Pakistan: Two years in office ‘the biggest struggle of my life’, says Imran Khan

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed the two-year tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government quite eventful and full of challenges.

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Imran Khan who took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 18, 2018, upon completion of the second year of his government has termed this period ‘the biggest struggle’ of his life.

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But, he reiterated his resolve to keep the struggle against various power groups, mafias and cartels which are “threatening even the government.”

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Regarding the prevalent sugar crisis in the country, Khan said he had constituted a commission to probe why prices were increasing almost on a daily basis.

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Khan said his dream of a ‘New Pakistan’ would not be realized unless the mafias and cartels were eliminated.

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When asked about the involvement of his trusted lieutenant Jehangir Tareen in sugar crisis being the owner of sugar milKhanster said he was hurt to see his name in the Sugar Inquiry Commission’s report, as he was very close to him and his frontline soldier in the struggle against the mafias.

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“It was a difficult decision for me since a leader is always supposed to be Sadiq and Ameen (truthful and trustworthy)”, he said.

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Making profit by a business was not bad, but profiteering by cartels was not acceptable, he added.

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Direction set

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Khan said if someone asked him what he achieved in these two years, he would reply that he had at least set the country in the right direction to realize the dream of its founders.

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“If you have to prosper, you have to adopt policies of Riasat-e-Madina (State of Madina) that was a welfare state”, said Khan adding his government was making efforts to turn the country into a welfare state.

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He blamed the elite class of the country for offering resistance to his reforms agenda.

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“They [the elite] do not accept supremacy of law and consider themselves privileged class and above the law. They are against my government because I am working against their interest”, said the prime minister.

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Healthy signs

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He maintained that due to his government’s successful policies the country’s economy is showing healthy signs.

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“Pakistan’s stock market is booming today, tax targets have not been achieved but we have gained surplus revenue, the measures to check fiscal/trade deficit are yielding favourable results”, he said.

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The current account deficit of $20 billion was the biggest challenge he said as it caused currency devaluation.

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Corrective measures were taken to bring it down to $3 billion, he added.

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No concession for opposition

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About some working relationships with the opposition parties, he said when the government moved the bills related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to curb money laundering, the opposition proposed amendments in the laws of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) only to keep the government under pressure.

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However, he made it clear there would be no National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-like concession for the opposition. “They only want to see cases of corruption against them simply shelved and they are no longer accountable to any forum over their past practices.”

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Energy crisis

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Regarding the energy crisis, Khan said the recent agreement with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) would help overcome long hours of loadshedding in the country.

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The future of industries in the country was linked to the cheap electricity generation, he added.

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He said that the government was also working on public sector power plants and a comprehensive power policy would be revealed in the next two weeks.

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