Monday, March 25, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said Pakistan will not need to import oil after reserves are found near Karachi's seas.
Speaking to journalists in Islamabad, the premier said, "We are hopeful of finding large reserves of gas and oil in the sea near Karachi. The nation should pray for this and I will soon share good news regarding this."
"God willing the reserves will be so large that we will not need to import any oil," he shared.
Taking a hit at the opposition, the prime minister said, "If the opposition wants to create a hue and cry, we are ready to provide them with containers to protest at D-Chowk. The opposition is joining hands to hide personal theft."
"No blackmailing will work and nor will anyone be given the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)," the premier reiterated.
"I presented a 40-year-old money trail in court," he said while adding that opposition leaders make faces when he enters the Parliament.
"A minute in Parliament costs the country Rs80,000 and all the opposition does on the floor is cry," he stated. "The opposition is not thinking about the nation at all. Other than talking about hiding corruption, opposition leaders do not raise any other issues on the floor of the House."
"In the past, Pakistan Peoples Party laundered billions of dollars through fake bank accounts. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is crying foul because he fears the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)," he added.
The premier continued, "Ayyan Ali and Bilawal's tickets were bought through the same fake bank accounts."
"Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's experienced government left a debt of Rs30,000 billion," he stated.
PM Imran further clarified,"NAB is neither under us nor did we recruit anyone in the accountability watchdog."
"Corruption will be curbed when big people are caught. Cases against those 'parties saving democracy' were not filed during our government. There is a loss of Rs12 billion in the Metro Bus project," he added.
The premier further said that if there are "different laws for the strong and the weak then the society will be weak".
Speaking about former premier Nawaz Sharif's medical treatment, the premier stated, "The government is providing him with all facilities and he can seek treatment wherever he wishes within the country. Despite being in power for 30 years, Nawaz could not build a hospital where he can be treated."
"Nawaz made 30 factories from one factory but could not make a hospital," he added. "There is no such law to send Nawaz abroad for medical treatment," he asserted.
"Should we also send the other 150,000 prisoners abroad for treatment?" he asked.
PM Imran further said, "Our foreign policy is better than in the last 30 years. America, which used to say 'do more', is now praising us."
"We received a message from US President Donald Trump, however, there has been no progress on it," he said.
"The results of our foreign policy are now showing. The US understands that Pakistan has an important role to play in the Afghan peace process," he added.
Speaking about relations with Afghanistan, the premier said, "The Afghan Taliban wanted to meet me but the government in Kabul protested so I did not meet them. The Afghan government wants to meet leaders of the group themselves and improve the situation."
"We want friendly relations with Afghanistan. If there is peace in Afghanistan then there will be peace in Pakistan," he added. "There should be an interim government in Afghanistan," PM Imran said.
Regarding ties with India, the premier said, "The threat from the neigbouring country is present till elections are held there. We are completely alert."
The premier further announced that a collective programme is being launched from March 27 for the elimination of poverty.
Stating that the government wants to reduce the current account deficit, the premier said, "I expect the nation to support me." "China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and UAE are investing in Pakistan," he stated.
On the increase in gas prices, the premier said, "The hike in tariffs is owing to a short fall of gas and liquified natural gas (LNG). We buy 1,400 cubic feet of gas and sell it for Rs650."
"The reason for the energy crisis lies in faulty transmission lines. In previous eras, no work was done on transmission lines," the premier lamented.
PM Imran stated that there will be ups and downs before big changes take place in the country.
"All expenses of Bani Gala are paid for through my own pocket," he shared. "I paid Rs6 million myself to install security fences at Bani Gala," he added.
"I sold a gift to construct the road that leads to my Bani Gala resident," he further said. "I am also constructing the Zaman Park house through my own personal money."
The premier further said that the sports board system is being completely changed and a task force has been formed. "The sports board had become a recruitment centre," he stated.
"We are also bringing changes in the system of the cricket board. We will give preference to regional cricket," PM Imran shared.
The premier stated, "I have full faith in the chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Usman Buzdar and Mehmood Khan, respectively. Give both the chief ministers some time and you will see the results yourself."
The prime minister further said, "NAB doesn’t fall under government control, nor we had provided employment to any persons in NAB."
He said the anti-graft body should initiate action against big fishes.
"In the past, a lot of corruption was witnessed due to NAB's involvement, I think NAB should start action against big fishes, rather than common individuals," Khan said.
The prime minister further said, "I had reduced the PM office expenditures to Rs350 million, I sold personal gifts and constructed Bani Gala Road.
"There were 5 camp offices during PML-N tenure, I didn’t even declare Bani Gala residence a camp office," he added.
The prime minister reposed his complete confidence in Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, saying that the cabinet and provincial governments should be given some time and positive results would come.
He was off the view that the current foreign policy was giving excellent results.
"We have excellent business relations with Saudi Arabia, China, UAE and Turkey and we are working to further cement our ties with other countries as well," he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman Task Force on Energy Nadeem Babar explained that despite gas shortage in the country, the previous government had not granted a single exploration license, which broadened the gap between indigenous and imported gas.
He further said the government was importing gas on higher prices and selling it on almost half of its cost.
"The government will import 1200 MMFCD LNG but on 20 percent lesser rate and will also award 30 blocks for oil and gas exploration," Babar added.