Prime Minister Imran Khan Press Conference Lahore (07.10.18)
Usman Buzdar is the face of change. He knows how people live in the backwards area of Punjab. How children are dying. He keeps empathy for the common man who is deprived. He is also an honest man. I know that Usman Buzdar will not be involved in corruption. Punjab has the biggest budget. 8000 billion was the budget of Punjab in the past; but just in Lahore the amounts spent were more than that of KPK’s entire budget. Usman Buzdar is accessible. He meets his MP’s unlike those of the past. A lady reached out to me and said that Usman Buzdar solved her problem and injustices to her immediately when she approached him. You will see with due time that he will become the most successful CM of Punjab. We have just made a supplementary budget right now. Our policies are still to come.
100 days are used to analyse and look through the problems and u will start seeing policies take effect. I feel it is important for me to speak to the nation and tell them exactly what has been done to the country with the work of the “experienced” politicians. Pakistan’s 60 year history had loans worth 6000 billion. Just in the past five years, our loans went up to 5000 billion. From 2013-2018 our debt went to 28000 billion. We are changing the entire direction and course of the country and u will see when we present at the end of this 100 day period. 28000 billion is where our total debt stands today. Our foreign loans went from 60 billion dollars to 65 billion dollars. Our current account deficit in 2013 was 2 billion dollars, and in 2018 it stands at 16 billion dollars.
So all this talk of Experience, and Punjab speed.... this was all fooling the nation. Just using it as an analogy of your own home; if u are taking loans to make expenses meet... you are in a bad state. And things have never been so bad before. In the power sector; coming in they took 480 billion. And today the power sectors debt is 1200 billion rupees. Gas; which we were never in losses in till 2013, is at over 170 billion in debt. Pakistan steel mill 10 years ago had billions worth of surplus. That steel mill went into losses by 2013.
And in N league time it shut down; and today the debt is 187 billion. Railways have a debt of 37 billion. PIA has debts of 360 billion. I am presenting all of this today; because yes there are problems but this country has so much potential that we will rise out of it. You go to Balochistan and the assessed value of their minerals is 460 billion dollars. Hydropower in KP. Investors are ready to come in if we fix governance. But this; where they have left us today... Pakistan will go through a tough time. This electricity debt of 1200 billion, prices will have to be raised otherwise the debts will go higher. Same with gas. InshAllah when our changes start taking place, till then we have to keep these institutions running and play our sacrifices. The way Shahbaz Sharif has become Mandela like; this is why I’m doing this press conference to put the truth in front of you. Every child of Pakistan is under debt today too. Our biggest issue is corruption. Why did no one ever think that we have to fix these institutions; not pile up loans. How were we to pay back these loans? You’re taking loans for projects like Orange train and Metros and these are already making losses going into billions. So how will we be returning these loans? Did they not understand who was going to pay the price of these loans?
Just in Pakistan right now, 70,000 people pay tax on income over 200,000 out of 22 crore people. So who will pay the tax? The awaam through inflation. Then they stand in assembly and say oh basics have become expenses. How else are we to return these loans? If we don’t want inflation, and want to pay back loans... we have to bring back the money they have stolen back to Pakistan. We are fixing the FBR and widening the tax net. We have issued notices to people. We have also caught 10,000 properties overseas and investigating into them. Some will be legitimate and done through proper channels. But someone has to explain why properly worth 9 billion dollars of Pakistanis is lying in Dubai. Why did no one think that it could be money laundering, and it must be investigated into. We have sent notices to 300 people. Some of them have big flats in Dubai; in the name of domestic staff of some big wigs. You know a Faluda seller, some chaabri wala, some students have had crores discovered in their accounts that they had no idea of.
We have also set up a unit in the PM secretariat and the only work of that unit will be asset recovery. It will have FIA, State Bank, FBR people. We have signed MOU’s with the UK already. We are working towards one with Switzerland and also Dubai. No one has ever attempted this before. We are working back towards increasing our exports. Power generation and transmission lines and also investment instruments. Our immediate solution is to bring in the stolen money back to Pakistan. But our own Mr.Mandela; is he above the law if he is called in for questioning? Is this victimisation? These cases have been ongoing for months. This was the case when the NAB chief said before elections that we won’t call Shahbaz Sharif in for any questioning before elections. I was very disappointed in the NAB chief.
It’s like ball tampering being caught, but the cricket board saying let the series finish and then we will take action. And then N league says this is being done to effect elections. If NAB was under Imran Khan; some 50 plus of these people would have been in jail by now. They should be thankful NAB is not under me. But with the FIA and interior ministry under me; even I had no idea how much corruption was being done. Some of the people who were standing in solidarity with shahbaz sharif, they are actually worried that their turn is about to come.
