Pakistan must set its own house in order, says Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said Pakistan needs to set its own house in order first before opening up to the world for investment.

Speaking at a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related seminar, Iqbal agreed with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s statements that collaborative efforts must be made to bring “our house in order before we ask other countries to invest in Pakistan”.

Iqbal said Pakistan is close to achieving this goal. He pointed out that the era of civil wars is over with the world experiencing rapid social, political and financial changes that have integrated the entire world.

During his address, Iqbal highlighted that the strength of countries lies in universities as opposed to building military might.

Iqbal said that Pakistan is committed to maintaining peace in the region which it considers a great strength. He reiterated that the country wants to settle the Afghan crisis through dialogue.

Appreciating China’s rapid development, Iqbal stressed upon Pakistan to learn from the Chinese model which has been successful in providing its nationals with an improved quality of life as well as a stable and zero conflict zone to dwell in. Iqbal stated that he envisions a bright Pakistan upon the successful completion of CPEC projects.

“We have produced 10,000 megawatts of power in the past four years, if we bring our house in order we will be able to do much more in that span of time,” Iqbal said adding that Pakistan is poised to become a major country in the region once the projects under the CPEC programme are concluded.

He lamented the fact that just when projects under the CPEC are nearing completion, many people have become critical of it and many are terming it as ‘China-Punjab Economic Corridor’ while others are terming it as the next East India Company. Iqbal condemned all such propositions made by the people clarifying that China has no intentions of colonizing and that CPEC is the most transparent project ever to be initiated in Pakistan.