Prime Minister Imran Khan says he will lift the country to greatness.
He was speaking at the launch ceremony of the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The housing scheme, he says, will help generate job opportunities and economic activity in the country.
He narrated a story about his encounter with a soon-to-be retiring government employee who was worried about losing his house. The officer was told that the only two ways he could keep his house was if his son also joined the same department he was in or if he dies while on duty.
“The man jumped off a building the next day so his son could get a house,” said PM Khan. This is when the premier realised how difficult it was for the common man to own a house. He then changed his priorities and decided to work on a housing project.
“A government has to take responsibility of the weaker sections of society. It is not easy. But it’s my vision,” he said, adding that he has had a very clear vision about Pakistan being a welfare state since the beginning. “I was never confused about my vision,” he said.
Addressing the youth, he said we pray but we don’t know what we’re asking for. He talked about following the model of Madina as a welfare state.
“Don’t worry about the fact that we are bankrupt,” he said, emphasising that God’s blessing will get the country through this difficult time. “I only follow the right path, success comes from God,” he said.
“God wants us to have a realisation about the common man,” the premier said, lamenting that the education and health sectors in our country don’t allow the marginalised groups to succeed.
The elite in our country leave the country and it depreciates the rupee and increases inflation, he said. PM Khan said the government’s effort is to bring in the private sector in the housing project for construction.
Around 40% people are living in katchi abadis, he said, adding that they don’t have access to amenities.
In the first phase, 135,000 residential units will be constructed while 25,000 apartments will be constructed for government employees in the federal capital. In the initial phase of the scheme, 110,000 housing units will be constructed in Balochistan for the fishermen of Gwadar, whereas 25,000 units will be built in Islamabad for government employees and 6,000 flats in Azad Kashmir. The government has also allocated $5 billion for construction of houses on micro-credit.
The PM concluded his speech by saying that struggle is never in a straight line. It always has its up and downs. He told people not to live in fear. “Don’t be scared of hardships,” he said.
Housing and Works Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, Finance Minister Asad Umar and various other government officials were also present at the ceremony.