Imran Khan’s Key Address to Nation Sheds Light on Future of Pakistan
17:27 16.02.2023 (Updated: 18:08 16.02.2023)
© Photo : Twitter/@PTIOfficialLHRPTI Chairman Imran Khan attends the Oath Ceremony in Gujranwala
© Photo : Twitter/@PTIOfficialLHR
PTI chairman Imran Khan addressed the nation a couple of days ago in which he explained the current economic predicament in the country, who is actually behind putting Pakistan in such a state and what is Khan's solution for the country.
During a televised address former prime minister and leader of PTI, Imran Khan, spoke in Urdu to millions of Pakistanis touching upon many topics including the former general Qamar Bajwa, the deal that Pakistan is making with the IMF and how two 'mafia families' are behind the current chaos that the country is facing at the moment.
Imran Khan started his national address by talking about the differences between a prosperous country and a poor one.
The happy nations have a rule of law and strong judicial system which looks after and protects everyone, but in today's Pakistan there is a “law of the jungle,” Khan said.
Looking back at Islamic history, the former prime minister said that in the early years of Islam, Holy Prophet Muhammad, once said that the nations that do not bring powerful criminals to justice and only catch the weak ultimately get destroyed.
"Today if you witness a prosperous country and a poor one, there is only one difference between the two: prosperous one has a just system, whereas a poor one has a rule of might is right," Khan said.
He went on to suggest how justice systems are in place to give equal rights to both strong and weak, but Pakistan he believes, is ruled by "mafia families" that feel they are above the law.
According to the PTI chair, today all Pakistanis are looking at the country's judiciary. Meanwhile, the status quo, mafia families that have looted the country for the past 30 years are only worried about protecting their looted money.
Khan went on to talk about how General Musharraf had protected the corrupt money of the Sharif and Zardari families by giving them an NRO, something that Khan had never allowed during his tenure.
Just over 12 years ago, the-then Pakistani President and Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf, had enforced the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which granted amnesty to politicians, political workers and bureaucrats who were accused of corruption, money laundering, murders and terrorism etc between January 1, 1986 and October 12, 1999 — the time between two Martial Law stints in Pakistan.
The NRO was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on December 16, 2009, but not before it had benefited 8,041 allegedly corrupt leaders, including 34 politicians and three ambassadors.
Between 2008 and 2013, or the time when the Asif Zardari-led PPP was in corridors of power, the already-politicized NAB (National Accountability Bureau) was ordered to close down the corruption inquiries against almost 60 leaders of the ruling coalition – mostly from the PPP.
Khan explained how billions of dollars worth of properties and cash was taken from Pakistani people and was laundered to Switzerland and the UK by the Sharif family. He further said that no army general is allowed to pardon the corruption cases of politicians by any justice system in the world.
"For three years of my tenure they were after me to give them an NRO, and unfortunately General Bajwa gave it to them. Now they are worried as to how to protect this NRO. The only danger they are facing is from one person - Imran Khan and his party PTI. That is why they are trying so very hard not to allow me to come to power because if I do, then their NRO will be in trouble. In order to protect themselves they are destroying the country," Khan said during his national address.
He went on explaining that the current leaders of Pakistan only care about their wealth and don't give a damn about people because if they did, then in the past 30 years of their rule, things should have improved for the common man but it just got worse.
Talking about democracy and justice Khan said that elections happen in all the countries but that doesn't mean there is justice in those countries because until the judiciary stands united with the people and stops protecting corrupt leaders things cannot get better.
"I am telling my nation to get ready as you will see how these parties will black mail and force the judiciary in the coming months. They cannot allow a just system in Pakistan because then their loot will be confiscated. I want my supporters to stand united with the judiciary system because they will need us, need our support against these leaders, " Khan said.
He further talked about the Election Commission of Pakistan calling it a "shameless institution."
"The election commission makes every decision after getting its orders from Nawaz Sharif. They are trying to break our PTI party, they are coming up with various cases to put me in jail and to disqualify me from the elections. They only want to hold elections when the ground is ready for them, that's why they are running away from announcing the date," Khan said.
In a direct address to Sharif's ruling party Imran Khan said, "No matter how long you delay the elections the result will be the same, but in the meantime the country is getting destroyed. We wanted the elections to happen as fast as possible in order to pull the country out from its current state."
