PM stays defiant, says no NRO for opposition

Published October 17, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a ceremony at National University of Science and Technology. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a ceremony at National University of Science and Technology. — DawnNewsTV
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan being briefed during his visit to the N-ovative Health Technologies Facility at NUST on Friday.—PPI
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan being briefed during his visit to the N-ovative Health Technologies Facility at NUST on Friday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: In an obvious reference to the first show of power by the opposition’s newly forged alliance in Gujranwala, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday again ruled out the possibility of giving the former any concession even though in that case he would be able to comfortably complete his term in office.

“It is easy for me to give them [opposition leaders] NRO to rule quietly in the rest of my tenure, but I will not give them any such concession,” the prime minister said while addressing a ground-breaking initiative in Pakistan’s medical device industry.

The facility — ‘N-ovative Health Technologies’ — at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has started mass production of cardiac stents and angioplasty balloon catheters for general public at affordable prices.

Inaugurates facility for mass production of cardiac stents, angioplasty balloon catheters for public at affordable prices

The prime minister said the path of progress was not easy one as one had to make difficult decisions to meet this goal. “All dacoits are uniting and it is easy for me to pick an easy way by giving them NRO so that I can deliver speeches freely in parliament without any hindrance of the opposition. But I will not choose this path,” he added.

Mr Khan said the entire government system had “fractured” and he was trying to change the mindset of government departments. “Making profits is considered a crime in the country. However, the country cannot progress without wealth creation,” he added.

He said there was no coordination among government departments as the vision of the nation had blurred. “We have no clarity as a result the country could not go ahead.”

Prime Minister Khan said that with a large number of heart patients in the country, the achievement of NUST was significant in provision of medical treatment with an exponential price difference, besides facilitating the financially weaker sections of society. He expressed satisfaction that NUST is setting the precedent of an academia-industry link-up which, he said, was extremely important in exploring the benefits of knowledge and innovation in true spirit.

He said that excelling in the field of science and technology could be no difficult for a country which developed its nuclear capabilities; however, the “fracture mindset” was the main reason behind such lagging. “We, as nation, need to set ahead clear goals with all institutions and government departments working in unison for their achievement,” he said.

The prime minister said increasing exports and wealth creation were the vital targets in order to avoid approaching the International Monetary Fund and referred to the examples of China and Turkey that focused on exports for economic stability. The government, he said, was encouraging local and foreign investments to stimulate a business boom in Pakistan.

Mr Khan termed overseas Pakistanis the country’s “biggest asset” and emphasised the importance of creating an enabling environment to benefit from their investment and expertise. He said the government’s top priority was to create a knowledge economy to tap the full potential of the world’s second youngest population.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan had achieved yet another success in the field of medical equipment in production of best quality, safe and cost-effective cardiovascular devices. Terming it a trend-setting initiative in a country like Pakistan, he expressed the hope that other industrial groups would also follow the same trail and help revolutionise the medical device industry.

A cardiac stent is used to treat narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. It can also be used to improve blood flow immediately following a heart attack. Pakistan’s first coronary stent system has features, including low recoil, superior cobalt chromium alloy, optimum crossing profile and crush resistance, and excellent bio-compatibility.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2020

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