FAISALABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday asked the businessmen and exporters to invest freely in the country with no worry for any policy shift or bottlenecks as the government was fully focused at reviving industrialisation through maximum facilitation.

“Invest more on exports without worry. The government will resolve all of your issues. You should not be afraid of any policy shift to affect your investment. Our job is to facilitate you and this will lead to creation of wealth and jobs,” the prime minister said while addressing a gathering of exporters and industrialists.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also attended the ceremony, besides a limited number of businessmen, exporters and industrialists owing to anti-COIVD19 precautions.

The prime minister said it was pleasing that the industries and power looms were running at full capacity which even created shortage of textile labour. He asked the Punjab government to promote skill training of the youth to enhance value-added textile workforce.

He said if Faisalabad, once known as Pakistan’s Manchester, kept up its current pace of industrial development, it would even leave Manchester behind. The prime minister recalled that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government inherited a record debt burden, $20 billion current account deficit, $40 billion trade deficit, devalued currency, and the reserves at the lowest ebb.

The country was even short of money to make international payments but the government successfully passed through the difficult phase courtesy the timely support by the friendly states saving it from default, he added. The prime minister said since 1960s, Pakistan’s industrial model institutions like hospitals and universities used to be idolized but it took a downturn following the then government’s policy of nationalization.

Since becoming PM, Imran Khan to visit Kabul today for first time

Instead of introducing nationalization, the government should have done legislation to channelize into the national economy the money which had been accumulated within few families, he added.

PM inaugurates development projects

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday inaugurated development projects, including Police Complex Lyallpur Town and Kashmir Bridge Underpass Canal Road, besides a calligraphy exhibition.

The prime minister was briefed that the construction of Police Complex was started on January 20, 2016 at an estimated cost of Rs145.246 million. With over 95% work completed, the project would be fully functional by the year end.

Similarly, the construction of the Kashmir Bridge Underpass Canal Road was initiated on March 20, 2018 with an estimated cost of Rs1280.209 million by the National Logistics Cell and more than 85% work has so far been completed. On its completion by December 31, it would provide the citizens a signal-free access to the Expressway and Motorway through Canal Road.

The prime minister also opened the calligraphy exhibition in connection with the Rehmatullil Alameen (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) week. The work of renowned calligraphists Muhammad Qamar Sultan and Nisar Ahmad was displayed at the exhibition.

The prime minister on the occasion appreciated the calligraphic work of the artists. Governor Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, federal ministers Asad Umar and Hammad Azhar, provincial ministers Mian Aslam Iqbal, Chaudhary Zaheerud Din Khan, Muhammad Ajmal Cheema, and Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik, Inspector General of Police Inaam Ghani,  Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Mian Farrukh Habib, members of the National Assembly Faizullah Kamoka, Sheikh Khurram Shehzad, Raja Riaz and Nawab Sher Wasir, FDA and MPA Chairman Chaudhary Lateef Nazar, PHA Chairman and MPA Mian Waris Aziz and provincial assembly members were present on the occasion.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay a day-long visit to the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday (today) on the invitation of President Ashraf Ghani.

This is the prime minister’s first visit to Afghanistan since assuming office. His delegation will consist of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and senior officials. The prime minister’s programme includes a tete-a-tete with President Ashraf Ghani, delegation-level talks, and a joint press stakeout.

According to the Foreign Office, the focus of the visit would be on further deepening the fraternal bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Afghan peace process, and regional economic development and connectivity. The prime minister’s visit is a part of regular high-level exchanges between the two neighbouring countries.

In the run-up to the prime minister’s visit, Adviser Dawood visited Kabul on November 16-18, and held in-depth discussions on bilateral trade and investment ties, besides matters related to the transit trade.

President Ashraf Ghani last visited Pakistan in June 2019. Earlier, the two leaders had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 14th OIC Summit in Makkah in May 2019. The prime minister also had a telephonic conversation with President Ghani in September this year.

The prime minister’s visit builds on the sustained engagement between the two countries in recent months for enhancing bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

In this context, besides Foreign Minister Qureshi’s regular exchanges with his Afghan counterpart, there have recently been important visits from Afghanistan to Pakistan of Chairman High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Speaker Afghan Wolesi Jirga Rahman Rahmani, and Commerce Minister Nisar Ahmad Ghoraini.

On August 31, the Second Review Session of the Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) was held in Kabul.  “The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan are linked through immutable bonds of history, faith, culture, kinship, values and traditions. The prime minister’s visit will help foster a stronger and multi-faceted relationship between the two brotherly countries,” the Foreign Office said.