Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday insisted that Pakistan was heading in the “right direction” and that the country’s economy will be “far better” by August 2022.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Chaudhry said a phase was being commenced in Pakistan in which the social protection programmes will take effect, paving the way for improvement of the overall economic situation of the country.
He informed that the PTI-led government had to return $55 billion in its next two years in debt payment, adding that a sum of $32bn had already been paid under debts in the last three years.
“We are paying the price for the legacy left by Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif,” the minister said, in reference to the last two governments of the PPP and PML-N.
Dispelling the impression given by the opposition about the country failing at the economic front, Chaudhry said Shehbaz Sharif and other opposition leaders should not worry about the country as “it is heading in the right direction, and people are witnessing it”.
‘Our politics, defence and economy are all stable’
The minister stressed that Pakistan’s politics, defence and economy were all quite stable.
He said the national economy was growing at five per cent and it will further stabilise in time to come.
“Also, take an example of the coronavirus pandemic as such calamities occur once in 100 years and Pakistan’s strategy to tackle it is being praised worldwide,” he added.
Chaudhry, while continuing with his criticism of rival parties, said the opposition leaders were all panicked after the government expressed its intent to bring Nawaz Sharif back to Pakistan.
“We want the Lahore High Court to move on his case and Nawaz should be brought back at the earliest,” he said.
He added that the government also wanted that cases involving Shehbaz Sharif should be taken up on a day-to-day basis.
The minister stonewalled a query when asked about the political implications of the “most important” appointment the prime minister was set to make in 2022 and wrapped his answer by succinctly saying “for God’s sake”.
The minister, while highlighting the importance of the film and drama industry, rued that the country had not been able to utilise the potential of the vital industry for its image-building.
“Our stories have to be told through films and the way we ended our film industry was really unfortunate. We will now revive the medium to tell the story of Pakistan to the world.”
Chaudhry said he was pleased that the dollar depreciated against the rupee after the introduction of the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 in the National Assembly on Thursday.
“This inflation cycle will break in three to four months, while the prices of vegetables will also decline in a couple of months,” he added.
The information minister said Pakistan would have gone bankrupt had Imran not been the prime minister of the country.
“If Pakistan is floating today, it’s because of Imran Khan and the PTI’s economic team,” claimed the minister.
He said the system through which Pakistan had been governed for the past several years was no more in practice. “Now, for the first time, a people-centric government is working in Pakistan”.