two major opposition parties — the PML-N and the PPP — saying their leaders desperately wanted him out of power to avoid jails for their alleged corruption cases.
“They are scared of Imran Khan that their corruption will be exposed. They are taking adjournments and a judge is extending dates for case hearings. But one day, the cases have to be heard and these corrupt people will have to go behind the bars,” PM Imran said while addressing a ceremony for health card launch in Faisalabad.
He also accused former president Asif Ali Zardari of “bribing people to buy their loyalties”, saying “this is all happening through stolen money.”
In an apparent reference to former premier Nawaz Sharif, Imran said a convict had left Pakistan citing a serious heart ailment and “now he is climbing staircases and visiting factories in London.”
He said he was astonished to note some lawyers in the country were calling for giving the convict “another chance to let him plunder national wealth one more time”.
He said he had joined the politics 25 years ago to wage a war against corrupt people and vowed to ensure rule of law in the country. He quoted the saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) who had said that many earlier nations were destroyed where there was one law for the powerful and another for the weak.
The prime minister said the foundation of prosperity and development of a nation was closely linked with rule of law.
Imran Khan said previous rulers of the country used to visit abroad “even for the treatment of their cough”, but showed apathy towards improvement of health system for the people.
Referring to the criticism of Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on the government’s national health card scheme, he said his party in its tenure remained incapable of bringing development in Sindh.
“He [Bilawal] now says that they will spend on hospitals rather than the health cards. But, who stopped them during their over 13 year rule to take such steps for the facilitation of common man,” he questioned.
He said such corrupt leaders looted money from national exchequer and transferred into the accounts of other persons to hide their crime.
He said the national health card programme was in line with the vision of Islam’s first socio-welfare State of Medina that cared for the common man.
He said the programme was launched to accommodate the people in view of the expensive medical treatment that put an immense burden on them.
He said the population ratio of doctors and nurses in Pakistan was very less compared with the rest of the world.
The prime minister lauded Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, health minister Dr Yasmin and their team on the launch of the health insurance scheme.
He said besides providing health facilities to women, the government would also ensure their right of inheritance.
About his recent visit to China, he said progress on industrialization was in top focus under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and expressed confidence that it would boost trade activity in the country.
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar said around 1.5 million people of Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Chiniot would benefit from the programme. He said after its launch in Faisalabad Division, about 73 percent households of Punjab would be able to avail the facility.
State Minister for Information Farrukh Habib said the government’s national health card was a revolutionary programme providing free medical treatment facilities up to Rs. 1 million per family annually at selected public and private hospitals.
Apart from Punjab, the national health card programme have so far been launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Tharparkar district, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.