PM Imran admits making 'mistakes' in awarding tickets, ministries
Unveils Rs370 billion uplift package for Gilgit Baltistan
Imran Khan delivers his speech.
Addressing a public gathering in Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Imran Khan said there were people in Pakistan who wanted to join politics only to mint money. “Countries are destroyed when powerful people commit corruption,” he said.
The prime minister said a country where there was no justice could not develop. “Never in its history, has the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) taken on the high and mighty the way it has done under my government,” the prime minister claimed.
He said GB could not be governed from Islamabad. “Running its affairs from the federal capital gives a feeling of a step-motherly attitude,” he opined.
Praising people of the GB, PM Imran said they had a strong community system which enabled them to solve their problems by themselves.
He said those who looted money from here and laundered it overseas did more harm to the country.
He regretted that when PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari the president, they laundered their ill-gotten wealth abroad.
Imran Khan unveiled a development package worth Rs370 billion for Gilgit Baltistan with a special focus on boosting tourism by enhancing road and aerial connectivity, power supply and upgradation of education and health facilities.
“This Rs370 billion package for five years is just a beginning. We will be assisting you more as you require. As per my prediction, if you properly take care of tourism, you will no more need money from Centre rather we will seek funds from you. You cannot imagine as how blessed you are,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister said GB’s real strength was tourism. “And there is a need to work with proper planning for the development of this sector,” he emphasized. “Pakistan’s total exports totaled around $25 billion,” he said.
He informed that health cards were not part of any health insurance programme but were themselves a health system.
PM Imran told the gathering that international flights will soon be landing at Skardu Airport.
Besides that, he said that the government would also consider building an airport at Gilgit Baltistan. “We are improving the condition of hospitals at Skardu and Chilas,” he said and added, “The government will spend Rs370 billion in the northern areas in five years.”
The prime minister said that GB was twice the size of Switzerland, and it had more mountains and beauty than the latter.
He said unfortunately people were not properly introduced to the enchanting beauty of the country’s northern areas. “Switzerland earns $70 to $80 billion from tourism,” he informed.
Imran Khan was accompanied by Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Kashmir Affairs Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, SAPMs Dr Sania Nishtar and Zulfiqar Bukhari.
The prime minister, who earlier unveiled plaques to inaugurate and break ground for multiple projects under the development package, said he had been awaiting such a package for GB.
He also appreciated Asad Umar for designing a mix of projects under PSDP and Public Private Partnership keeping in view the affordability of the federal government.
He said despite financial constraints owing to huge debt burden, the federal government had scraped Rs370 billion package for GB with whom he had an association since his school age.
The uplift package consisted of hydel projects, new roads and Babusar Tunnel, scholarships and skills training for youth, upgradation of health and education facilities, water and sanitation schemes, promotion of SMEs and expansion of airports particularly Skardu Airport to cater international flights.
Even those who went through his pictorial book “Indus Journey” the people in Pakistan and abroad were stunned to see the beauty of Pakistan.