Ahsan Iqbal urges DG ISPR to desist from commenting on economy

October 13, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Friday urged Pakistan army chief spokesman Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor to refrain from making statements on state of economy in the country.

In a press statement, Ahsan Iqbal said that such irresponsible statements can dent Pakistan’s reputation globally.

“The government is executing the largest development budget in the country’s history,” the interior minister noted, adding that resources were also being provided to law enforcement agencies for carrying out security options.

The interior minister said that Pakistan’s economy was strong and stable.

Ahsan Iqbal’s response came a couple of days after DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor told a news channel that if the economy was not bad, it was not doing so well either.

The remarks followed an address by army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in Karachi.

Addressing a gathering of businessmen and military leaders at DHA Club on Wednesday, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said that the army was keenly watching developments in the country’s economy.

“The economy is showing mixed indicators. Growth has picked up but the debts are sky high. Infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour.”

“Our tax to GDP ratio is abysmally low and this needs to change if we are to break the begging bowl. At the same time, the common man across Pakistan needs reassurance of benevolent and equal treatment from the State in return.

“If I were a statesman or an economist, I would say that this is high time for us to place economic growth and sustainability at the highest priority. Let me share with you that during National Security Council meetings, economy remains one of our highest concerns. But in order to secure our future, we must be ready to take difficult decisions. We have to increase our tax base, bring in fiscal discipline and ensure continuity of economic policies.” – SAMAA