ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Monday, while slamming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership has said that the party’s narrative is based on enmity against the country as the PTI wanted to shake the very foundations of the country.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, Tarar regretted the PTI’s narrative is based on enmity against the country. The narrative of this party will not succeed and Pakistan will continue its journey towards development, he added. The minister said this party’s every conspiracy against Pakistan would fail. “The economy is taking off and on the other hand we are facing this negative propaganda,” he added.

Tarar said that a convicted person in prison could not digest and acknowledge multiple achievements of the current government on the diplomatic front and initiatives for the development of the country. “Definitely, there is a sinister plan to compare the current situation with that of 1971 but such tactics are doomed to fail and Pakistan will remain on the map of the world and march towards progress and prosperity”, he said.

To a question about proposed defamation law, he said these laws were enacted for every citizen and not for the state, saying that the existing laws had specific flaws and cases could not be decided for decades. He said wide-ranging consultation should be held and all stakeholders should give their input for finalisation of new legislation on defamation which is in the interest of the country and the society.

Answering a question, he said that the provision of relief to the common man in the next fiscal year’s budget was the top most priority of the government. To another question, he said ban on X was imposed by the caretaker government and now the matter was subjudice.

The minister said Pakistan was striving to promote trade and investment with friendly countries as now it wanted trade and not aid. He said that one-window operation under Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) had been appreciated by the investors of friendly countries.

He said that seven desks had been set up for global investors under SIFC which included desks for China, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the United States, and the Far East. These desks would eventually focus on bringing investment to Pakistan, he remarked.

Tarar said the investors of friendly countries are expressing their satisfaction with the one-window facility being provided by the SIFC. He said the UAE has announced to make 10 billion dollars investment in Pakistan while there is also progress of bringing $5 billion investment from Saudi Arabia. He was confident that these investments would materialise.

He said that the official press agency of the UAE released the news of allocating $10 billion dollars which meant they had set aside the specific amount for investment in Pakistan. Significant progress had been made in the investment negotiations of five billion dollars with Saudi Arabia, he said, adding that soon the agreements would be signed.

About the economy, he said during the past few months, the current account deficit had reduced, and information technology-related exports had increased, in addition to bringing down inflation to 17 per cent.

He said that foreign exchange reserves had also increased which was a positive development. “Economy is stabilising and international financial journals and institutions are indicating that Pakistan’s economy is on the path of revival”.

He said that the PDM government had made strenuous efforts to avoid default.

The information minister said Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif will also visit China in a few days to give impetus to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Tarar pointed out that the world financial institutions are also acknowledging our economic revival. He said during the tenure of the current elected government, Pakistan had achieved many milestones on the diplomatic front, adding that the prime minister had a telephonic conversation with his Norwegian and Irish counterparts in the backdrop of their strong stance on the Palestinian situation.

Norway and Ireland who had condemned the ongoing atrocities in Gaza and Rafah and called for immediate for ceasefire and “Pakistan has repeatedly raised its voice for the rights of Palestinians,” Tarar said.

He said Pakistan had been raising its voice for Palestine at every international forum and calling for urgent steps for a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue. Responding to a question, the minister said the PM had welcomed the decision of the International Court of Justice regarding Palestine and Pakistan was raising its voice everywhere for this cause.

Lashing out at the PTI leadership, he said some people were harping on negative propaganda under a specific agenda. Tarar said Pakistan would definitely make progress towards development and prosperity, besides making its place in the comity of nations. Under the specific agenda, the former rulers had brought the country on the verge of default and when Pakistan approached the IMF for a loan, a political party wrote a letter to the IMF, asking for not doing so, Tarar said.

He said that Imran Khan waved a confidential cipher document in a public meeting, acted against Pakistan’s foreign policy, and sold gifts from friendly countries for personal gains. He said under specific propaganda, an attempt was made to compare the country’s current situation with the conditions of 1971 as some elements raised the slogan, “No Imran, no Pakistan”. He said there was a conspiracy to weaken the foundations of the country, when the former prime minister was voted out.

He reminded that in 2018, the GDP growth rate was 5.8 percent but it nosedived during the last PTI tenure. He said that the past ruler damaged Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries as he was busy in collecting watches and rings to later sell them in the black market. The past rulers were so busy that they were least concerned about the country’s economy and relations with friendly countries, he said.

The information minister said that by hatching the conspiracy of May 9, they also tried to get political advantage as it has always been their attempt to take political advantage by putting the country’s integrity at stake. “Everyone knows where the funding for the campaign against the country is coming from. The entire nation has seen his disgusting face”, he remarked. “The integrity of Pakistan comes first and Insha Allah! Pakistan will develop and make rapid progress.”

Replying to questions, he said that Malik Riaz should formally join the judicial proceedings of the 190 million pounds case. He rejected the impression of any pressure on Malik Riaz or his family by saying that they did not even join the investigation process till date and were staying abroad, so under such a situation, pressurising someone is out of question.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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