Pakistan PM Imran Khan vows to go after 'thieves' responsible for country's economic woes

Pakistan PM Imran Khan said that all economic problems were due to debt which increased to Rs 300 crore from Rs 60 crore in 10 years.

Published: 12th June 2019 12:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2019 12:54 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan (File Photo | AP)


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to go after the "thieves" who left the country badly in debt and set up a high-powered commission to probe huge debts incurred during the last 10 years, as he defended arrests of several key political figures in corruption cases.

In an unusual midnight speech after the first budget of his cash-strapped government was presented, Khan said that all economic problems were due to debt which increased to Rs 300 crore from Rs 60 crore in 10 years.

ALSO READ: Pakistan PM Imran Khan asks citizens to declare assets by June 30

His speech came on the day when Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shehbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in cases related to money laundering.

On Monday, former president Asif Ali Zardari was also arrested by the NAB in connection with a multi-million dollar money laundering case.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (from the PML-N party) is already in jail having been sentenced in another corruption case in 2018.

Khan announced that after putting to rest the initial focus of the government to stabilise the economy, his attention would be more targeted towards bringing the ones to task who had caused the country to fall into such dire straits.

"Pakistan is stable now. That pressure (to stabilise the economy) has been relieved. Now I will go after them (the corrupt politicians)," declared the prime minister.

"I'm making a high-powered enquiry commission with a one-point agenda: how did they raise the debt to Rs24,000 billion (240 crore) in 10 years?" he added.

He said that the commission shall comprise the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency), IB (Intelligence Bureau), ISI (the Inter-services Intelligence Directorate), FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) and SECP (Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan).

The Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz served in two successive terms since 2008 when Khan claimed debt increased.

Khan said that the commission will include representatives of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

He said that those who were in helms of affairs during last 10 years will not be spared.

"All those in power will be fully investigated by this commission which will prepare a report so that no one dare leave the country in tatters ever again, even if my life goes, I will not leave these thieves alone. I had prayed to God to give me one chance, I will not leave them," Khan added.

 He blamed the two previous governments for all ills including low growth, joblessness and devaluations.

Khan's government has been heavily criticised for the politically-motivated arrests in corruption cases, but he defended them.

Khan said he would not be "blackmailed" with protests.

Talking about the recent arrests of the bigwigs, Khan said: "I am grateful to Allah, the big figures who are now jailed, no one could have imagined (it could be done)."

"People are crying that Sharif and Zardari have been jailed, both of them used to call each other corrupt.

Mian Nawaz Sharif jailed Zardari twice during his two tenures.

The prime minister said that they (Nawaz and Zardari) came to an agreement that each would rule for five years and "not say anything to each other".

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp