Don’t block development, Nawaz tells opponents

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

January 13, 2017Top Story  Asks them to stop lying daily as even butchers go on two-day holiday; launches Prime Minister’s Health Programme; people can’t be deceived by ‘habitual liars’; those earning less than Rs200 a day to benefit from health card NAROWAL: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday asked his political opponents to stop telling lies on a daily basis and avoid hindering the country’s march towards economic development and stability.”You should desist from lying, as you are doing it on a daily basis without break,” he advised the PTI leader Imran Khan without taking his name after launching the Prime Minister’s Health Programme here.

The scheme would cater to over 160,000 low income people in the district.  Nawaz was in a pleasant mood and threw barbs at Imran, advising him to observe holidays of lying as even butchers go on a two-day holiday across the country slaughtering no animal.

 “They hurl filthy and baseless allegations impacting on the nation. The nation is sick of hearing such lies and this sort of politics is dangerous and destructive for Pakistan.” He said the backbone of terrorists had been broken due to the prudent approach of the government followed in the last three-and-a-half years.

“Power loadshedding has been reduced to a large extent and the country has been put on the path of development. With inflation on the downward trend, the stock market is included in the world’s best performing stock markets. Our economy is expected to grow at around 5.5pc during this fiscal year (2016-17),” he added.

Nawaz said Pakistan’s economic performance was also being recognised by the world.  “People have become much aware of national affairs; they can tell between the truth and lie and cannot be deceived by habitual liars,” he said.

The prime minister said the country was facing numerous challenges such as severe electricity shortages and terrorism when he assumed the office in 2013.  “Street protests due to 16 to 18 hours electricity loadshedding were rampant. The present government has checked this problem to a large extent over the last three years and is working hard to eliminate it completely by next year.

“People do not have enough money to buy medicine. They don’t even have enough money to travel to hospital. I wonder how they are managing,” wonder how they are managing,” he said, adding that the real duty of political workers was to serve the people.

Treatments for cardiovascular diseases — such as bypass surgeries or angioplasty treatments — as well as other complicated and expensive treatments are included in the scheme, he said.” This is just beginning of the health programme, as it will reach other districts as well,” the prime minister said.

Minister for National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar termed it a ‘pro-women’ programme.  “Health is a devolved subject and it is in the care of the provinces, but no prime minister has done more for health than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” she said.

“People are saying we are just electioneering. But please do not place obstacles in our programme because remember, you have to contest in elections too,” Tarar said.  Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, said back in 2013 Pakistan’s economy was struggling.

“Five years later, under the PML-N government, a prestigious news outlet like The Economist has ranked Pakistan as one of the top-five fastest-growing economies in the world,” Iqbal added.

“This scheme is benefiting the poorest of the poor. A labourer, a widow — who could only wish for the same treatment the privileged receive at hospitals — will now have the same access thanks to this programme,” he said.

He suggested that a survey should be conducted to enlist the people living below the poverty line and the government should meet their needs. The initiative was initially launched in Islamabad, but was planned to be expanded to all parts of Punjab, Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in later stages.

The programme targets the most vulnerable segments of the population, especially those who earn as low as Rs200 per day.  Sindh and KP will not benefit from the initiative because their governments have declined to become part of the federal government programme.

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