ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan presented a set of eight demands to the PML-N government on Sunday, which included adoption of strict austerity measures by the government and setting up and example from top to bottom.
Addressing a news conference, Imran Khan said the Sharif family is running the country and the recently unveiled budget is the “biggest scam” in the country’s history. A staunch critic of the PML-N, he has condemned power concentration into the hands of Sharif family. He said Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab chief minister, is working as the de facto prime minister of Pakistan, while the prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif has been appointed as head of a Rs 100 billion scheme. He also claimed that Shahbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shahbaz is ruling in Punjab.
Imran Khan regretted that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif takes his brother along on his foreign tours, but has never invited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. He said that the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has a lot of potential to generate low-cost power, but the federal government is encouraging investors to invest in coal-fired projects in Punjab. Imran slammed the government’s policies and failure to resolve the power outages issue. He denounced “lavish spending” on Nawaz’s foreign tours and daily expenses of the Prime Minister’s House, which he put at over Rs 3.1 million.
The demands put forward by the PTI chief are as follows: General sales tax should be gradually reduced from 17 to 10 percent in next four years. NADRA has details of 3.3 million taxable people in country and the government should take serious measures to bring these people into tax net. Pension should be fixed at minimum wages to benefit pensioners. Strict action should be taken to reduce gas pilferage, and recent rise in gas prices should be withdrawn to relieve masses. Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar had announced to bring $200 billion of Pakistan’s corrupt elite deposited in Swiss banks, and the government should fulfil its promise and bring that money back within three years. Small provinces should be given their due share in PSDP to carry out development projects. Independent statistic bureaus should be hired for audit of growth rate so the nation should come to know the actual figures.
Imran said the PTI will not “keep mum” until electoral “reforms” are introduced to ensure free, fair and transparent polls in the country. He said his party will also not compromise on alleged rigging in the last general elections, which he teemed a “fixed match”. He claimed that the parliamentarians elected through rigging have no concern with the masses, as they were not elected but “picked” while snatching the public mandate.
Imran Khan said the “disproportion” of public development funds would doubly aggravate the situation and will instigate a sense of deprivation among the people who have already raised questions about the disparity and inequality among the provinces. He feared that this practice would definitely dent the federation and may lead to a sense of resentment in other provinces.
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