Pakistan to implement five-year road map for economic progress: Dar

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LONDON: Foreign Minister (FM) Ishaq Dar on Saturday said the government would implement a five year road map to put Pakistan on the road of economic progress and bring down inflation to lessen economic difficulties of the common man.

Addressing a press conference here after attending the Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels, he said the 16-month government of Shehbaz Sharif saved Pakistan from economic collapse after the bad policies of the previous government which devastated economy of the country.

He said Pakistan had vision for nuclear energy since 1960s and despite the scrutiny
of the world it continued to harness the benefits of nuclear energy.

“Now the world is saying that nuclear and hydro energy are the safest and best for taking on the challenge of climate change.”

He said the previous governments of PML-N completed various nuclear projects and 3800 megawatts of electricity were added to the national grid.

While representing Pakistan at the recent nuclear energy summit in Brussels, the foreign minister said he called for aggressive financing from the international financial institutions and multilateral institutions.

“Nuclear energy is expensive but is environment friendly and the world needs it. We are ready to share our expertise with the global community,” he added. He said Pakistan was emitting less than one percent of the global carbon emissions but was among the 10 most climate vulnerable countries in the world.

Pakistan was devastated by the worst floods of its history in the recent past and the federal government in collaboration with the provinces spent Rs 100 billion on the relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected people.

To a question about Congressional hearings in the United States about matters related to Pakistan, he urged that Pakistanis should leave behind politics when they were outside the country and get united.

To a question about elections, Ishaq Dar said, “We have comprehensive constitutional and legal cover for elections”, adding different parties got the mandate of the people and it should be accepted.”

Legal forums were available to address the election-related complaints and a person could approach Election Commission, election tribunals and higher judiciary, he noted. He said Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had agreed to work with the federal government which was a positive development.

He recalled Pakistan had suffered a lot due to policy failures, adding due to the successful policies of the last government of Nawaz Sharif inflation came down, economy grew, and the international financial institutions acknowledged the economic achievements of Pakistan.

The minister said after attack on the Army Public School, a national action plan was devised and it was decided not to allow use of Pakistani territory against any other country.

He said the leadership in Afghanistan should condemn the terrorist attacks in Pakistan which were carried out by the Tehreek i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) based in Afghanistan. “We carried out an intelligence-based anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan against the terror group,” he told.

He said neighbouring countries should eliminate terrorism through mutual cooperation. Responding to a question, he said Pakistan needed to get out of the trap of budget deficit and current account deficit.

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