Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said that country suffered losses amounting to $14 billion during the last three to four months owing to the Panama Papers case and Supreme Court”s verdict in this case.
“Since the formation of joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case, the country has suffered losses to the tune of dollars 14 billion due to different factors,” he said talking to media persons after visiting Sunday Bazaar in sector H-9, where a huge fire erupted on Wednesday last and gutted a number of stalls.
Iqbal said the reasons behind huge financial losses included a bearish trend in stock market, loss of market capitalization in stock market, delay in initial public offerings (IPOs) of different shares and investors” reluctance to make fresh investment in Pakistan.
“The disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resulted in a loss of $14 billion to the national exchequer,” he said, adding that they respected the verdict of the Supreme Court and implemented it.
Iqbal said that political instability was tantamount to playing with the future of the next generations. He said that playing with country”s stability and doing politics for the sake of it would inevitably hamper economic development in the country.
“Conspiracy and progress cannot move together in any country. The present government wants to see stability and peace in the country,” he said, adding that Ministry of Interior would continue to play an effective role under the National Action Plan (NAP) for national peace and stability.
To a question about the Dawn Leaks report he said it was now a past and closed matter because the inquiry was conducted by a team with the consensus of civil and military leadership. He further said that at the moment we need to show unity and move forward beyond “dead” issues such as the Dawn Leaks.
Replying to another question about US President Donald Trump”s statement, he said that both political and military leadership examined the statements from all aspects and categorically rejected his assertions of billions of dollars payments to Pakistan over the years on account of countering terrorism.
“We do not owe money to the US. Instead, the America has to pay us under the head of grounds and logistics,” he said.
Earlier, he spoke to the affected stallholders of Sunday Bazaar where he said that an assessment and evaluation committee would submit its report within two days and he would present the report to the Prime Minister for compensation. He said that the government would support the affected people in re-establishing their businesses again. He said that as many as 600 stalls burnt in the incident. “The rescue operation began promptly because of CCTV cameras installed under the Safe City Project and other safety measures adopted by the district administration, otherwise, the volume of losses would have been higher,” he said, adding that had the firefighting equipment been installed at the Bazaar, such a huge damage would not have been occurred. The minister directed Capital Development Authority (CDA) to install firefighting equipment at the bazaar and other high-rise shopping malls.