PTI disputes govt’s poverty eradication claims

Tareen says govt is talking about eliminating poverty with a growth rate of just three per cent


Qamar Zaman June 29, 2016
Tareen says govt is talking about eliminating poverty with a growth rate of just three percent. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: The newly-appointed Secretary General of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Jahangir Tareen, challenged on Tuesday government’s claims regarding eliminating poverty from the country by 2030, saying it was nothing but empty political rhetoric.

“The PML-N should improve its governance or get ready to (pack up and) go home,” Tareen said in a statement.

He ridiculed the government’s claims and said it was talking about eliminating poverty with a growth rate of just three percent.

Highlighting PTI’s strategy to take on the government before going for a decisive move, a senior party official told The Express Tribune: “PTI has learnt … from past experiences and will not repeat mistakes it made during and before the 126-day sit-in at the Constitution Avenue.”

“PTI will not jump to conclusion this time and exhaust all legal options before taking to the streets,” another senior member of the party said. “The party will build a narrative and convince the masses that it is left with no other option but protest,” he added.

Tareen has started building his party’s case, highlighting governance issues in an attempt to expose the government’s performance.

His party has already rejected the Planning Commission’s poverty survey, stating that it contradicted ground realities.

According to Tareen, the PML-N is planning to prolong its rule.

Allocations for health and education sectors in the budget along with steps taken by the government to generate new jobs spoke volumes about the government’s hollow claims, Tareen said.

He said that the poverty survey was nothing but a ‘pack of lies’ to misguide the masses. The government, he said, opted not to carry out a fresh census, instead it just conjured up a ‘planted survey on poverty’ just to help improve its image.

Talking about government’s policies on agriculture sector, Tareen said that the past three years’ policies resulted in the state of affairs “we are facing today”.

He said that reduction in agriculture produce had actually increased the number of poor in rural areas of the country.

Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhliwal called on PTI chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s Bani Gala residence.

During the meeting, the Ambassador briefed the PTI chairman about issues relating to Afghan refugees in Khyber-Pakhtunkwha.

Khan said that despite limited resources, the people of K-P had been hosting the Afghan refugees for over three decades.

Referring to issues being faced by the refugees, the PTI chief blamed the policies of the federal government. “There is a possibility that the issue of Afghan refugees may get complicated because of the federal government’s lack of interest,” a statement quoted Khan as saying.

Khan said that the Afghan refugees would have to behave sensibly in the wake of security challenges faced by Pakistan. “We cannot allow anyone to jeopardize people’s lives and will not compromise on national security.”

During the meeting, it was decided that the Afghan Ambassador would hold meetings with K-P Chief Minister and IG police.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2016.

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