PM Imran says bringing back looted wealth only way to stabilise economy


LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that bringing back looted wealth stashed abroad is the only way to stabilise economy without taking foreign loans.

The premier, in a press conference, said Rs1200 billion increase in circular debt would be observed if the prices of electricity were not raised.

Taking a jibe at Shehbaz Sharif, PM said, “I decided to hold this press conference after watching Shehbaz Sharif’s failed attempt of becoming Nelson Mandela.”

Shehbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday in the Ashiana Iqbal housing scheme case.

The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, was arrested when he appeared before NAB to record his statement in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company case.

‘Pakistan may go to IMF but will seek other options first’

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan might need to return to the International Monetary Fund to address its mounting balance of payments crisis but would seek funding from friendly countries first.

The premier blamed the country’s economic woes on the previous government and repeated his promise to recover billions of dollars stashed abroad by corrupt politicians.

“We may go to IMF for loan to handle the country´s financial issues,” he told reporters. “But, first we will try to get assistance from other countries as we have requested three countries to deposit money in Pakistan´s State Bank that would help boost national reserves.”

He did not name the countries or provide any details of the requests.

The IMF concluded a consultative visit last week with a warning that Pakistan needed to quickly secure “significant external financing” to stave off a crisis, though it did not suggest who could supply the money.

Finance Minister Asad Umar has said foreign reserves need to be boosted by at least $8 billion.

CM Buzdar symbolises ‘politics of change’

PM Imran said that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar symbolises politics of change and vowed that his nominee will never be involved in financial malpractices.

“I always wanted a CM like Usman Buzdar. He knows the problem of a common man.”

He said that Buzdar will remain the chief minister till the end of the tenure of his government.

“I have been saying from last 22 years that the biggest problem of this country is corruption,” he said.

The premier said that as many as 50 people would be behind bars if the National Accountability Bureau had been under his authority.

“I know how many more names will be disclosed in graft cases,” he said.

‘Opposition parties staging drama under cover of democracy’

PM Imran said that the opposition political parties are staging dramas under the cover of saving democracy.

“If you want to protest, we will give you containers. You can shout as much as you want in the assembly. But the corrupt people should [know] that I won’t spare anyone,” he said.

He said that the government won’t be blackmailed with any move, questioning how could the government victimise anyone over cases registered 10 months back.

“The government will give all required help to the NAB. People should know that there will be no NRO. We will take stern action against corruption,” he added.

PM Imran said that as many as 70 suspicious accounts have been found in investigations related to money laundering.

“We are investigating the source of money for as many as 10,000 properties,” he announced.

The premier said that those who are giving speeches in favour of Shehbaz are scared that they will also be investigated for their financial misdealings.

“The nation should know that I will spare noone. This is my promise I will arrest every corrupt person,” he said.

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