PM offers to quit if opposition agrees to return looted money

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered the opposition parties a condition for his resignation saying that he would resign from his post if they agree to return the looted money.
The Prime Minister made this offer on Tuesday during the cabinet meeting while discussing the overall political situation in the country.
“I will resign tomorrow if you deposit the money you looted, back into the national exchequer,” he said. The Prime Minister demanded the top opposition leaders including Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman to return the money looted from the country.
The Premier also dared the opposition parties to make good on their threat to resign from the assemblies, as the 11-party opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has been claiming since it was launched in September.
“Such people do not have the guts to resign,” PM Imran Khan said, adding: “Making such a move requires courage and character.” He also criticised the decision by major Opposition parties to contest the Senate elections. “Neither do they set out on a long march nor are they successful in gathering people [for their cause],” the Prime Minster remarked.
“December 31, and then January 31, came and went,” he said, in reference to the first and then the subsequent deadlines PDM had set for the Premier to resign.
Later, briefing the media about decisions taken in the federal cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said that the government has decided to take stern action against the land grabbers to retrieve the state land.
The information minister said that Railways Minister Azam Khan Sawati has been directed to take serious measures for retrieving Railways’ land from encroachers.
He said the cabinet was briefed on steps taken for Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
It was informed that to facilitate the construction sector, measures have been taken to simplify the NOC procedure.
He said that for low-cost housing, the banks with the coordination of State Bank have been directed to fix a five-percent quota for the housing sector in their loan schemes. For this purpose, the cabinet has passed the foreclosure law.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has formally launched the countrywide coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister thanked the Chinese government for providing the first batch of 500,000 vaccine shots to Pakistan. He said in the first phase, the vaccine will be provided to health workers and then elderly people.
The Prime Minister said the vaccine will be distributed among the provinces on equal basis, assuring the nation that the vaccine distribution across the various provinces is being done in a “just” manner. “No one should think we distributed more vaccines in a given province than in others.”
He once again reminded the people to continue to exercise precautions. “The more you abide by coronavirus safety measures, the easier it will be to protect everyone from the virus,” said the PM. “I congratulate [all those present here] for working at great speed to import a vaccine,” he said.
“I also wish to stress to the nation the importance of coronavirus SOPs (standard operating procedures) and especially, wearing a mask. If God has blessed us compared to the situation in other countries, then we should be thankful and should also take full precautions. If there is one thing that slows down the spread of coronavirus, it is a mask,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that schools have been reopened and so will hospitals soon enough. “Our cases are at a decline right now. The more you follow SOPs, the easier it will be to save our people from coronavirus.”
He said that other countries, owing to the high death rate, have had to go for complete lockdowns. “Our economy is running and it is the service sector that has been curtailed. If you exercise caution, then all remaining sectors will be reopened,” the PM said.
Earlier, under the supervision of the Prime Minister, his adviser on health Dr Faisal Sultan, and National Command and Operations Centre chief Asad Umar, the first vaccine was administered to a healthcare worker in Islamabad.
Earlier in a statement on Tuesday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said that despatch of the vaccine to all federating units has been ensured. It said Sindh and Balochistan were sent the vaccine by air, presumably to reduce time and ensure cold chain storage temperature.
It was earlier reported that Sindh will receive 8,300 doses which will be transported to Karachi via a commercial flight. A ceremony will be held at the Chief Minister House on Wednesday to kick-start the vaccination drive in Sindh, during which 41,500 healthcare workers will be vaccinated. – TLTP

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