PM says country will head towards disaster if we don’t change our direction

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ISLAMABAD:(Parliament Times) Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing the nation for the first time as Pakistan’s chief executive.  There needs to be progressive taxation which helps in providing basic amenities to people of low-income levels.  The address began following the recitation from Holy Quran and the playing of the national anthem. PM Khan first thanked those who stood by him in his political struggle, saying: “I want to thank all my supporters who have been with me on this journey for the last 22 years. I did not want to pursue politics as a career, but as a means to make this country what it should have been. “I salute all those workers who have stood by me in the most difficult of times. Who bore ridicule to support me … I could not have been here without you.” The prime minister identified Pakistan’s economic challenges and how he would fix them. “Never in Pakistan’s history have we faced such difficult economic circumstances,” he said. “Our debt burden is Rs28 trillion. We haven’t been as indebted in our entire history as we have been in the last ten years. “We will bring this money back. That is, God willing, what we are here to do.” “The interest that we have to pay on our debt has reached a level that we have to take on more debt just to repay our obligations. “Our external debt obligations have reached a level that we have to contemplate how we are going to grapple with them. “On one hand we are so indebted, and on the other hand our human development index ranking is in the doldrums.” Next, PM Khan outlined the deficiencies in the healthcare sector, saying: “We are unfortunately among the five countries where infant mortality due to unclean water resources is highest. “We have the highest rates of mortality for pregnant women. We are unfortunately one of the countries that suffer from the highest incidences of stunting in children. I have been saying this for ages and nobody took me seriously. We are talking about 45 per cent of this nation’s children. “They are not getting proper nutrition. They are not developing properly. They are automatically left behind. What must their parents go through seeing their children in such a state?” “We have two paths ahead of us: one is the path we have taken so far indebtedness, poverty, no funds to help our most vulnerable. The other path is what I wish to speak out about today.” Khan pointed to the difference between the growing lifestyles of the rich and the poor, and hinted that he would adopt an austere style of governance. “I want to speak about how the rich and powerful live in this country,” he said. “The prime minister has 524 servants and 80 cars. The prime minister, which is me, also has 33 bulletproof cars. We have helicopters and aeroplanes to fly us. We have massive governor houses and every conceivable luxury. “On one hand we don’t have money to spend on our people; on the other hand, we have a section of our people living like our colonial masters used to live. “Look at how we live. Look at how much money is spent by prime ministers on foreign tours? Where do these people spend Rs650 million? Where does the speaker spend the Rs160m budget alloted to him? Are they going abroad to conquer land?” “God says that I do not change the destiny of those who do not wish to change themselves. We need to pay heed.” “We need to be compassionate towards our compatriots: to those who cannot afford to eat twice a day. We need to ask what will happen to the 25 million children out of school. We need to ask what happens to our population. We need to ask how we are to grapple with climate change. “This is the time that we decide to change our destiny.” The party’s nominee for information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, tweeted around 8.20pm to state that the 8.00pm scheduled broadcast had been postponed.

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