‘Good days have begun’: PTI govt unveils two-year performance report
ISLAMABAD: A number of key members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet held a joint press conference on Tuesday to reveal what the PTI government achieved during two years of its governance.
Speaking, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the objective of the ruling PTI’s politics was to bring about a welfare state. “Our objective is to make a state where public service should be the first and foremost priority.”
He said the government’s policies revolve around the welfare of the have-nots and labourers, adding people rejected those who preferred their personal interest over those of public by turning politics into a profession.
“We have to fight challenges on both external and internal front as everyone is oblivious to the fifth generation warfare,” he maintained, warning our enemy wants to inflict damage on Pakistan and its economy in every way.
“The first two years of the PTI government were difficult but now good days have begun,” Shibli Faraz said.
‘Kashmir dispute internationalised’
Highlighting achievements on the diplomatic front, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the PTI government routed Indian plans to isolate Pakistan globally, directing its focus and energy on the Kashmir dispute.
He recalled how Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted the issue of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir in his first speech to the nation after winning the general elections. “It was because of our effective policy of the last two years that the Kashmir dispute has now been internationalised today.”
FM Qureshi said the UN Security Council held debates on the outstanding dispute for three times in a year. Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address to the UN General Assembly and other international forums vigorously raised the dispute, he added.
Pakistan played its part in intra-Afghan talks which are about to commence, he said, adding Pakistan witnessed a shift in its narrative over the last two years of the PTI government as it is now being viewed as a partner in peace.
“We gave the concept of economic diplomacy to enhance our economic presence,” Shah Mahmood said. “We have also reinvigorated our ties with friendly countries as ties with China transformed into a strong economic partnership.”
Qureshi recalled that the prime minister’s global debt relief initiative for developing countries was acknowledged by the world.
‘Economic policies bearing fruit’
Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said there was a crisis-like situation in the country that was at risk of going bankrupt when the PTI assumed power. There was a whopping $20 billion current account deficit at that time, he added.
“Our first endeavour was to pull the country out of crisis and stabilise it. The government took big decisions and struck a historic deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” he said, adding friendly countries also helped Pakistan stave off bankruptcy.
Hafeez Shaikh said the PTI government paid back Rs5,000 billion of past debts and religiously followed an austerity drive, cutting down on government expenditures, including those of the Prime Minister’s House, to bring down budget deficit.
He said the government rolled out a huge package of Rs1,240 billion to tackle Covid-19 crisis. The lion’s share of the package was given to the poor and the people rendered jobless due to lockdown, he added.
“Our economic performance is now being acknowledged by international organisations including IMF, Moody’s and Fitch with the Pakistan Stock Market recognised as the best performing market in the world by Bloomberg,” he pointed out.
The adviser said the government’s economic policies have started bearing fruit.
Exports witnessed a 6 per cent growth in the month of July with record remittances of $2.8 billion received, the adviser said. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) raked in Rs300 billion in taxes in the first month of the current fiscal year, he added.
‘Pakistan to soon export mobile phones’
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the government ensured availability of all essential commodities despite the coronavirus crisis and reopened industries in phases after Covid-19 lockdown, rolling out a stimulus package of its kind for the construction industry to boost construction activities, which yielded results in the form of an upturn in the construction sector.
He pointed out that the government cut down on smuggling of mobile phones into the country with the help of technology, brought in electric vehicle and mobile manufacturing policies, and made significant progress towards implementation of FATF action plan. He added Pakistan will soon be able to export mobile phones.
Pakistan’s success on Covid-19 front
Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said Pakistan is being counted amongst a few countries that have successfully dealt with Covid-19. Pakistan’s Covid-19 situation is far better than other regional countries, he added.
He said the government proved it is competent and has the will to tackle challenges.