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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said putting Pakistan's name on the watch list of countries funding terrorism would be counter-productive for war against terror.

Talking to media-persons at the launch of Inclusive and Sustainable Development Report here, he said the United States along with its allies - United Kingdom, Germany and France - had forwarded a proposal to global anti-money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for including Pakistan's name in its watch list and to put pressure for certain reasons.

He said Pakistan was a sovereign country, which was fighting the war against terrorism not only for the security of its own people but also of the region.

Pakistan, he said, had rendered matchless sacrifices and achieved unprecedented successes against terrorists for which it deserved appreciation by the international community. He asked the move to put Pakistan on the FATF's watch-list would serve whose interest as it would hurt its capability to fight against terrorism.

He said Pakistan was approaching different countries through diplomatic channels to apprise them of the measures taken by it to root out terrorists.

He expressed the confidence that the international community would recognize sacrifices of Pakistan rendered in the war against terror and would not take any step that would hamper its anti-terror strategy.

To a question, he condemned continued unprovoked firing by India along the Line of Control (LoC), which, he said, was aimed at diverting world's attention from atrocities being committed by its forces against the people of occupied Kashmir.

Replying to another question regarding inclusion of the name of former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in the Exit Control List (ECL), Ahsan Iqbal said there was a set procedure for the purpose and the Interior Ministry was not bound to follow proposals of any institution in that regard.

He said in the past the ECL was misused for political purposes but now all institutions were working according to law. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had not even put names of Dr Asim Hussain and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, members of its opponent party, on the ECL.

To another question, he said deployment of Pakistan Army in the brotherly country of Saudi Arabia was for peaceful purposes and it would not take part in attack on any other country.

Earlier, addressing the report launching ceremony, Ahsan Iqbal said for the last four years the government was giving special focus on sustainable and inclusive growth.

For the first time in country's history, the government had managed poverty mapping at district level in an effort to find out exact figures of poverty, he added.

He said the report aimed at overcoming social and economic inequalities in the country and it would serve as a focal point for the inequality debate in Pakistan.

The minister said the government has tried its best to mitigate the social and economic inequalities by providing best services in health and education sectors, besides building infrastructure, which had helped connecting the far flung areas of the country to major cities.

Moreover, he said, due to extreme energy crisis in the country, inequalities among rich and the poor were widening. However, due to heavy investment in the energy sector by the government, the power generation had improved with load-shedding duration reduced to only two hours from 20 hours a day.

The report authored by economist Dr Akmal Hussain highlights that there has been a historical shift in the conceptual basis for growth policy and the earlier view that economic inequality is a necessary concomitant to high growth has been overturned by new research which shows that high economic inequality is harmful for growth sustainability.

It includes mechanisms to increase gender equality and development providing entrepreneurship opportunities to youth, women and minorities, building resilience against climate change, addressing water challenges, utilizing hydro power potential and instituting change through which local governments can play an effective role in participatory democracy and inclusive development.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018


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