Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that bringing economic stability in the country was the foremost priority of the government and in this regard a comprehensive economic revival plan was in force.

He said assisting the process of elections was one of the prime duties of the government. “We will be assisting and supporting the process, and while doing so really try to focus on the economic revival plan. That is the biggest challenge.”

In an interview with the US based weekly magazine Newsweek here on Friday, the prime minister pointed out that the caretaker government was deeply concerned about the situation of stability. “At the moment, it’s pretty much under control. It’s something which we fully and lawfully monitor, and we are in charge to pull all the strings when it comes to stability.”

With respect to Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan, he said it would take some time to get relations with the neighbouring government better. “It’ll take a bit of time, but we are quite confident that we will be able to manage that. We do have a larger perspective and outlook on the whole of the region. But these day-to-day events do mire and complicate our relationship at times. But we’re trying to manage it in a manner which is mutually beneficial to both sides,” he added.

Responding to a question regarding the US attention in South Asian region, PM Kakar said as a Pakistani and someone coming from that region, he would be very much baffled if that region was being ignored or if it deserved less attention by the United States, because this was where actually lot of things were happening. “A population of around 3 to 4 billion resides in that region. How do you ignore 4 billion people? How do you pay less attention to 4 billion people out of 8. Almost half of humanity resides there.”

He said there were potential conflicts in those areas. “It would be very stingy on my part not to mention Kashmir, because it is a flashpoint between two nuclear states. God forbid, if there is any sort of military confrontation between the two nuclear powers, how would that translate to the region? How would that translate outside the region? What sort of implications would it have for the European continent? What implications will it have across the planet into North America and the rest?”

The prime minister expressed his concerns over the entire so-called “Indo-Pacific” policy of the Western Hemisphere via the encirclement of a regional power around the South China. “We do view it and we are closely monitoring all the developments. The so-called Indo Pacific strategy is done for the objectives which suit Western powers, so, there is an element of concern and there is a legitimate sense of caution on the Pakistani side, and we are closely monitoring that and we are trying to do our own preparedness to respond to such a challenge,” he added.

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Friday said that the gruesome murder of Khalistan Movement Sikh leader in Canada had jolted the West that raised serious questions about the role of Indian state.

Addressing a presser at the Pakistan Mission, the prime minister said that Pakistan had been a victim of such state-sponsored terrorism and shared evidences of ‘Pakistan centric’ at different global and multilateral fora about the role of Indian state.

He said that it might be the first of its kind event probably after the First World War that an Asian country staged a physical murder on the European soil and its impacts were being felt across the Western countries who now realized how India was persecuting its minorities like Christians, Sikhs and Muslims. The prime minister opined that an alliance should be formed to check such ‘rough behaviour’ of India.

To another question, he said that he also held meetings with different business bodies in the US that showed interests in the economic revival plans in Pakistan, including privatization and SIFC. He also termed his discussion with the IMF Managing Director very constructive, adding that she hoped that the upcoming mandated government would carry on the economic plan.

To a query, he said that the caretaker government had conducted administrative intervention against the sugar and wheat mafias with effective measures. There was no dearth of the commodities in the country as different edible items were readily available, however, prices of certain commodities were linked with the international prices, he added. The prime minister said that the caretaker government was striving to provide relief to the masses.

The IMF was very appreciative of the interim government’s steps over illegal trade of dollars, he added. The IMF did not demand anything, rather the caretaker government was giving them a confidence and would abide by the agreements, he said, adding that the upcoming elected government would further negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) according to its manifesto.

About the Pak-US ties, he said that they had very constructive historic relations which would be further strengthened. The Pakistani diaspora was contributing to the United States and playing their role in the community building. The prime minister stressed that Pakistan had an exclusive identity and it should be seen through the prism of it rather than any other regional or other contexts.

PM Kakar said he, as well as the current Chief Justice of Pakistan, visited Jaranwala and tried to mitigate the situation. The Army Chief also took a public position on the issue.

He said Pakistan wanted constructive engagement with Russia and both the countries had immense potential of enhanced economic cooperation. However, he said, Pakistan did not favour military solution to any conflict and instead advocated dialogue for settlement.

Prime Minister Kakar said that persecution of Muslims being carried out in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) was aptly described as “genocide”, which he also mentioned in his address at the United Nations General Assembly. He said thousands of Kashmiris had been killed and women were raped, besides the extrajudicial killing of the innocent people.

To another question, he said of around 5 million refugees in Pakistan, some 2.8 million were legal and the rest were without any legal document. Therefore, the government had decided to repatriate them and administrative intervention was being made for the purpose.—APP


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2023-09-24

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