Govt to hold Iqama holders accountable


–PM says commission to probe 10-year corruption to be formed soon

–Expresses satisfaction over state of economy, says out of the woods now


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said the high-level committee which would probe corruption committed over the past 10 years will also hold Iqama holders accountable in addition to investigating a massive increase in the country’s debt.

The prime minister had called a meeting of senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership at his Bani Gala residence to take stock of the political and economic situation prevalent in the country in addition to taking the leaders into confidence about the formation of the commission that would probe the increase in debt over the past decade.

PM Imran briefed the gathering about the debt probe commission and its mechanism. He said the formation and finalisation of the body responsible for carrying out the investigation would be announced soon.

The matter of arrests of bigwigs –Pakistan People’s Party leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Hamza Shehbaz— also came under discussion.

The PM claimed that the arrested opposition leaders were asking [the government] for some kind of relief along the lines of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to evade the cases formed against them.

Speaking about the country’s financial situation, the prime minister said that the economy had stabilised after a difficult journey. He also defended the decisions taken by the PTI government over the past eight months – increase in basis points, high taxes – to stablise the economy, saying the country would have gone bankrupt if tough decisions were not made.  “We are currently paying the largest sum in terms of interest in the history of Pakistan,” said Imran.

Although he expressed hope that the economy will now take off towards prosperity. “The country has seen a 30% decrease in its current account deficit,” announced Imran.

According to reports, the initiatives like ‘Ehsas’ and poverty alleviation projects building towards the prime minister’s vision of making Pakistan a self-reliant welfare state also came under discussion in the meeting.

PM’s Adviser on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Abdul Hafeez Sheikh briefed the participants about the budget and government’s economic objectives.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, who was also present in the meeting, informed the attendees about reform initiatives being undertaken for taxation and meeting goals set by the board.

Imran Khan also advised the cricket team to play fearless cricket when it goes against India on Sunday.

Earlier on June 11, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced to establish a high-powered commission under his supervision to find out facts behind soaring loans worth Rs24,000 billion.

The commission would be comprised of officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and would be directly overlooked by the prime minister himself.