–PM Imran directs ministers to go to their offices daily and remain there till evening, says he will keep a check on them
–Says PTI was re-elected to power in KP ‘only on basis of performance’ while PML-N dished out billions in development funds to influence 2018 polls
–Praises Punjab CM Buzdar for taking stand against big mafias, calls KP CM Khan ‘a simple and honest man’
PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday warned his ministers of removal from their respective posts if he found their performance unsatisfactory.
Speaking at a ceremony held in connection with the completion of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s 100 days in office, the prime minister said he wouldn’t hesitate to send ministers packing if they were taking their responsibilities for granted.
He reminded the ministers and officials seated in the audience that all of them needed to go to their offices daily and remain there till the evening, adding that he will know whether or not they are going to their offices.
“And then none of you should say ‘my ministry was taken away from me’ [if you are replaced for not going to work],” PM Imran cautioned.
In a lighter vein, the premier said previous governments always used to be afraid that if a minister is removed, he or she will form a forward bloc and “the government will be toppled”. “We don’t even face that issue now,” he added, amidst laughter from the audience.
“Keep in mind, I am receiving messages from a lot of MPAs who all want to become ministers, so if you don’t work [be ready to be replaced],” he said tongue in cheek while addressing the ministers.
The PM reminded the ministers and lawmakers that the sole target of their 100-day plan should be to create policies for the uplift of the poor.
He also encouraged the ministers to remind the bureaucrats working in respective departments that they needed to ensure ease of doing businesses to generate investment in the country. However, he warned the bureaucrats, saying the government won’t just take strict action against them, it will sack them instead.
“It was only on the basis of performance that people elected the PTI to power with a fantastic mandate,” the PM said as he thanked the KP people for re-electing his party.
“Unlike the PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] didn’t employ any traditional, political tactics to win the polls”, he said, claiming that the PML-N government in Punjab had spent billions in development funds in order to influence the 2018 elections.
During his address, the prime minister also defended KP and Punjab chief ministers, saying he has a “complete confidence that these two will not be pressurised”.
“Chief Minister Mehmood Khan is an honest and simple man, which is important than being smart, and I completely trust his honesty,” the PM said.
In allusion to an uproar following the nomination of Usman Buzdar as the CM, the premier claimed people of Punjab were used to king-like chief ministers [Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif] for the past 30 years.
While, Usman Buzdar, on the other hand, was a “simple man” who didn’t use a heavy protocol or spend lavishly, he added. “Buzdar is a courageous man who stood up in the face of big mafias,” Imran said.
He said it was for the first time in Pakistan’s history that a government (of PTI) was making efforts to create a uniform education system in the country which he said would be crucial in bridging the rich-poor divide.
He also announced that the Balahisar Fort in the city would be turned into a centre for tourism in order to generate revenue.
Khan said the government was collecting funds for the Mohmand dam, which when constructed will “solve Peshawar’s water problem forever”.
Earlier in the day, Imran inaugurated the shelter for the poor, which would provide accommodation for 200 people, including transport, health care and meals facilities.
Referring to shelter house built in Peshawar, the PM lauded CM Mehmood for naming the shelter “guest house” and said he would make more such shelter homes.
The PM will inaugurate three more shelter homes that have been built by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government as part of its 100-day plan. The homes will have the capacity to accommodate more than 400 people.