ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday that protests and sit-ins affect the national economy as foreign investors hesitate while investing under such circumstances.
The country could never develop until and unless there is political stability, the minister told media after attending the launch of book ‘Bher ki Khal Mein’ written by Dr Fauzia Saeed, at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).
The minister was of the view that investors’ confidence develop only in a situation when there are industrial activities in the country and protests like the one led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday shake their confidence.
Pervaiz Rashid asked PTI Chairman Imran Khan to tell the nation whether he took any step to stop corruption and profiteering in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last six months.
Asked whether the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would also stage a similar protest against price hike in KP as a rebuttal, the minister replied that Imran should also protest in his province as the task suits him best.
He said that the PTI had made false claims of change, and asked Imran to tell people how many tax evaders of revenue and excise department had been arrested by the PTI’s provincial government.
The minister asked the PTI chairman to do “serious politics” and avoid “solo flights”, and said that bringing people on streets affect the law and order and security situation.
The minister claimed that Imran Khan was going abroad to enjoy winter holidays and that was why he held a protest in haste.
Questioning the performance of PTI government in KP, the minister said, “If Imran Khan wants end to Afghan war, why is he stopping NATO supplies?” he said.
He urged Imran to “stop raising funds from NATO countries”. He said that PTI’s politics of confrontation is not good for democracy in the country. He asked the PTI chief to use the forum of parliament to raise issues and find their solutions, adding that parliament is the best forum for resolving such issues. Separately, speaking to reporters in Lahore, the minister said the purpose of PTI’s rally in Lahore was not to protest against price hike but to attain its hidden agenda. He vowed that the government would not allow all such designs to succeed.
He said that prices could not be brought down through protests and sit-ins but this could be made possible through concrete steps for which the PML-N government was taking practical measures. He said that the government has brought down inflation and expressed confidence that the prices of essential commodities would further go down. He said that during the last five months, the PML-N government had “reduced load shedding significantly” and as a result of its prudent economic policies rupee had gained against the dollar.
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