Says PM promised there won’t be drone strikes when he comes to power, but now he will give up anything to stay in govt
Imran inaugurates power projects in Battagram, KP; Says govt should release loan write-offs report as per SC orders and not try to make write-offs part of Panama Papers enquiry
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, while strongly condemning the US drone strike in Balochistan which reportedly killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, has flayed the government’s weak stance over it.
Speaking after inaugurating power projects in district Battagram of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, Imran Khan severely criticised Premier Nawaz Sharif for the drone attack. He said that when he was out of power, the prime minister claimed he would not allow US drone strikes to take place on the country’s soil but now it seems as if he would give up anything to stay in power.
The PTI chief inaugurated three community-run hydel power projects capable of producing 200 MW of electricity. The projects will provide low cost and clean energy to the local people of the area.
Imran Khan has long opposed US drone strikes in Pakistan which previously targeted militants in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region on the grounds that the attacks are counterproductive in Islamabad’s war against extremism and terrorism. The drone attacks have also resulted in the deaths of civilians in the tribal belt near the Afghan border.
The US authorities on Saturday confirmed Mullah Mansour was killed in a precision attack in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s foreign office and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also condemned the attack.
During a meeting with US ambassador David Hale on Wednesday, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif also expressed concern over the attack and said, “Such acts of violation of sovereignty are detrimental to relations between both countries and are counter-productive for ongoing peace process for regional stability.”
On his way back, he discovered a place which could become a hill station near Battagram at 9,000 ft where water is also available. The PTI chief said that he will discuss the project with the KP government.
MAKE LOAN WRITE-OFFS REPORT PUBLIC, IMRAN TELLS GOVT:
Imran Khan urged the government to make the report submitted before the Supreme Court on written-off loans public immediately and take action against those who got their loans written off.
He said the government is trying to include the matter of written-off loans in the Terms of Reference (TORs) arising out of the Panama Papers to unnecessarily confuse and widen the scope of the enquiry. But under the said report, he said, the matter already stands settled.
He said that since the matter of written-off loans has already been decided; therefore, it should not be included in TORs for the Panama Papers commission.
The PTI chairman said that neither the previous nor the present governments have made the report public and have deliberately been sitting on it to save the necks of their favourites named in the report.
Khan said that a three-member commission headed by Justice (r) Syed Jamshed Ali was constituted by the Supreme Court on June 3, 2011 in pursuance of Suo Moto Case No. 26 of 2007 regarding the recovery of written-off loans since 1971.
He said that the commission submitted its report before the Supreme Court in February 2013 and the Supreme Court ordered to make the report public at the same time.
However, despite clear directions by the Supreme Court the report is yet to be published.
“I call upon the government to immediately publish the report submitted before the Supreme Court on written-off loans and take immediate action against those involved in such practices,” he said.