ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal lambasted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claims about the country’s economy, saying newly-appointed Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has stated 15 days ago that the “government’s poor economic policies have destroyed the country’s economy”.
Talking to media after appearing before an Accountability Court in connection with Narowal Sports City Complex Project (NSCCP) scam, he said the World Band (WB) and the International Monitory Fund (IMF) in their reports projected economic growth rate of 1.5 percent for Pakistan, while Indian economy is projected to grow at 11.5 percent and Bangladesh 4.5 percent.
“Did you term this an economic development,” he said.
The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has declined by 35 percent, which shows that the trust of foreign investors has weakened but PM Imran Khan “does not care” about it, he said, adding the PM was always thinking about how to confiscate Jati Umrah and to make false cases against the opposition.
About the law and order situation created after clashes between police and the banned Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), he said the current law and order situation in the country was created due to the incompetence of the government.
In the current situation, the PML-N has played a very responsible role, he said, adding that “we have not played the role which was played by Imran Khan in 2017 (in an apparent reference to the TLP sit-in in Faizabad).”
He said the PML-N had not made any statement or taken any step for fanning fire.
“We are playing role to resolve the matter,” he said, adding that “we cannot afford the ‘game of fire and bloodshed’ in Pakistan.”
Iqbal said the government had adopted “very non-serious” attitude towards a very sensitive matter, which was part of the faith of every Muslim and signed an agreement under which the ambassador of France would have to be expelled from the country.
Now the prime minister in his speech stated that sending back the ambassador of France would hurt Pakistan’s rising economy, he asked.
He asked the prime minister that “when your ministers were signing this agreement were its ramifications not in your knowledge, and did the government not shared this agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?”
The PML-N leader said the current crises in the country were due to the incompetence and negligence of the government.
“We believe that crises should be resolved through negotiations and through a non-violent way,” he
“When he was asked in the past when you were the Interior Minister, you stated that the TLP has links with India and now you are supporting it,” he said that he did not support anyone.
“I just want to say we should avoid creating such a situation which leads to bloodshed and chaos in the country,” he said.
He said PML-N had adopted a non-violence policy when the TLP staged sit-in in their tenure.
Operation against the TLP sit-in was carried out following the direction of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), he said.
Iqbal said “we should keep it in mind that our enemies take advantage of such situations.”
“Pakistan is the only nuclear power in the Islamic world. We do not give our enemies the material to present it internationally as a justification for Pakistan [to be presented as] an unstable state,” he said.
Earlier, he appeared before the Accountability Court-III judge Syed Ali Ashar in the NSCCP scam against him and others.
The court marked attendance of the accused and adjourned hearing of the case till April 27 without proceedings.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021