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(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has said there is no doubt that the attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was planned in India.

Addressing the National Assembly session on Tuesday, he said that none of the countries in the world could have stopped such an attack. He added India hatched a conspiracy to destabilize Pakistan but it failed in its nefarious designs.

He mentioned the terrorists wanted to take the PSX staff hostage to disrupt economic activity.

PSX attack: All terrorists eliminated in eight minutes, says DG Rangers

"Our agencies are on high alert and they are fully prepared to deal with such an attack," the PM maintained. He pointed out that India had planned an attack similar to that of Mumbai incident. Paying tribute to security officials who foiled India's plan by sacrificing their own lives, he said: "Our agencies preempted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad."

“I want to take this forum to acknowledge our four heroes who lost their lives yesterday [in an exchange of fire with the terrorists]. This includes Sub Inspector Shahid, and three security guards posted outside the building Ifthikar, Khuda Yar and Hasan Ali,” he said.

Speaking about reforms, he said that the government is ready to bring changes in power sector. "There is dire need to bring reforms in state institutions."

Imran said that 10 chief executives of the Pakistan International Airline have been changed in 11 years. "Changing heads of the institutions in short intervals affects performance of the departments."

Referring to sugar mafia, the PM said, "I want to bring to task all the sugar cartels and punish them." He highlighted the sugar mafia is turning its black money into white money. "They are selling sugar on high rates after getting subsidy from the government," he stated.

He said that sugar mills were given subsidy of 29 billion rupees but in return they only paid nine billion rupees in taxes.

Speaking about the coronavirus lockdown, the PM said that he was never in favour of it because of the impact it was likely to have on the poor. “When we opened our markets and economy, it is only then that others agreed that a smart lockdown is the only way to combat the pandemic.”

The entire service sector is affected by pandemic restrictions, he said. People in North who relied on tourism are suffering now along with small private schools. "No country, including Pakistan, had been able to measure the impact the coronavirus lockdown would have on the economy," Imran remarked.

PSX unbowed in face of terrorism: Trading Index remains stable during terror attack

Imran said the real "confusion" was among the poor people who weren't sure how they would feed their families during the lockdown. At this point, he lauded his aide on social protection Sania Nishtar and her team for distributing emergency cash among the people

The prime minister thanked his team for their efforts which led to the budget 2020-21 being approved by the parliament yesterday.

Prime Minister Imran said he and his finance team know "what a difficult budget this was" and the government had to revise its revenue target from Rs5,000 billion to Rs4,900 billion.

"We were on our way and we had 17 percent collection but as soon as Covid-19 came, it affected all the economies, so a direct consequence was that our target had to be revised to Rs3,900 billion and we had a Rs1 trillion shortfall."

Regarding remarks from opposition members, Imran Khan said, "I don't mind their comments. Opposition is liberally corrupt."