News Analysis |
Prime Minister Imran Khan has talked about early elections, likely reshuffle in the federal cabinet and United States President Donald Trump’s letter seeking Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan peace process during his first interview to the local media after assuming the office in August.
The prime minister also discussed bilateral ties with India and controversies surrounding his first three months at the country’s top office while interacting with a select group of journalists and senior anchor persons.
Hinting at possible changes in the federal cabinet in the next 10 days, PM Imran interestingly said that early elections in the country cannot be ruled out. The premier also said that he only came to know about the sudden increase in dollar’s value through television, adding that the State Bank took the decision without taking the government into confidence.
The opening of Kartarpur corridor was a significant decision of the government to defuse tensions with India and open new doors of bilateral relations with the neighboring country.
“We are working to introduce a uniform education and health systems, which will provide equal opportunities and to all,” he remarked, adding that the government will introduce health cards throughout the country, as well as a legal aid service to bring professional legal help within the reach of the masses.
In response to a question regarding his famous statement on ‘chicken and egg economy model’, the prime minister said the actual poverty is in rural areas of the country, “that’s why we need to empower rural people. Halal food industry, for instance, should be exploited at its optimum.”
Read more: Admission of defeat? Trump writes to PM Khan
To a question pertaining to his recent statement on dollar’s recent hike against the rupee, wherein he had advised the nation to not worry, PM Imran said the currency decline was a temporary phenomenon, and that the country’s economic indicators stayed positive. “Pakistan’s exports are going to improve further. The single most important thing is investment and Pakistan is progressing towards that goal as per plan,” he added.
On the performance of the federal ministers, the premier said he had received performance reports from the federal cabinet, especially on the cost-cutting measures they have taken. “The government will act on these reports … and it might sack some of the ministers,” he remarked. “We studied models of Singapore and Malaysia as they ran the state entities in the best way possible … we will do the same,” said the prime minister while commenting on the country’s economy.
President Donald Trump’s letter seeking Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan peace process during his first interview to the local media after assuming the office in August.
Pakistan, PM Imran added, will definitely witness stability in the days to come. The premier admitted that almost every state institution was witnessing difficulties, but blamed the former governments for the circumstances. He reiterated that the government will not interfere in or influence any national institutions.
On questions related to misuse of power by state ministers, PM Imran Khan said not a single example can be shown wherein he had interfered in the matters of the state. He lamented that the chief justice referred to ‘nepotism’ in Zulfi Bukhari’s appointment as advisor to PM on overseas Pakistanis.
On the ongoing encroachment drive, the premier said he had explicitly directed the authorities to only go after ‘mafias’, and make sure that houses of poor citizens are not destroyed. PM Imran also vowed to rid the nation of corrupt bureaucracy and added that bank account details have been acquired with assistance from the foreign countries.
The armed forces of the country are standing by the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said the premier expressing confidence over cooperation among different state institutions. The opening of Kartarpur corridor was a significant decision of the government to defuse tensions with India and open new doors of bilateral relations with the neighboring country.
Commenting on Pakistan’s foreign policy, PM Imran said, “We want to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen.” He reiterated that Pakistan will play its role to end the Afghanistan war. “I will only go for foreign trips if they help Pakistan in anyway,” he remarked.