PESHAWAR - Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has praised the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for their contribution to restoring peace, saying that they rendered matchless sacrifices in the war on terror.

It is due to their sacrifices that peace is restored to the country, the minister said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Rs29 million centre of Nadra and passport in Tehkal area of Peshawar Monday.

He counted his government’s feats, saying that when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz took over, the country in the grip of lawlessness and up to 20-hour power cuts. The government has now broken the backbone of terrorists while national economy is improving, he added.

He claimed energy crisis would end by 2018 while Pakistan would be among the top-20 economies of world by 2024.

He took a swipe at opponents, saying that some elements were misleading the masses by raising the issue of corruption for their political interests.

“There are states where corruption is on the rise while their development index was far better than Pakistan because of political stability,” the minister maintained.

 “Governments that are corrupt don’t initiate development projects but we have opened a university in FATA, we are going to launch 5G, and we are putting fiber optic with China to enhance our IT sector," said Iqbal, who also holds the portfolio of the planning and development ministry.

The interior minister said: “Pakistan is as corrupt as India, Bangladesh or any other country in the region. Some people are constantly propagating that Pakistan is the most corruption country in the world. They are defaming the country for their own political gains.

“Pakistan is not more corrupt than any other regional country, including India and Bangladesh, and is equally honest as well” he said in a veiled jibe at PTI chief Imran Khan. Iqbal called the demand to have elections on the older census ‘childish’.

He said that certain quarters are trying to create doubts over the next general elections, adding that, “It is important that political parties should ensure timely elections for the transfer of power”.  He also demanded the Supreme Court to a take suo motu notice of the Paradise Papers leak.