'Even' Afghanistan will outrank Pakistan if govt mandate not respected: Iqbal

Minister raps 'intellectuals' engaging in anti-CPEC propaganda

Mian Aslam/News Desk March 31, 2018
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal says the whole world is witness to our struggle for the eradication of terrorism. PHOTO: FILE

Bemoaning how the government's mandate was not 'respected', Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said 'even' Afghanistan would power ahead of Pakistan in the near future, Express News reported.

Prior to 2013, the world looked at Pakistan as a safe haven for terrorists, frequent power cuts had made citizens' lives hell, there was a fear of civil strife due to the energy crisis and the GDP was growing at a mere 3%, Iqbal told journalists.

He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had prioritised overcoming the energy crisis and executing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) after receiving a mandate from the people.  Iqbal added that with the start of the CPEC, the world started to look at Pakistan from a different lens. The CPEC isn't only between a government to government agreement, it binds two nations together. "In 2013, when the idea of  the CPEC was proposed, we vowed to make it a reality. Now it  is proving to be a game changer," he added.

"Development projects worth $46 billion are being completed now," the minister said. He said the first phase of the project  was premised on revamping national infrastructure to revive the economy. "Now the conditions of the country are better and investors world over are flocking to Pakistan," he added.

But some self-proclaimed intellectuals use the medium of television to further negativity about the initiative everyday, the minister said. Who knows who's agenda they are furthering, he said.

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Iqbal went on to lament how the government's mandate was not 'respected'. "In Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai completed his term. Now President Ashraf Ghani is set to complete his. I fear 'even' Afghanistan will overtake Pakistan in the near future, he said.


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