ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday announced a high powered commission to probe the unprecedented borrowing of Rs 24,000 billion in 10 years by Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and vowed to make an example of all those who ruthlessly plundered the country.
In a nationwide televised address, hours after the announcement of the national budget, he said ” Pakistan, today is economically stable and my government is not under stress that the country will go bankrupt … Now, I will go after them … (the leaders of PPP and PML-N) and take them to task for looting the national wealth.”
“I will make them answerable. I will investigate, and I will not spare them even at the cost of my life,” Imran Khan said.
Imran’s address followed the announcement of the national budget in which the government withdrew subsidies on many sectors and taxed almost all the sectors owing to the serious economic crunch, and to offset the impact due to heavy borrowing by the previous governments.
He said he would personally supervise the commission; comprising teams from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) etc to probe how and who borrowed the money, and where it was utilised.
It is pertinent to mention that just hours before the address 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).
Moreover a day before on Monday, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was also arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the fake bank accounts case.
The formation of the high powered Commission to launch an investigation into the 24009 billion “borrowing’ by PPP/PML-N is a non-starter because firstly “borrowing” in and by itself is not a crime otherwise all politicians including the present regime should be held accountable for internal and external debt that has skyrocketed the deficit to 6% of GDP. Therefore, the borrowing is not the problem . It is the embezzlement, corruption and misuse of funds plus the huge illegal loan write-offs by the political elite class for personal gain that is important.
Secondly, the creation of the Commission is a clear admission that NAB has miserably failed in bringing the criminal elements to book.
Hundreds of millions and thousands of man-hours have been wasted in prosecuting the political mafia im several high profile cases such as Panama, Metro, Omni Group and Bahria Town, but the looted national wealth has not been recovered. Just like.”circular debt”- the “circular accountability ” drama continues to no productive end.
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