PM’s China visit to boost economy: Tarar

| Says enemies can’t digest Pakistan’s progress | Nobody will be allowed to harm the national interests | Chinese workers to get state-level security

ISLAMABAD  -   Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage and Culture Attaullah Tarar on Monday said Pakistan’s fast-track progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had stunned its enemies in contrast with their dreams of its downfall economically.

The disgruntled elements were fully perturbed as the prime minister had charted the country on path of progress and development, he said while addressing a press conference. The minister said a so-called leader while being at the helm of affairs in 2018 had adversely affected Pakistan’s relations with the brotherly countries thus causing serious problems on the diplomatic front. On the other hand, the government led by PM Shehbaz Sharif had not only mended relations with the brotherly states, besides restoring the country’s prestige in the global community, he added.

Tarar said the prime minister’s historic visit to China was “highly successful”, which had been marked by an unprecedented level of enthusiasm and mutual cooperation. He said the prime minister’s China visit would boost economy. He said it was reiterated many times during the meetings that a state-level security would be provided to the Chinese workers, he added. A multitude of issues, he said, were addressed during the visit, fostering the dawn of a new era in the bilateral relations of two countries which had been enjoying exemplary bonds for decades. Their unparalleled friendship stood steadfast against all odds over the years, he added.  The prime minister, he said, had discussed the revival of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and the Mainline 1 (ML-1) projects during the meeting. A committee was formed to extend the ML-1 from Karachi to Multan and potentially beyond, he added.

The minister said a total of 32 B2B agreements were inked among various business enterprises of the two countries. Moreover, he said, some 500 entrepreneurs attended a business conference where many agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) were also signed to enhance business cooperation between the two countries. IT (information technology) exports would be enhanced with the visit of the prime minister to China, he said, adding that China had agreed to train 200,000 IT students. Establishing smart cities were also discussed during the meetings, the minister noted. Tarar said that training of the youth would further increase IT exports by encouraging the tech start-ups to contribute to the national economy, positively.  He said Pakistan’s tech companies were competing with its foreign counterparts and it was the responsibility of the government to create a conducive environment for them.

“Pakistan-China friendship is in our blood,” he said, lauding China for persistently supporting Pakistan which was being reciprocated in the same manner.

He said that the benefits of the upgradation of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) would reach the people of both countries.

He said Pakistan had already achieved economic stability, witnessed a reduction in price hikes with inflation declined from 18 to 11 percent, and experienced overall economic improvement. The foreign exchange reserves had increased to $14 billion, he added.

Terming the CPEC a lifeline of Pakistan, he said the Chinese leadership had vowed to upgrade the flagship project and now its process was moving forward at fast pace.

Tarar said the prime minister had assured the Chinese leadership of full-proof security for the Chinese who had been working in Pakistan on different projects.

The internal and external enemies of Pakistan were bent upon damaging the bilateral relations of Pakistan and China which had stood the test of time for over 70 years, he said, adding the country and its national interests were supreme for the government which was committed to the welfare and well-being of its people.

He said Pakistan’s prestige had been restored at the international level since PM Shehbaz Sharif came into the power. The investors from across the globe were signing agreements for making investment and doing business and trade with Pakistan, he added.

He cited that a mobile manufacturing unit in Karachi had recently made a commitment to increase its production and exports by investing billions of dollars.

It was the sincerity and commitment of the country’s leadership that helped gained the confidence of business community, he added.

The minister said that the presence of military leadership in the high-level delegation to China showed Pakistan’s commitment and seriousness to address the security issues faced by the Chinese in Pakistan.

The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to root out terrorism from the country.

To a query, he said nobody would be allowed to harm the national interests, while lashing out the measures taken by the last Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government to offend the friendly countries.

He said a case related to 190 million pounds was the biggest scandal in the country’s history which must be investigated thoroughly.

No clean chit should be given in the cipher case as the Official Secrets Act clearly stated that the state secrets could not be shared with anybody, he added.

He ruled out the possibility of the release of the PTI founder who had been facing trials in multiple cases.

“Political stability is directly linked with economic stability,” he said, vowing strict action against those who would dare to take law into hands.

The minister said both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party rendered numerous sacrifices but never resorted to attack the state institutions. The May 9 tragedy was unforgivable crime and its perpetrators must be taken to the task, he added.

“Don’t pay heed to the rumours as the economy is on the right track and the prime minister’s visit to China will give a major boost to economy which will witness massive activity and employment generation in coming days,” the minister stressed.  

He underlined the need for improving the defamation law in the country, urging the media to play its role in that regard.

“I would like to pay tribute and gratitude to the overseas Pakistanis who have sent record remittances this time,” he said.

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