Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday categorically dismissed rumours of the country facing the risk of default, terming it “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) propaganda” for mere politicking.
While addressing the Pakistani community at the Pakistani Consulate in Jeddah, where a large number of overseas Pakistanis had assembled, the minister said that the country had adopted a path of stability and the government had saved it from heading towards default.
The government would soon introduce the death insurance scheme for overseas Pakistanis, he further apprised the participants.
“PTI destroyed the country’s economy which led to an economic crisis, but the incumbent government has improved the economy by following the agreement with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and for the last six months Pakistan has adopted a path of stability,” the minister said.
The news about Pakistan’s default risk is based on a “malicious campaign initiated by the PTI which has no reality”, Iqbal said, adding that the incumbent government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, had succeeded in removing Pakistan from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.
The minister added that Pakistan had a long-standing and brotherly relationship with Saudi Arabia which would continue with the same spirit. “We want to establish CPEC-style economic cooperation with Saudi Arabia, also apprising that China and Saudi Arabia had been offered joint investment under CPEC,” he said.
“Overseas [Pakistanis] based in Saudi Arabia are a strategic partner of Pakistan and their efforts are commendable which helps Pakistan to promote their narrative,” the minister said. He also announced that a death insurance scheme will be introduced soon for overseas Pakistanis to provide support to their families in case of accidental death.
Iqbal said that the government supports the right of overseas Pakistanis to vote, but it should be done without compromising the sanctity and security of the electoral process.
“There is no secure internet-based voting system in use in the world yet. However, various proposals are under consideration, including the proposal to give representation to overseas Pakistanis through specific seats in parliament,” he said.
He also lauded the role of the Pakistani community in the socio-economic development of the country and termed them “lifelines”.