They should have no doubt if they have done corruption; their turn will come. If they want to do a dharna, I will provide the container. If they want to make noise in the assembly, let them do it. I will not leave one of them who have destroyed the future of our children and stolen their rights. Half our children do not get proper nutrition. Hepatitis C is an epidemic and we have the highest female mortality rates in child birth. 4 people share a bed in hospitals. The awaam should be confident that we won’t leave a single one of them. In Malaysia yesterday they arrested the ex prime minister’s wife for money laundering. S.Korea President was jailed. China jailed over 300k ministers. Their democracies never came in danger. Democracy is in danger when there is no accountability.
I didn’t get people together in front of the Supreme Court; I was ready to answer and satisfy the courts. But here; you take them to court and they Ask the courts that oh the judiciary is not asking our questions. Since the time I picked up panama case; they did 33 cases on me on terrorism charges. They did a case on me for 1 year in the Supreme Court. I presented papers and documents from 40 years ago. Do what you want. It will be visible to the country what you are doing. From the self proclaimed liberal parties to the right wing, all come together when it comes to safeguarding their corruption. These people blackmail the country. This union of corruption. Zardari and Sharif; I’ve told you it’s always been an act of differences. Now they are fighting the election together.
We are going to be coming up with whistle blower acts and witness protection acts. We will give 20 percent of money, by law, of whatever is recovered from anyone whose corruption you expose. The only way to return loans without inflation is to bring the looted money in. I’m telling NAB again; u need to speed up... you are too slow. We will give you full support. Including legal. Imagine if a 2 billion can go into the account of a Faluda seller; imagine the amount of corruption. They steal people’s identity cards, and open accounts in their name. And they take that money, convert it into dollars and take it overseas We have spoken to the home minister of Britain, we’ve already initiated a case along with them. We are following things with the FIA. U will be shocked to discover how much money there is to be recovered. Why did no one ever attempt to recover this before?
Our anti encroachment drive; we’ve recovered over 4000 kanals of encroached land worth over 300 billion. In Punjab we have recovered 2000 acres of land. One politician out of that was sitting on 24 acres of land. It’s no surprises why they were all busy defending each other. We will give full protection to anyone who exposes corruption; and 20 percent from legal means will be given to them out of any recovered account. The local body system we want to bring in; we have done an analysis of the entire country’s local body Systems and have tweaked the change accordingly so power goes down to village and tehsil level. This will be the system that will empower people from the grassroots level up. What has happened till date; our government has nothing to do with it.
The question now is how do we get out of this? We are assessing the situation and seeing what our options are. We are speaking to 2-3 countries, if they are willing to keep funds in our reserves. That will help our solution. When we start today, the recoveries, bringing money back in.... the results we will see in 6 months to a year. We just need to get through this difficult period and this is when we are asking for some help. Once we are out of this we will never have to ask for outside loans and help again. Till PTI is in government; usman buzdar is your CM Punjab. What kind of people do we have? An honest man who comes from a backward area, whose simplicity and honesty makes him empathetic. We're mocking him because we are used to kings who roll in 50 car protocols. Just the entertainment of the previous CM was 35 crores. These people who have looted the country, how were they living on the Awaams money. Every months 55 Lakhs expenditure of CM house has come down to 8 Lakhs.
I feel so strange when people think of these are unnecessary measures. U talk of change and then you bash change? NAB has called all PTI people in too. We are ready to give answers, but these other politicians keep screaming and shouting. You can only subsidise utilities when you have a surplus. When you in losses, you first need to recover. We are restructuring the entire economy but the effect of measures started today will show in 6 months to a year. Hence again I reiterate that the immediate solution first and foremost as we stabilise things is to recover money from their corruption. We have been left behind in education, in the ratio of doctors to nurses in hospitals. In all social indicators we have been left behind. I have been saying for 22 years that corruption eats away at your country like a cancer.
Corruption means money spent on the awaam is taken out of the country. And it means institutional destruction. This is double collateral damage to the country. No current institution is working properly in Pakistan. We now have to work towards fixing them. 1.5 months we have met departments, made task forces to fix institutions and to increase our revenues. Here 90 percent takes are taken from the awaam via inflation. We are increasing the tax net by now questioning people. When you tax the rich and the influential, the awaam will be given relief from indirect taxation. The awaam will see the changes themselves in 6 months.
The 100 days we will present to the nation; what we said and what we have done so far. This same 100 day plan will be implemented in KP and also in Punjab. And going from there on performance we will see how our cabinets are working, which ministers are working and who is not. I want to reiterate that I have promised people for 22 years, that if given the opportunity I will bring the most corrupt dacoits to justice. FIA and IB are under me. What I have seen so far; some of the faces who are screaming for Shahbaz Sharif are afraid for themselves. I will not leave one of them for their corruption; I have promised this to the people of Pakistan. Those who have brought the country to over 30,000 billion in debts, and then look innocent on tv. The real CM; the real Khadim e Aala is Usman Buzdar sitting next to me who lives simply and who feels for his people. They keep taking foreign trips, on the nation’s expense. And then some keep asking why isn’t Imran Khan travelling outside? Why should I go when I should be working for the people? When I need to go for the sake of our country, we will go.