PM Imran announces formation of high-powered commission to probe 10-year corruption

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday promised to constitute a "high-powered commission" to probe corruption of last 10 years in Pakistan.

Khan, during his address with the nation late Tuesday, took the masses into confidence on current political and economic situation of the country.

The prime minister put the blame for economic woes of the country on former governments of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

He explained how the two former governments had been involved in corruption and burdened the country with huge foreign loans.

The prime minister said the two political parties entered into an alliance and kept bringing a chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of their own choice.

"We did not appoint the NAB chairman; Nawaz league and PPP appointed him," he said, adding, "I did not form cases against opposition [members]."

Khan noted the mega money laundering case against Asif Ali Zardari was registered by the PML-N, adding that the opposition wanted an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance).

"Today hue and cry is being raised that Zardari is in jail, and Nawaz league and PPP have come together," he lamented.

Announcing formation of a high-level commission to probe corruption, the prime minister said it would investigate acquisition of foreign loans over the past 10 years.

He said the foreign debt of the country jumped to Rs30,000 billion from Rs6,000 billion in the last 10 years.

"The inquiry commission will have representatives from the IB, FIA, FBR, SECP and ISI," Khan said.

"We will find out through the inquiry commission how foreign debts of the country mounted to Rs24,000 billion."

Speaking of the budget, he said today Tehreek-e-Insaf's government presented its first budget, which would "reflect the ideology of a Naya Pakistan".

"Naya Pakistan will be formed on the principles of the State of Madina," the prime minister reiterated, saying that the principles of the State of Madina were based on equality.

"It was a modern state and the principles of the State of Madina are in practice in western countries," he said.

Khan also responded to his opponents saying that since the time he assumed office of the prime minister, his rivals had been inquiring as to where the state of Madina was.

"These big names who are behind bars today, this is the change," he said. "I shall not spare these thieves, be it at the cost of my life."

The prime minister said he had the nation's confidence in him, promising to streamline the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) together with Shabbar Zaidi.

He also urged the masses to benefit from the amnesty scheme or else their 'benami' (fictitious) assets and bank accounts would be seized after June 30.

"These few months are difficult, but afterwards Pakistan will prosper and there would be investment in the country," Khan assured.

'Panicked, midnight address'

In his reaction to the premier's "panicked, midnight address", PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, "[PM is] fearing he’ll be unable to pass PTIMF budget and his government will fall".

"Coercion will not work. No one with a conscience could vote to increase taxes, inflation and unemployment," he said on Twitter.

"This budget is economic suicide we cannot let it pass," Bilawal added.