Govt to implement five year road map for economic progress: FM

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LONDON, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ishaq Dar on Saturday said the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif 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

He said the previous governments of Pakistan Muslim League(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 FM 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.

He said on the sidelines of the nuclear energy summit, he held bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Turkiye, Azerbaijan, UAE and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

During meetings with the foreign ministers of Turkiye, United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan, they agreed to enhance cooperation in areas of trade, investment, defence and economy.

During meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, “we agreed to enhance our bilateral trade volume”.

The minister said he had a productive meeting with the Director General of IAEA who had visited Pakistan at the inauguration of C5 nuclear power project.

He said during his meeting with the Foreign Minister of UAE, they agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

He also held a substantive meeting with the Chinese Vice President and exchanged views on diverse areas of cooperation and he agreed to visit Pakistan in the future, he added.

China was all weather friend of Pakistan who supported Pakistan on all issues and at international forums, he remarked.

He also told about his meetings with ministers of the United Kingdom, during which it was agreed that UK government would further invest in development projects in Pakistan.

He expressed best wishes for King Charles and Princess of Wales who were diagnosed with cancer.

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

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 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 another question, he said Pakistan needed to get out of the trap of budget deficit and current account deficit.

He said economic diplomacy was top priority of the government and the new finance minister Muhammad Aurganbzeb had all the expertise to deal with economic issues of Pakistan.

The minister said the government was trying its best for the resumption of flights of Pakistan International Airlines
after meeting all the international requirements for compliance.

“We are keen for the resumption of PIA flights and it is a matter of weeks after which flights will be initiated.”

He said relations between Pakistan and India faced a setback after India revoked the constitutional and legal status of Jammu and Kashmir in August, 2019.

“We will seriously look into matters of trade with Pakistan,” he added.

He said he would also look into the complaints of closure of social media platform X in Pakistan.