ISLAMABAD: While presenting the performance report of his three government, Prime Minister Imran Khan also commented on regional situation and on the situation in Afghanistan, he asked the world community to support the Taliban in the formation of an inclusive government.
“The world should support the Taliban endeavour to bring peace to Afghanistan,” he said. “The Taliban are trying to reach an inclusive political settlement and speaking of peace. We should try to help them.”
He maintained that the Afghan faction had announced amnesty for all, and the world should not doubt their intentions at this stage.
“The 300,000-strong Afghan army did not fight against the Taliban since it did not want to fight for a corrupt government [in Kabul],” he added.
Imran Khan mentioned the country’s relations with India in the aftermath of the February 2019 Pulwama incident and thanked the armed forces of Pakistan for playing their part.
“I appreciate our army and the air force,” he said. “As they [the Indian fighter jets] entered our territory to launch an offensive, we realized the [power] of our army.”
He criticized people who defamed the country’s national institutions, saying an attempt was being made by the Indian lobby to discredit the Pakistan Army by creating the narrative that it facilitated the Taliban victory in Afghanistan.
“In the past, I myself criticised armed forces but to some extent and did not drag this attitude of condemnation and left it. But these elements continue criticising our armed forces which is no good”, Imran Khan said.
He recalled Pakistan sided with the United States in the war on terror but latter carried out 480 drone attacks on its soil. Over 70,000 Pakistanis lost their lives in the war fought on behalf of another country, he added.
The Prime Minister said the Afghan defence forces declined to fight for their corrupt leaders. He called upon the world to support the Taliban as they wanted an inclusive government in Afghanistan, and declared general amnesty for all, besides assurance that no one would be allowed to carry out terrorist attacks from their soil against other countries. He said the world community should help the Taliban to maintain peace in Afghanistan.
He said no country could progress if there was no of rule of law. He recalled that Asif Ali Zardari landed in jail because of his corrupt practices whenever the PPP government was ousted in the past.
Imran Khan Thursday said that with all major economic indicators showing upward trends, the present government despite various challenges including the COVID-10 pandemic had put the country’s economy on right track.
“During the last three years, the current account deficit has been significantly reduced from US $ 20 billion in 2018 to US $ 1.8 billion, foreign exchange reserves increased from US $ 16.4 billion to US $ 27 billion, revenue collection from Rs 3800 billion to Rs. 4700 billion, workers’ remittances from US $ 19.9 billion to US $ 29.4 billion,” he mentioned.
The Prime Minister was addressing a ceremony held here at the Convention Center to launch the three-year performance report of the present government led by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI).
He said that when the present government took reign of affairs in 2018, the country with the highest ever US $ 20 billion of current account deficit was close to default and rupee was depreciating.
“If the friendly countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE and China did not help Pakistan, rupee in the country would have further depreciated,” he added.
The Prime Minister also mentioned 18% growth in the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector as well as 42% increase in cement sale during the previous fiscal and said it showed enhanced industrial activity.
He said that the receipt of an additional income of Rs 1100 billion by the farmers in agriculture sector and the historic sales of motorbikes, cars and tractors during the previous fiscal also depicted prosperity in rural areas.
The Prime Minister said that the government’s successful strategy to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic also led to saving the economy and poor masses, adding, the international institutions including the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization appreciated Pakistan’s strategy on COVID-19.
He said that despite the criticism by opposition parties, the government did not go for complete lockdown of the economy, which, if opted, would have caused increase in poverty and hunger like in India.
Imran Khan recalled that Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, folk singer Attaullah Khan Esakhailvi, Ibrarul Haq and many others played an important role in taking forward Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
He thanked the allies including Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Grand Democratic Alliance for extending support to the PTI government during the last three years.