Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address to the nation late on Tuesday night hit out at opposition parties in line with the government’s ongoing accountability drive, saying that he would form a high-powered commission to probe the wealth stolen from Pakistan.
The premier’s address comes hours after his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government presented its first Federal Budget 2019-20 in the National Assembly.
Earlier in the day, two major political leaders also got arrested – Hamza Shehbaz, leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly; and Altaf Hussain, founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
On Monday, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was also arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the fake bank accounts case.
The premier said that the commission would comprise officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Speaking about the austere budget rolled out by the government, he said: “It is testament to the’ Naya Pakistan’ the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government wants to create.”
Premier Imran said that there is no quick fix to the country’s problems, adding that, “You can already see how Pakistan is changing under our government.”
He added: “I want to create a Pakistan which is in line with the the first Muslim society created by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Medina.”
The supremacy of law and meritocracy, he said, were the key cogs in the first Muslim society.
The prime minister said the previous Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) governments had plundered the country.
He also said that the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was done under former president Pervez Musharraf’s leadership to cover the tracks of the opposition’s corruption and money laundering.
The prime minister lauded the Pakistan Army for refusing an increase in the salaries of senior officers even as the country faces the threat of terrorism and only opting for a pay raise for junior ranks.
The address follows the arrests of high-profile leaders of the the opposition, as well as, the first budget financial budget under the incumbent government.
The address was first slated to air at 9:15pm but was then delayed to 10:30, after which it was once again delayed till 11:45pm.