Islamabad, September 09, 2015 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal today said today’s Pakistan possesses attributes of a progressing country and well-positioned to rank among top 25 economies of the world by 2025. The signs of failing country can’t be attributed to Pakistan, which has clear vision, independent judiciary, free media and growing civil society with strategic economic roadmap stands on strong democratic foundations aided by continuously improving law and order situation, sustainable economic growth and conducive investment environment.
The present government was able to put the economy on track after vigorous efforts during the last two years and is committed on purging the country from extremist and militant tendencies by working on holistic agenda of making Pakistan a well functioning democracy and progressive country, he maintained while talking to representatives of leading international media organizations. Federal Minister Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan also accompanied him.
Ahsan Iqbal welcoming the representatives of international media stated that their visit would give them fresh insight into Pakistan, which was in the eyes of storm after 9/11 in the context of security and terrorism. However today, Pakistan is a changed country altogether, which due to 46 billion dollar Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has turned it into an investment hub for international investors. He said that today’s Pakistan carries hallmarks of a progressive society and, progressing country.
The minister pointed out that with the consistent efforts of the government Pakistan has attained a different look today as opposed to what the international community and the media used to look at it in the past. About Pakistan’s new emerging face in the world, minister maintained that the country has witnessed consensus and unanimity among the ranks of political and military leadership on the wider array of issues pertaining to peace, development and political stability, prosperity and well-being of the people of Pakistan.
As the military went out to eliminate the hardcore militants, politicians rallied to enact special laws to fight the militancy allowing establishment of military courts and making special arrangements to combat terrorism. Furthering this process, the Supreme Court also endorsed the national resolve to fight the militancy and terrorism in the country, which demonstrated consensus against extremism among all institutions of state.
Ahsan Iqbal said, “PML-N government inherited a ruined and mismanaged economy after assuming the power after general elections 2013, which international observers believed were most transparent elections in the history of country.
He said the first task of PML-N government was to devise an economic road map because in the past, absence of such a road map resulted in grave problems particularly in energy sector, whose demand and supply situation turned to worst proportions. Thus, PML-N government chalked out Vision-2025 after broad based consultations among all stakeholders at federal, provincial and private sector levels.
He said the vision-205 lays emphasis on human resource development, regional connectivity, knowledge economy, inclusive growth and shared prosperity. Minister said that human resource development is top at the list of government’s priorities and education has been targeted especially through increased funding to higher education and producing ten thousand PhDs in next ten years.
In this spirit, Ahsan Iqbal said he proposed a US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor to benefit from the high quality education in science and technology of USA universities. He said that it is unfortunate despite being strategic partner of USA, Pakistan never got the preferential treatment in terms of its students availing higher education opportunities in USA universities.
He also shared with the media representatives the efforts of government to make the country energy-sufficient. By 2018, we will be able to add 10000 MGW in the national grid and another 15000 MGW will be injected in it beyond 2018.
To a query about blasphemy law, Ahsan Iqbal said that Constitution of Pakistan allows free practicing of faith and religion in country. He said that Islam guarantees rights of non-Muslims as equal citizens. All religious groups are free to worship their religion.
However freedom of expression can’t be allowed to become an instrument of demeaning or insulting other faiths and beliefs. Quran says don’t abuse others’ Gods so they don’t abuse your God. Government is determined to see that there is no misapplication of Blasphemy law. He told the media that present government was trying to create inter-faith harmony and build a society based mutual respect, harmony and religious tolerance.
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