PM Imran to skip UN General Assembly to focus on economy
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will skip next month’s United Nations General Assembly session to focus his attention on the country’s economy, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Foreign Minister Qureshi will head the Pakistani delegation at 73rd UN General Assembly session set to open on September 18.
“No, the prime minister is not going. I will lead Pakistani delegation,” Qureshi told reporters on Tuesday evening.
There was a debate in Pakistan whether the new prime minister would attend the UN session or stay home as part of his austerity drive and focus on economic issues.
“The prime minister of Pakistan thinks that the present situation in country needs attention,” Qureshi told the media.
He said Khan wants to focus on his new government, sworn in earlier this month, amid looming currency crisis, which threatens to derail the fast-growing economy.
Pakistan’s economy expanded at 5.8 per cent in the last fiscal year, its quickest pace in 13 years, but the rupee has been devalued four times since December. Interest rates have been raised three times.
Newly elected PM Imran Khan has vowed to take drastic measures, including curtailing expenditure on the VVIP culture, to overcome the enormous economic challenges being faced by the country.
Imran Khan said a committee would be constituted to review the expenditure incurred by the offices of president, prime minister, ministers and other high officials, and suggest austerity measures.
The savings through curtailing expenditure of the offices of very important persons (VVIPs) and other departments would be spent on the people’s welfare, he added. The PTI had not come into government to rule but to serve the masses, he added.
“We have to do away with traditional politicking and set a better example of good governance within limited expenditure,” he said, as otherwise the people would not forgive the PTI expressing their anger with more severity than the previous regimes.
He said there would be no discretionary fund for any minister for execution of any scheme as his government would rather do legislation for elimination of the same.
Imran Khan said in today’s world nothing could be kept secret from the people and the elected representatives would have to remain careful and cautious while running the government affairs. “Having fear from the Almighty, we will have to work round-the-clock for the public welfare,” he vowed.