DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan visits a research stall.—Dawn
DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan visits a research stall.—Dawn

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced bifurcation of South Waziristan into two districts to improve administrative affairs in the volatile merged tribal districts.

Addressing a farmers’ convention here on Thursday, the prime minister said all possible measures were being taken to improve the living standards of the people of merged districts who had suffered due to prolonged militancy. He expressed the confidence that his government would win the war against mafias and ensure supremacy of the law and Constitution.

“If we want to become a great nation, which was the concept [behind Pakistan’s creation], we would have to ensure rule of law,” he said, adding that the masses would also have to change their attitude to become a great nation.

“It is shameful that some people who are sitting abroad, living in the properties worth billions of rupees and cannot show even a receipt of how they got that money, are making speeches from there,” he remarked.

Hopes his government will win war against mafias, ensure rule of law

The prime minister said that ‘big mafias’ didn’t want rule of law in Pakistan because they benefited from the corrupt system and just wanted NRO. “Then how this country will move forward,” he wondered.

He said that when he referred to ‘State of Madina’ and its principles it wasn’t meant for any political gains. “I don’t use the name of Islam for personal benefit or for the vote, rather it is part of my faith.”

PM Khan said his government wanted development in the field of agriculture, population control, discouragement of mafia, timely provision of justice, end of the system of oppression, best educational environment, provision of better health facilities and increase in productivity. “Through these things we can make Pakistan a truly prosperous country and a state of Madina.”

He regretted that people did not get justice on time, the system of oppression was dominant here and mafia was present everywhere. “Elimination of all these anti-national elements is among my priorities. We can never progress under a system of betrayal and oppression,” he said.

The prime minister said the world did not respect those who begged. “We have to stand on our own feet to become a dignified and conscious nation. We have to think about making elections transparent and preventing rigging, which is not the case in Europe.”

Mr Khan said that one of the major problems in Pakistan was the growing population, which was 40 million in 1947 but now reached 220 million. “We have to import four million tonnes of wheat to meet our needs. Similarly, we have to import other goods, including pulses and cooking oil, due to which inflation has risen. We are trying to increase our productivity by using modern research and better methods in the field of agriculture,” he added.

The prime minister said Gomal Zam Dam would irrigate another 200,000 acres of land. “We will build more dams, we have a programme to build 10 more dams; our water is wasted, which we can store and use properly through the construction of dams; our current storage capacity is 14 MAF (million acre feet) which we want to double.”

Referring to olive crop cultivation, Mr Khan said: “We can earn huge foreign exchange by cultivating it in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Similarly, we are trying to increase production of palm oil in the country. We are importing 70 per cent palm oil, soybean and pulses that can be produced here.”

He added: “We have a plan to reduce imports and make better use of our resources to increase goods production. We have the example of China, which has harvested crops in deserts. Our dairy farm industry is also huge, but Europe produces four times as much milk as our country.”

KP Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur and PTI leaders and workers attended the convention.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Khan distributed Kissan Cards among farmers.

In the first phase, the cards are being distributed among 200,000 farmers out of 500,000 registered ones in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Kissan Cards facility will be available at all ATMs across the country. The database of farmers will be improved and they will be given subsidies (on machinery, input, etc).

In the second phase, interest-free/low mark-up loans will be provided to farmers and crops will be insured. In addition, they will be provided financial assistance in the event of a natural disaster.

A subsidy of Rs1,048.38 million will be given to farmers during the fiscal year 2021-22 for promotion of agriculture in the province.

Earlier, Prime Minister Khan inaugurated the Gomal Agricultural University building. He also inaugurated PARC Arid Zone Research Stations.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021

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