| Imran Khan warns neighboring country has a major plan to destabilise Pakistan | Says security agencies thwarted at least

four major terror attempts, two of them around Islamabad

ISLAMABAD            -          Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tuesday’s national assembly proceedings said that Pakistan has no doubt that India is behind Monday’s terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange.

The premier said the security forces averted a big tragedy as the terrorists were carrying heavy arms and ammunition to take the people hostage in the Stock Exchange and kill them to create an environment of fear and uncertainty.

“We [Pakistan] have no doubt that India was behind this attack. India made a plan, as the armed attackers wanted to make people hostage and create and create an environment of fear and uncertainty,” said the Prime Minister, paying tribute to security and intelligence agencies for their quick and efficient response. The Premier termed martyrs of Pakistani forces in PSE’s attack as ‘Heroes’.

Giving reference to the Mumbai attack, he said the terrorists wanted to create that kind of situation in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) building.  “My cabinet members know that all our security agencies were on high alert. These agencies have preempted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad,” he shared with the house.

“Four major terrorist acts have been thwarted and preempted including two around the Federal Capital Islamabad,” the PM said, adding it was a huge success and appreciated the performance and vigilance of the intelligence agencies.

The Prime Minister said our neighboring country has a major plan to destabilize Pakistan. He said our intelligence agencies were on high alert and it was because of their efforts that four of the terrorist attacks including two in the surroundings of Islamabad were preempted.

Imran Khan said that Pakistan is currently passing through difficult times but expressed the confidence that it will become an example for the whole developing countries after getting out of the challenge posed by Covid-19.  The Prime Minister said special focus is being given to the construction sector and he is personally monitoring it as it will provide job opportunities to the youth. He said the agriculture and small and medium enterprises are other sectors that will be extended full support.

Imran Khan said that Covid-19 inflicted a major blow to the economies around the world including Pakistan. He said that Pakistan witnessed a shortfall of one trillion rupees in the revenue collection due to the breakout of the pandemic. He said the only way to control coronavirus is smart lockdown and the world is also accepting this reality. He said there has been no confusion in our policy to tackle the situation arising out of the Covid-19. He pointed out that cash assistance was given to the deserving families in the most transparent manner. He also hailed the services of Doctors and paramedical staff saying they are waging Jihaad in hospitals. He said a program has been prepared to bring reforms in the institutions including PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills. He pointed out that Pakistan Steel Mills was running in profit back in 2008 and now its liabilities stands at 250 billion rupees.

The Prime Minister made it clear that it is our mission to go after the cartels and Mafias who are exploiting the people. He regretted that these mafias had the patronage of the previous governments. Referring to the inquiry into Sugar Scam, he said the regulators including FBR, Competition Commission were hand in glove with the mafias. He said that sugar mills were given subsidy of 29 billion rupees but in return they only paid nine billion rupees in taxes. He assured that these mafias will be brought under the law. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the commitment to build Pakistan on the golden principles of State of Madina.

About the negative impact of COVID-19, he said his government faced an economic shortfall of Rs1 trillion as the novel virus created a negative impact on the economy of the country. “Still no country is in position to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on their countries economy, as it is a new experience for all,” he said, defending the federal government’s strategy to introduce the ‘Smart lockdown’ strategy. The Premier said he was being criticised for imposing a smart lockdown but now the world has accepted this strategy to deal with Coronavirus.  He appreciated his aide on social protection Sania Nishtar and her team for distributing emergency cash among the people, saying there was “no other example of this” in a country with an informal economy.  Acknowledging the health workers working in Corona crisis, he said the PTI’s government would try to reward them but ‘Allah will give them the ultimate reward’.

The Prime Minister, in his second long speech in a week, said that the coronavirus badly affected tourism in the country. “The people in northern and hilly areas mainly depend upon tourism but coronavirus created a bad impact on tourism,” he said, assuring to take positive steps to tackle the crisis. “The money that should be spent on education and hospitals is being poured into government corporations running losses,” he said, holding Mafias responsible for bringing state-owned enterprises to this stage.

“We need to reform all institutions,” he said, mentioning that PTI’s government had to pay Rs2,000 billion out of its first year tax revenue of Rs4,000 billion in interest payments for loans taken by previous governments. He regretted that members of mafias and cartels made record profits without paying their due share. “Despite receiving a subsidy of Rs29 billion, the entire sugar industry pays taxes of Rs9 billion,” he said, commenting that the public has to purchase sugar on high rates because of the regulators’ connivance with the sugar cartels.