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Bilateral talks to begin after elections in India: PM Imran

RIYADH: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said an anti-Pakistan campaign is underway in India owing to upcoming elections in the neighbouring country. “We would hold talks with the Indian government once elections are over.”

The prime minister was responding to a question during a session of the ‘Future Investment Initiative Conference’ in Riyadh.

Mr Khan said: “Peace is not only important for Pakistan but also for India. Peace in Afghanistan is also critical for Pakistan.”

The PM reiterated that his government would try its best to bring peace and stability in the region by improving ties with its neighbours.

Presenting his government’s agenda, Imran Khan said: “Whatever reforms we introduce today, their impact will be after two months or six months. We are talking to both IMF and friendly governments to get a loan.”

He said, “We have applied for IMF bailout package to get through tough period of next two to six months.”

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Mr Khan said the PTI government inherited a huge burden of current account and fiscal deficits.  “We are working on different fronts to get out of this financial crunch.”

He said Pakistan has achieved great successes in the fight against terrorism due to unprecedented sacrifices in human and material. He said that Pakistan is safe country for investment.

“A lasting peace and stability is needed to provide an enabling environment to the local and foreign investors in different projects in the country,” he added.

The premier said that corruption is what makes the country poor as countries are not poor because they lack resources. “Corruption destroys state institutions and divert resources from human development,” he added.

Mr Khan said in Pakistan, there are numerous challenges, including how his government strengthens institutions to make it impossible for people to indulge in corrupt practices.

“The government is also endeavoring to reform our institutions to check the menace of corruption in mega development projects and white collar crimes.” “State institutions have been weakened owing to cronies put in key positions,” the premier explained.

He said Pakistan has around 100 million people living below the poverty line. “We have brought a very ambitious programme to build five million houses which will create an environment for investment, employment opportunities and provide houses to low-income people.”

About a question about China, the premier said: “Let me say two things about China. China is the only country in the world that brought its people out of poverty and held 450 corrupt ministers accountable.”

“We will get help from China. I am going to China next month. We have already asked China to help us out in these two areas. Besides, CPEC, which connects two countries, has brought big opportunities for Pakistan.”

Imran Khan said the government is also going to provide enabling environment for doing business in Pakistan to attract foreign investors particularly overseas Pakistanis to invest in various projects in the country.

He said the government will provide incentives to overseas Pakistanis to send their remittances through legal banking channels to enhance foreign exchange reserves and check money laundering.

Mr Khan said there is large amount of minerals lying in Pakistan. “We have lots of areas of gas which has not been explored yet. Besides, Pakistan is a diverse country having vast tourist destinations.” “We have broken all records of tourism in the recent past,” he added.

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