PM Imran seeks overseas Pakistanis’ help in overcoming water crisis

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday termed water crisis to be the biggest issue of the country and sought assistance from overseas Pakistanis to help overcome it.

In a televised address to the nation, the prime minister said he has been taking presentations since the last two week on the issues faced by the country.

“The largest problem is the water issue in the country,” he maintained.

Khan said that it was crucial for Pakistan to build dams as failure to do so could be detrimental to its future generations.

Image provides bank account number for PM-CJ Fund for Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams. — Geo News screengrab

He lauded Chief Justice Saqib Nisar for taking initiative for construction of dams which was primary responsibility of the politicians, saying: “Experts say if we do not make dams we will face a drought in seven years. We have to start making dams from today.”

The chief justice, who announced the fund in July this year, had himself donated Rs1 million to the account created solely for the purpose of raising money for the construction of the dams.

Justice Nisar’s donation was the first contribution to the said account, said a statement on the Supreme Court’s website dated July 5, 2018.

Khan said the prime minister and chief justice’s fund for the construction of dams would be combined.

“I urge overseas Pakistanis to contribute to this fund. If every overseas Pakistani contributes to this we will be able to construct the dams and our reserves will also improve.”

The prime minister further urged Pakistanis in Europe and the US to contribute at least $1000.

“Pakistanis working in the Middle East and other countries can also contribute according to their capacity,” he said, adding that the prime minister’s fund for dam would be now part of chief justice’s fund and both will be merged.

The premier said: “No one will give us loans. We have to construct this dam. I assure you that I will protect your money.”

This was PM Khan’s second address with the nation since assuming office. In his first address, the prime minister had outlined austerity measures and the need to tackle corruption to bring Pakistan on track.

Speaking further on the water crisis during Friday’s address, he said that a ministry would be formed which would work towards resolving the crisis.

The prime minister also appealed to overseas Pakistanis to invest in the country, deposit money and send remittances in Pakistani banks.

Last month, overseas Pakistanis were granted the right to vote in the upcoming by-elections.

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