Islamabad, July 26 (newsin.asia): Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party which swept the Pakistan National Assembly elections on Thursday, held out an olive branch to arch rival India saying that he would pitch for greater trade ties with it to bring the peoples of the two countries together and resolve outstanding issues.
In his first television address to the nation after winning the hard fought elections, Imran said that trade promotes people to people relations and misconceptions about each other get dispelled.
Referring to Kashmir, he said that it remains the “core issue” between Pakistan and India. He appealed to India to end the agony of the civilians in Kashmir by entering into a dialogue with Pakistan to settle the issue peacefully.
“If India takes one step forward in this regard, Pakistan will take two,” Imran assured.
He advised India against using the army in quelling urban disturbances as this will certainly lead to human rights violations.
Imran regretted that the Indian media had portrayed him flippantly as a Bollywood personality, whose coming to power will not augur well for India at all.
On China, he said that his government would send a team to that country to find out how that country had lifted 700 million people out of poverty in 30 years. He pointed out that 45% of Pakistanis are still below the poverty line. Stunting, malnutrition and the maternal mortality rate still remain major health problems in Pakistan.
Imran thanked China for building the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and hoped that China would bring in more investments to increase wealth and generate jobs in Pakistan.
US and Afghanistan
On relations with Afghanistan and the US, Imran said that Pakistan would work for peace in Afghanistan with the help of the US.
With the US, he will seek a “balanced relationship” in which both countries gain and which is not one sided as it has been so far.
As regard his plan for the people of Pakistan, Imran said that he would concentrate on improving the quality of life of all Pakistanis especially the poor, the workers, farmers and the minorities. He would encourage investments to generate wealth ane employment.
“The poor struggle hard but get little in return. We will see to it that they are enabled to make money and feed their children. As for the minorities, they have issues with some laws,” Imran said apparently referring to the draconian Blasphemy Law. But he slurred over the sensitive subject.
Imran said that his government will lay emphasis on accountability. He himself would set the example. He would not live a luxurious life in the palatial Prime Minister’s house but move into a modest ministerial accommodation along with his cabinet colleagues.
Governors’ houses in the provinces will be turned into public institutions or hotels to make money which would be ploughed into people oriented development schemes.
He assured that he would not let elected leaders to live off the peoples’ taxes.
On the theme of corruption Imran said that he would restructure the country’s’ institutions and improve the work ethic to ensure that there is no room for deviance and corruption. The root of corruption lies in the dysfunction of institutions he pointed out.
Imran said that the people should trust him as, so far in his life, he has kept all his promises.
“I promised to build a cancer hospital for the poor (to which you all contributed). I built two of them, I have also set up a rural university,” Imran said.
The PTI leader that he is drawing inspiration from the administration set up by Prophet Mohammad under which each and everything was done with the welfare of the poorest of the poor and the most down trodden in mind.