Ties with India can’t be improved immediately; says Fawad Chaudhry

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said the government does not expect the Indian leadership to be inclined to respond positively to Pakistan’s desire of talks to resolve issues.

In an interview, the federal minister said that the upcoming election in India and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anti-Pakistan stance were the reasons behind the government’s low expectations to immediately mend ties with its neighbour.

Furthermore, he said that the reason behind the differences with the US was its plan to give a role to India in Afghanistan while Islamabad and Washington were in agreement that the US should leave a stable Afghanistan.  “A stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interests, as the nation has already suffered a lot,” he said.

The minister also said that a white-paper on power load-shedding and corruption would shortly be released before the media, as the claims of the previous government to have ended load-shedding were unfounded and untrue.

To a question on the government’s much-talked about programme of giving away 10 million jobs and five million houses, he said the prime minister has decided to take briefing twice in a month on progress on the first 100-day programme of the government. He explained that it would not be difficult to achieve the targets, as the GDP growth would be increased to 6.4 per cent while overseas Pakistanis were a precious asset of Pakistan.

The minister explained that the prime minister endorsed the army chief that the ‘right to carry the gun’ should be with the state and not with any banned outfit or private force, and those who would not adhere to this, would face elimination, and no outfit, even the one which might have sided with the government, would not be allowed to resort to violence or carry the gun.

He said the prime minister would soon announce a plan for the overseas Pakistanis, who would invest in Pakistan in various projects and they be offered facilities and concessions. Chaudhry also said the government was committed to the agreements signed with China under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).