Imran Khan Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called his rival politicians ’thieves’ and pledged to recover the ‘plundered’ money from them.

His latest threat to the politicians belonging to the opposition parties came during his midnight address on Tuesday hours after his government presented its first federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20.

Since the budget was criticised by the opposition for imposing an array of heavy taxes which they believe will lead to further price hike and inflation in the country, Imran decided to come on television to take the nation in to confidence over the ‘harsh’ measures he has taken in a bid to put the dwindling economy of the country on track.

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

Prime Minister Imran Khan also announced to form a high-powered commission to probe corruption of last 10 years in Pakistan. The inquiry commission will have representatives from the country’s two top intelligence agencies including Intelligence Bureau and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and also from Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

“We will find out through the inquiry commission how foreign debts of the country mounted to Rs24,000 billion. 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,” he assured the nation.

Imran also took to twitter on Wednesday morning reiterating his pledge to take action against the corrupt. “Time for nation to stop glofifying money laundereres who have damaged our nation and impoverished our people and seeking refuge behind ‘demoracy’. No protocol should be extended to them. Why are plunderers of public wealth given such special treatment? Time to treat them as criminals.” he tweeted.

His address also followed three major arrests of high profile political leaders. They included: former President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari who was arrested on June 10 on fake bank accounts and money laundering charges; Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz who was booked on corruption charges and the MQM founder Altaf Hussain who was arrested in London on charges of hate speech dated back to 2016 against Pakistan and its armed forces.

Justifying the heavy taxation in the budget, Imran said that he has no other choice to put the country’s economy back on track. He vehemently blamed former governments of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for the economic woes of the country.

During his speech, he explained how the two former governments had been involved in corruption and burdened the country with huge foreign loans.

“Today, there is lot of noise hue and cry is being raised that Zardari is in jail, and Nawaz league and PPP have come together,” he lamented.

“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,” he reiterated.

Imran said he could not be “blackmailed” with protests. “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 for the sake of my country.”

Imran said that he had the nation’s confidence in him, promising to streamline the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) together with Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman of the FBR.

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