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PML-N again offers 'peace talks' to Imran and Qadri

02 October, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The government said on Wednesday that it is ready to hold talks with leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and urged them to let their workers celebrate Eidul Azha in their hometowns.

Addressing a press conference, Federal Minister for Planning and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said Imran Khan was claiming to put the country in the right direction while he himself has failed to do the same in his party and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where it is in power.

"Do not spoil the Eid of people, particularly of the residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, just for political gains," said Ahsan, adding that the sit-ins had affected the economy, and according to an SBP-IBA report, the business activities have dipped since July 2013. The minister said the country could not afford the sit-ins, which are badly affecting the economy besides creating difficulties for the masses.

Ahsan said that "despite anti-China policy of PTI chief Imran Khan", the government would continue to work with China for the establishment of an economic corridor. He said Imran has misled the people about Chinese investment "by propagating that it was being provided at 7 percent mark-up rate".

He said that by giving such statements the PTI chief cannot end the friendship between the two countries. The government, he said, is committed to continuing all the projects with China, including the economic corridor, Lahore-Karachi Motorway and Gwadar project. He said China was offering $34 billion investment to Pakistan in various sectors, including energy.

Ahsan deplored that the PTI has held protests in New York at a time when the prime minister was raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly. He said such activities should have been avoided at that time to demonstrate national solidarity. The minister said Imran Khan was giving wrong figures to promote his agenda. He said that the PTI chief is levelling 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.

The minister categorically rejected Imran's claims that the country had borrowed $52 billion during the last year. "In fact, the foreign debt went up by $4 billion from $61 billion to $65 billion," he added. He lamented that Imran Khan on one hand terms foreign borrowing as against the sovereignty of country, while on the other, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where his party is in power, foreign-funded projects are being executed. Ahsan said he had approved many projects for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the 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 madrassas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been streamlined so far. Ahsan said the Punjab government has established computer centres in 1,400 schools, recruited 2,500 teachers to provide science education in rural areas and given laptop computers to students through the 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".

Imran on Tuesday dispelled the impression that the "Azadi sit-in" has received funds from foreign lands. He asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to declare his assets. He promised to resign if it is proved that he owns even a single property overseas. "The prime minister should declare his assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan and the general public," Imran said.


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