ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday reiterated that the government was ready to hold talks with leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Inshaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), urging them to let their workers celebrate Eid ul Azha happily at their home towns.
“Do not spoil Eid of people, particularly of the residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, just for political gains,” said Ahsan Iqbal.
Addressing a press conference here, he said the country could not afford the sit-ins, which were badly affecting the economy,besides creating difficulties for the masses.
The government, he said, was ready to hold talks with both the parties.
The minister said despite anti-China policy of PTI chief Imran Khan, the government would continue to work with China for the establishment of economic corridor.
“Imran Khan has been used to sabotage the Pak-China Economic Corridor project and the visit of Chinese President to Pakistan,” he remarked.
He said Imran also misled the people about Chinese investment by propagating that it was being provided at 7 per cent mark-up rate.
Ahsan Iqbal said Imran Khan by giving such statements could not end the friendship between the two countries. The government was committed to continue all the projects with China, including Economic Corridor, Lahore-Karachi Motorway and Gawadar project.
He said China was offering $34 billion investment to Pakistan in various sectors, including energy.
He deplored that the PTI held protests in New York at a time when the prime minister was raising Kashmir issue at the United Nations General assembly session. At that time such activities should have been avoided to demonstrate national solidarity,he added.
The minister said Imran Khan was giving wrong figures to project his agenda. He was leveling allegations against political leadership, media, civil society, lawyers and national institutions,while presenting himself as the only patriotic, honest and trustworthy person in the country, he added.
He categorically rejected Imran’s claims that the country borrowed $52 billion during last year. In fact, the foreign debt went up by $4 billion from $61 billion to $65 billion, he added.
He criticized that Imran Khan on one hand termed foreign borrowing against the sovereignty of country, while on the other, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), where his party was in power, foreign funded projects were being executed.
Ahsan said he had approved many projects for the KPK in Central Development Working Party (CDWP), which were to be executed through foreign loans.
He said Imran Khan had been advocating a uniform education system and questioned how many private schools and madaris of KPK had been streamlined so far.
He said the Punjab government established computer centers at 1400 schools, recruited 2500 teachers to provide science education in rural areas and provided laptop computers to students through Higher Education Commission.
“What has Imran Khan done in the KPK during 15 months of his government there?” the minister questioned.
He said Imran Khan had been talking about rigging in general elections 2013, but what about his party elections in which seats were distributed against merit, as disclosed by his own party members.
He said Imran Khan was claiming to put the country in right direction while he himself had failed to practice the same in his party and the KPK.
He said the sit-ins had affected the economy as according to SBP-IBA report, the business activities had dipped since July 2013.