Pakistan PM promises 'whistle-blower' law to fight corruption
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday promised a new law that will reward whistle-blowers who help nab corrupt officials and politicians.
Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the July election campaigning on an anti-corruption reformist agenda and has blamed the country's economic woes on the alleged corrupt practices of his predecessors.
With Pakistan facing a balance-of-payments crisis, Khan said recovering that stolen wealth would help ease the burden on the country's economy. He has claimed that billions of dollars of public money have been stolen over the last few decades, much of it laundered out of the country.
"The law will invite countrymen to identify the corrupt and (whistle-blowers will) get 20 percent of the ill-gotten money and assets recovered from such people," Khan told a press conference in the eastern city of Lahore.
The other 80 percent would be used to pay off Pakistan's debts, he said.
Imran Khan, Pakistan's new prime minister
From cricket icon to hedonistic playboy and finally the leader of Pakistan — Imran Khan has enjoyed a long career in the public eye. David Martin takes a look at Imran Khan's sporting successes and political ascent
Affluent upbringing: Imran Khan was born in Lahore in 1952, the son of a civil engineer. Khan grew up with his four sisters in a relatively affluent part of the city. He received a privileged education, first in his hometown and then in Worcester, England. It was there that Khan's love and talent for the game of cricket became evident. In 1972, he enrolled at Oxford University to study politics and economics
Pakistan cricket's blue-eyed boy: Khan played cricket throughout his time in England and after returning to his native Pakistan in 1976, he quickly became a regular in the national team. By 1982, he was awarded the captain's armband. Khan enjoyed an illustrious career and was regarded by many as one of the best all-rounders in the world
World champion: the ultimate high point of Khan's sporting career saw him captain Pakistan to the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Melbourne, Australia. As if his popularity couldn't get any bigger back home, Khan even took the winning wicket in the final against England
From playboy to (thrice) married man: Khan enjoyed a hedonistic bachelor life and was a regular fixture on London's nightlife scene. However, in 1995, aged 42, he finally tied the knot to 21-year-old Jemima Goldsmith. During their nine-year marriage, the famous couple provided plenty of fodder for the British and Pakistani tabloids. Despite separating in 2004, Goldsmith has remained a vocal supporter of Khan's politics
Khan enters politics: Khan wasted little time after retiring from cricket in 1994. Just two years later he entered Pakistani politics and founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. However, his popularity was slow to carry over from cricket into politics. In the 1997 general elections, his PTI party failed to win a single seat
Political activist: Khan remained active in politics over the next decades. In 1999, he supported General Pervez Musharraf's military coup, only to later turn against Musharraf ahead of the 2007 presidential election. Khan was subsequently placed under house arrest and even spent a few days in prison. However, his supporter base continued to grow and by 2013 he had become a key candidate in the general elections
2013: Khan's political breakthrough: the PTI made substantial gains in the 2013 election, claiming 30 parliamentary seats and finishing second behind the Pakistan Muslim League. The party became the main opposition in the key provinces of Punjab and Sindh. However, its greatest feat was winning its first province in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
"Taliban Khan": Khan has often been the butt of jokes for his pacifist stance towards terrorism in the region. He earned the moniker "Taliban Khan" for claiming that the only way to achieve peace with the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan was through negotiation. Khan was also an outspoken critic of U.S. drones strikes on Pakistan and has promised to disengage Pakistan from America's conflicts in the Middle East
Two more marriages: since his divorce from Goldsmith in 2004, Khan has re-married twice. In January 2015, Khan announced his marriage to British-Pakistani journalist Reham Khanm, although just 10 months later the couple said they were filing for divorce. In February 2018, Khan married his third wife, Bushra Manika (pictured front row, second from the right), whom he describes as his spiritual adviser
Making waves in 2018: by the beginning of this year, Khan's PTI were among the favourites going into the general election. Campaigning on a populist platform, Khan pledged to break away from Pakistan's corrupt legacy. His plans include a poverty reduction programme similar to that seen in China. This would see the establishment of an "Islamic welfare state", the creation of 10 million jobs and construction of 5 million homes for the poor
Prime Minister Imran Khan: Khan completed his journey from all-star cricketer to political leader on 26 July 2018. "I started this struggle 22 years ago and today I have been given a chance to fulfill what I dreamed for the country," Khan said in a televised speech. "We will run Pakistan like it's never been run before"
Khan did not give any further details, but said a draft of the law will be presented in parliament in the coming days and will include protections for whistle-blowers.
Pakistan's budget deficit has climbed steadily over the last five years and foreign currency reserves have declined. The rupee has also been repeatedly devalued in the past year, fuelling inflation.
Islamabad is likely to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, which has called on the new government to act fast to stabilise Pakistan's teetering economy, warning growth will likely slow and inflation rise further.
Khan's predecessor Nawaz Sharif was ousted from office last year by the Supreme Court over alleged corruption and is currently on bail pending appeal.
His brother Shehbaz Sharif, the current Pakistan opposition leader, was arrested on Friday for graft – a move described as politically motivated by the brothers' Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party, ahead of by-elections later this month. (AFP)