—Info minister says PTI govt will even take drastic steps to protect state institutions from losses
LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that Pakistan has changed now as the military and judiciary are standing firmly behind the civilian government.
Talking to the media at a local hotel in Lahore, he said: “Pakistan is moving ahead under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan who has a team of experts. Finance Minister Asad Umar, Energy Minister Omer Ayub Khan, Advisor on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razzak Daowd and Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar are all experts in their respective fields.”
According to him, Imran Khan has emerged as a phenomenon in the political horizon of the country and the uprising of the middle class can be seen due to his political struggle.
“The lower class of the country revolted against the system as a result of the struggle of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and now the middle class has revolted against the status-quo under the leadership of Imran Khan,” he said, adding that a huge responsibility now lies on the shoulders of the government to deliver as the middle class has a lot of expectations.
“We entered the government through a process of change and Imran Khan himself is a symbol of change as he proved through his struggle by winning the cricket world cup and establishing the leading cancer hospital of the country,” he said. “Once again now, he proved himself as a symbol of change after becoming the prime minister,” he added.
“We would not have made to the assemblies without having Imran Khan with us,” Fawad said.
Talking about the austerity measures of his government, the minister said that Imran Khan decided to reside in the three-room house of PM Secretariat’s staff colony only to give a gesture of simplicity, as the country is ridden with foreign debt.
“Pakistan had a foreign debt of Rs6 trillion when Pervez Musharraf left the government and this figure reached Rs13 trillion at the end of PPP’s tenure. The PML-N government took this figure to Rs28 trillion in its government of five years,” Fawad said and added that the PTI government decided to take austerity measures keeping in view the current horrible economic situation.
“As many as 33 Luxury vehicles worth of Rs980 million were purchased by the government for SAARC conference that didn’t take place at all and only their maintenance cost was Rs350 million. Therefore, we decided to auction all these vehicles,” he said.
In Pakistan, corruption has become a norm but Imran Khan raised voice against all such heinous crimes besides introducing drastic reforms in the system.
“Our government will take drastic steps to save our state institutions from further loss. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is an example of such an institution which is causing a loss of Rs45 billion to the national exchequer,” he said.
“Pakistan Radio has caused a loss of Rs1.25 billion in last one year,” he added.
The information minister said if the PTI government resorts to foreign loans, the country’s foreign debt would soar to Rs40 trillion, adding that the government had invited Saudi Arabia and other countries to invest in Pakistan.