ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said Panama trial in the country had dented economic momentum, causing huge loss of over US $ 14 billion to the national kitty.
“Prudent policies had resulted in economic progress during the last four years. But despite the jerk to government as well as national economy, we are hoping to achieve economic growth of 6 per cent for current fiscal year,” he said addressing a press conference here.
The minister said if the government was allowed to work smoothly, growth rate could reach 6.15 per cent or even 6.3 per cent.
He said the World Bank (WB) report had included Pakistan among the top five countries where private investment structure was very attractive.
Ahsan Iqbal, who is also Minister for Planning and Development, said image of rising economy had not been created in the world automatically but it was PML-N’s government which worked hard to put the country’s economy on right path.
The minister said when he took the office as Interior Minister, it was difficult to get license for a bullet proof vehicle, but now process to get this license had been eased. However, he said the license holder will have to pay tax worth Rs 500,000 to national exchequer.
Regarding finality of Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), he said, there was no need to create any issue on that matter as all the stakeholders including parliament, the opposition, and the government were on the same page and they all believed in the Finality of Prophethood (Peace Be Upon Him).
He questioned that why some groups wanted to demonstrate on that issue and against whom.
He said peaceful demonstration was right of every person in democracy but if the demonstrators were bent upon creating hue and cry just to tease the government then it would take necessary steps to safeguard important public buildings and diplomatic enclave in the Federal Capital.
The minister urged all such groups to stage a demonstration in Parade Ground instead of entering into the Red Zone.
“Our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had given us teachings of peace and harmony. We need to remain peaceful and refrain from making violent demonstration,” he added.
To a question regarding a letter written by the Chinese government to the Interior Ministry for boosting security of the Chinese people in Pakistan in the wake of security threats, the minister said after statements of Indian spy Kalbhoshan Singh, it had become quite clear that the neighboring country had nefarious designs against Pakistan.
He said though the backbone of terrorists had been broken by the security forces, but complete elimination of terrorism from the country was yet to be made, therefore, care should be exercised by the media-persons regarding publishing of such sensitive information in that regard. “If the letter was leaked then the newsmen should have confirmed it from the government authorities concerned before publishing it,” he added.
To another question, Ahsan Iqbal said all the state institutions, including the parliament, should be given equal respect and importance. The government, he added, was devising a framework under which social media would be checked. “The government will sit together with information technology experts, bloggers and other stakeholders for the purpose,” he said, adding that a free hand given to the social media users could create anarchy in the country as most of the information spread through it was based on speculation.
He said the politics of some people depended on mere speculation and they were the ones who desired to derail the democratic process in the country. But no one would derail the democratic system as it was put on the right path, he added. “The government will complete its tenure for the second time in the country’s history, which will give a strong message to the world that Pakistan’s is a stable democracy.”
He said PTI chief Imran Khan should deliver lectures on the game of cricket as it was his specialty, and spare economy.
Imran Khan’s party, he said, had become a safe haven for the corrupt people.