He went on saying that any reasonable economist, expert or political analyst who is looking at Pakistan today can say that the country has never been in such a bad state as it is today and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel until these “corrupt leaders are in power.”
Khan went on saying that the tough times for common Pakistanis are far from over because after the deal with the IMF inflation in the country will further increase.
"The only way out for Pakistan is through the rule of law. Until we bring everyone under the law, until everybody works under the rule of law, we cannot get out of this situation," the former prime minister said.
Talking about former general Bajwa's allegations against him, Khan said that he was surprised to hear Bajwa say that he had to remove Khan to protect Pakistan. Bajwa's statement, according to Khan, confirms what Khan has been saying for months, that the general was behind his removal from power and has finally confessed to it.
Further speaking about Bajwa's allegations, Khan said that the former general talks about economics, politics and foreign policy as if he is an expert in everything, but in reality he is not.
"When one man becomes so powerful like general Bajwa was, he starts to feel like a super king. He was sitting on top of everyone, making all the decisions. He decided to pardon all the corruption cases against the Sharif family, and so the cases were pardoned. Bajwa said that he even controlled the NAB (National Accountability Bureau). This just goes to show what happens when one man becomes so powerful and no one is allowed to keep a check on him," Khan said.
Imran Khan said that he had to make all his policy decisions with approval from general Bajwa when he was the prime minister.
He further added that there were some policies that they worked on together quite well: the way Pakistan handled the Covid pandemic, the Polio eradication systems in rural Pakistan, the Locusts issue, etc.
However, when it came to the corruption of Sharif family, Bajwa did not support Khan and no one could go against Bajwa's decision to protect Shehbaz Sharif and the allegations against him.
"It was an open and shut case against Shehbaz Sharif that they did not let me handle. They had decided that he would be made prime minister. This decision was made much earlier, hence the cases could not be brought to light. What I am trying to say is that where Pakistan is today, it is this person's fault (Bajwa) because he decided to break my government seeing me as a threat," Khan explained.
"Now the nation is bearing the brunt of that decision, all the while there is no accountability. Every leader in the world is answerable, held accountable for his decisions, but this guy (Bajwa) is not accountable to anyone. If his decision was correct he would take all the credit for it, if the decision was wrong he would blame Imran Khan for it," Khan added.
"My question is who is responsible today? Who is responsible for bringing Pakistan's thriving economy to its knees?" the PTI chair said.
He went on explaining how during his tenure the country's economy was thriving, the middle class was becoming stronger inclusively, which meant that not only the rich were getting richer, but poorer people were moving toward prosperity also.
He read IMF reports from February 2022 regarding Pakistan's economy in which it was stated how Pakistan's economy was growing fast and at a sustainable rate. The report mentioned that 60 million Pakistanis were becoming middle class citizens. It was the first time in over seven years that this was seen in the country.
Khan's government had provided universal health cards to poor civilians which were praised internationally, even Lancet journal mentioned it as it improved quality of life for millions of poor people. Because of these cards, small clinics were opening up in rural areas, the private sector was going to villages and opening hospitals as universal health coverage was gaining pace in the country for the first time ever.
However, as soon as Sharif came to power the health cards were annulled because Mariam Nawaz's leaked tape allegedly suggested that these cards can benefit Imran Khan's popularity. Needless to say, Maryam Nawaz and the whole Sharif family only get treated in London or Switzerland if they feel unwell.
"They (Sharif family) do not think or care about poor people. We were pulling poor people out of poverty as the country's wealth was increasing, because of our Ehsas Program, which was aimed at helping poor people, Stanford University mentioned Pakistan saying that we were moving toward a welfare state, employment was increasing," Khan said.
In conclusion, Imran Khan said that Bajwa's allegations against him are totally baseless because just within ten months of Khan's ouster the country's economic and political situation has deteriorated gravely. He spoke about the rising inflation and how it is affecting millions of Pakistanis today.
According to Khan the only solution is to bring the rule of law and political stability with accountability back into the country.
“There needs to be political certainty in the country for happiness to thrive and for that there needs to be fair elections for political predictability,” Khan said.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.