Controlling inflation govt's top priority: Rashid
- Interior minister says authorities focused on ensuring affordable rates for essential items
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Saturday that controlling inflation is the top priority of the government, expressing hope that it will soon overcome the issue.
His statement comes a day after inflation reading for the month of September clocked in at 9%, the highest in three months, amid fear that the spike in global commodity prices would cause further pressure in coming months.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) already hiked the interest rate by 25 basis points last month, mindful of the widening current account deficit and inflationary pressures.
However, speaking to the media on Saturday, Rashid said the government was mindful of the issue.
Mentioning petrol prices, which have reached a historic high in Pakistan, Rashid said rates are still lower when compared with India and Bangladesh. He said prices of petroleum products would also fall when Pakistan's arrangement with Saudi Arabia is finalised, APP reported.
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Rashid stressed that it was the government's duty to provide food items and medicines at affordable rates to the public.
Meanwhile, talking about Prime Minister Imran Khan's statement on reconciliation with some groups of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Rashid said that the case of those involved in the Army Public School's tragedy is different.
The interior minister said that Pakistan will not fight with those who have surrendered, adding that they know "who is good and who is bad".
"It is not appropriate to fight with those who surrender to adopt peaceful lives," he said.
In an interview with TRT World in Islamabad, Khan had said that the government is in talks with some factions of the TTP that are looking at peace and reconciliation with the country.
The premier said that some of the groups actually want to talk to the government for reconciliation.
When asked by the interviewer if the government is in talks with the TTP, the PM said: “Yes, with some of them.
Govt in talks with some TTP groups for reconciliation: PM Imran
"There are different groups that form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It’s a reconciliation process," he said.
Meanwhile, Rashid said that high-level talks were in progress, adding that the international political scenario is changing.
The minister also stated that Pakistan would extend all possible support regarding the crisis in Afghanistan.
We will fight with the enemies of Pakistan and will eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country at all costs, Rashid added.
On the appointment of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, Rashid said that there was no need to take the opposition into confidence as they were facing corruption cases.
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