Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan Speech at launch of Poverty Alleviation Program Ehsas in Islamabad | Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan Speech at launch of Poverty Alleviation Program Ehsas in Islamabad - The program focuses on the alleviation of poverty.


"Pakistan is the one country that was made in the name of Islam. But; what Islam teaches us, and the model of Riasat-e-Madina, it is unfortunate that we never did any research on it, we never looked into the depths of what made it such a successful society based on welfare and equality."



Whether you are a Muslim or not, the entire world acknowledges that no one has achieved in humanity what our Prophet (PBUH) achieved. He set the seeds for a society that for 100’s of years was advanced in every civilisation.

Muslim libraries had an influence on the European Renaissance. These were models for us. What were the basic principles? Empathy. That stare which took ownership of its weak.

You go to Europe today; look at the Scandinavian countries. They have empathy and they care about their downtrodden. Even animals have rights because they can’t speak for themselves.

If we analyse where we stand today, we are nowhere close to where we need to be when it comes to a model welfare state. It saddens me to see this percentage of children with stunted growth.

Leave alone what happens to parents, imagine how much this destroys society. Their minds are never fully developed. It was a vision by our founding fathers; to be a welfare state but we are nowhere near that ideology.

This document we are releasing today is our first step towards going towards that country that was visualised on the basis of a welfare state.

In the 5 times that we pray, we ask to be put on the path of those who have been blessed. We can simply try and be on the right path, success then is upto Allah.

When my mother was unwell; I came across a poor man who would labour all day and come and sit by his brothers bed at night in a corridor who was suffering from cancer.

That was when I first thought of a cancer hospital in the country. Because a poor man had no way to get treated. If a poor person gets cancer, it destroys a family because of finances, pressure, stress.

When I started the campaign, for 3 years I was told a cancer hospital can not be made in Pakistan and the poor can not be treated for free. I traveled the world over looking for solutions.

We started a 70 Crore project with just 1 crore in the bank. Dr.Burki worked on the hospital and I would collect funds. Not once did the work on the hospital stop.

Every year the hospital makes a loss of 6 billion; and every year this same nation gives more money than the previous year to the hospital. If I had used logic ok this, the hospital would never have been made.

But when you work to serve, you try and it is Allah who helps you. Always remember this.

In modern times I want to give China’s example. Who would have thought 30 years ago that a country would lift 70 Crore people out of poverty?

But they made a decision; to alleviate their country from poverty and not just a handful of elite. They decided that any wealth creation done would be to lift the country out of poverty.

Consciously this society decided to lift themselves out of poverty. When nations set a vision, they can achieve impossible goals together.

It is my faith, that one day we will see a country where we will lift all out of poverty. I want to congratulate Sadia Nishtar for putting together this amazing policy.

The first change we are bringing; is that article 38-D which says we must feed people, take care of their health.... it is a policy in the constitution. But we are amending it and converting it into a fundamental right.

We are doing this as a sitting government and putting this pressure on ourselves to be able to provide for all.

We are also increasing spending by 80 billion rupees in the underdeveloped area. This will increase incrementally, and the next phase will be 120 billion rupees.

We are also making a new ministry which will be for social protection and poverty alleviation. This ministry will coordinate with all institutions that work on poverty alleviation and centralize the efforts and coordinate.

We are also making a database; by December we will have this database completed as to what income levels are, which areas are worst affected.

We will digitize efforts and will run a campaign from one central coordinated effort which will then be divided into regions.

We will do surveys, and identify people who are needy. We will make savings accounts for women, and equip them with mobile phones from which they can access their bank accounts. This will be done for transparency and to ensure the funds go to these women.

We will make 500 digital hubs at tehsil level, where officers will also give direction to women on how to increase their income, how to get employed. They will also get opportunities to improve their standard of living.

The Tahaffuz program will be a program where if anyone needs legal aid, they will have access to it. We will also be bringing legislation to give legal aid to poor people.

This service will also provide educational grants. Those who don’t have Insaf cards right now, cards that enable poor people to have insurance up to Rs.720,000... the Tahaffuz program will organise funds for them.

There will also be special attention given to widows who have no one to help them out under the Tahaffuz program.

The program will coordinate with NGO’s; Pakistan is one of the highest charity giving countries in the world. We want to see a coordinated effort between NGO’s to see a massive multiplier impact.

I want to give the example of the shelter homes that we opened under the Panah Gah initiative; and every shelter home we opened... someone came and took ownership and more and more people came forward to run them.

InshAllah once the impact from these initiatives begins to show, you will remember the day we launched this initiative.

We are launching help programs for street children, and for transgenders who are treated so cruelly in our society. There will be a special crackdown on bonded labour.

Even daily labourers will be helped and protected under our Tahaffuz program. Bait-Ul-Maal will fund homes for 10,000 orphaned children.

33 lakh people will be covered under insurance in the next few years. Those who don’t get the cards will get health coverage from the Tahaffuz program.

We have made 9 policies for nutrition to counter stunted growth. The surveys we have done recently; even dirty water and sanitation are contributing to stunted growth. It is not just a nutrition issue and this will be tackled with clean and green Pakistan.

