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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the opposition Friday of “trying to buy” the members of the ruling party to win more seats in the Senate election after failing to “blackmail” the government on the FATF legislation and holding a “failed” public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore.

Addressing a spring tree-plantation campaign at Ghazi Barotha, the prime minister said at one time, all the opposition parties were advocating an open ballot in the Senate election and now they were opposing it.

He said that the reason for this change is that “they want to buy our people to get more seats in the Senate”, after failing to blackmail the government on the FATF legislation and holding a “failed” pubic gathering at Lahore.

“What kind of democracy is this that the politicians are being purchased? There is a “Mandi” (market) and prices are being offered to buy the politicians and this has been going on for the last 30 years.

Not all the politicians but many are sellable,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister also referred to the last senate election, and stated the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) secured two Senate seats from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where it had only six provincial assembly’s members, when 17 MPAs were required to elect one senator.

The prime minister said the corrupt people, who ruled the country during the last 30 years, have not only pilferaged nation’s wealth but also destroyed morality of people by creating an atmosphere in which corruption is not considered a bad thing.

“Now they are living a luxurious life abroad as they were born in the big palaces of London and not in Lahore, and are unable to give a single paper to prove how they earned the money,” he added.

He added that a country is destroyed when its prime minister and ministers indulge in corruption. In this regard, he cited the names of former finance minister Ishaq Dar and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, the prime minister said that Pakistan would be profoundly affected by climate change.

He said he had learnt about the decision that one million trees would be planted under the one billion tree plantation drive on both sides of the Ghazi Barotha hydropower project, and 10 cricket grounds would be created in the area.

The prime minister said that Lahore had been deprived of 70 percent tree in Lahore have been removed during the last 20 years, and consequently, the city was facing pollution that was dangerous for children and the elderly.

He said that Pakistan was among 10 countries most-affected by climate change.

“We have done deforestation on a massive scale in the forests of Changa Manga, Chichawatni, and Kundian during the last 70 years,” he said.

The prime minister, in response to a request by his Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that people of Attock should be provided universal health coverage, stated that by the end of this year the entire Punjab would have universal health coverage.

The prime minister also assured him that a “technology” zone would be established at Kamra adjacent to the first aviation university.

He said it is the government’s policy to provide employment to the local people in development activities.

He said the coming era is of technology and the government is making efforts to benefit from information technology “as this is the easiest way for the youth to get employment”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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