We will be giving medicines for deworming, start awareness campaigns on breastfeeding, give supplements for folic acid and vitamins. And we will start a multi-sector monitoring body to monitor this nutrition issue.

We found that more than 50 percent open milk being given is not even milk that should be consumed by humans. In some areas it was chemicals mixed and not actual milk. Imagine this travesty being inflicted on our children.

We will be bringing controls on milk so we know that children are getting the right nutritious milk when purchased from the market.

To help women; at village levels especially.... we will empower them with livestock through which they can get milk, so kids in the homes can get milk.

And we will provide chickens to women in village areas to help increase their incomes. Some skeptics in Pakistan make fun of this but this is a tried and tested initiative.

We will also give them kitchen initiatives through which they can grow vegetables and also have food and vegetables to cook at home. Through utility stores also we will begin seed distribution programs so they can grow organic products to also improve nutrition for their children.

These little initiatives will go a long way to making big changes in our country. We don’t have money today, we are playing interests on loans, so the only way we can counter it is by using our minds, and using empathy to make our people self-sufficient

InshAllah once we start this, we will see positivity in our country. And InshAllah soon we may have some really good news regarding gas and oil exploration in our country.

I really want to thank Dr.Sania Nishtar again for doing such a fantastic job.

If you look in Europe, there are facilities everywhere for people with disabilities. It is shameful that we have been so desensitized. We will provide access, and equipment to mobilize our disabled citizens.

Our laborers, especially our overseas laborers who send record remittances to the country. First and foremost; we will have community welfare attaches in embassies abroad. This will be the first time this will happen.

We will have protector officers for those who are moving abroad so they brief people on their rights, and so they are not exploited. There will also be one window operations to facilitate them fully.

If our laborers go abroad; the government will ensure they have good contracts spread over a period of time. For those who can not come back or afford tickets, we will provide special fare tickets.

Those who don’t have a roof over their heads will be protected under the Panahgah initiatives across the country.

We will also introduce interest-free loans. We have allocated 5 billion rupees towards these loans; those poor people who do not have money to make homes and also for our farmers and villagers.

For our pensioners, it is sad that our society doesn’t take care of them. Under EOBI; we have decided to increase pensions. And we will bring a biometric system so that the funds reach those who are deserving.

Baitulmaal will make Ehsaas homes for the elderly and we will keep scaling up these projects across the country.

Our students who come from underdeveloped areas or from poor homes. Under the constitution, they must know they have a right to education. Wherever there are no government schools, we will give vouchers so they can go and get an education in private institutes.

E-learning and internet services will be spread across the country so children all over can have more access to education. This will also include giving out mobile phones across the country for this purpose.

There are 6 districts that have been left behind in higher education. And the HeC will allocate awards according to areas that have been left behind rather than those that are heavily populated.

For our farmers, we have made an entire agricultural policy which is very detailed and we will share it with the public. Our entire focus is on helping the small farmers.

Till now subsidies have only benefited the big farmers. The small farmers are laden with loans; have no place to store their produce. China used to make warehousing facilities for their farmers and we will do the same.

Here I want to focus on Halal meat. The halal meat market is massive globally, and Pakistan has no share in it.

Secondly; fisheries. We have an amazing coastline where we have a huge contribution to fishing. We are also Learning methods like cage fishing from China. And we will help implement them. This also includes shrimp farming for export purposes.

For laborers, we must implement the safety net and labor policies that have been made but never been used. Laborers too have rights.

Currently, laborers are not given their rights, neither are domestic servants, or women who work in villages. They are all exploited. We will now record each of them in a database and track their well being.

Every time I ask Asad Umar for some money, he gets a few new white hairs on his head! We need to come up with new and innovative ways to increase our standard of living.

We will give competitions to university students to come up with programs to alleviate poverty, to come up with entrepreneurship programs.

We want to make areas and street markets where smaller sellers can sell their products.

We are going to make online jobs and opportunities platform to make it easier for people to get employed.

The BISP program used to do surveys and hand out cash payments. We think that we need to rise above of cash payments and also empower people with skills.

For training and to give assets, so they are able to earn and do business. We have allocated 25 billion rupees for this fund.

Assets transfer we have added 5 billion dollars. And there are some fantastic rural support programs running, like the Aga Khan foundation whose expertise we will use.

There are 40 microfinance institutions in Pakistan. They have 400 billion rupees to give to the poor. We will help microfinance companies by telling state bank to involve commercial banks to empower them with more money to lend to people to start their businesses and become self-sufficient.

IT sector is a sector that can bring a revolution in Pakistan. It empowers women who are sitting at home. Broadband and connectivity can empower anyone sitting at home.

We are working on digitizing the govt and go towards e-governance. We want to bring connectivity across the country to empower people.

Vocational training and technical education will have a special focus. In school curriculums, we will also empower children with skills education from grade 8 onwards. We will bring the age down from 18 to 15.

Apprenticeship programs will also be introduced like we did in KP and we will scale this up so kids from a young age are geared towards working and thinking big.