Challenge for the government is inflation: Shah Mehmood Qureshi
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the opposition is not a challenge to the present government. We are not afraid of them. We are capable of dealing with the opposition politically. Our challenge is inflation.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that yesterday the Islamabad High Court had given its opinion about former Chief Justice of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim in which his position was clearly rejected. According to what has been seen, the former Chief Justice has done contempt of court. The Islamabad High Court has held that this was a deliberate attempt aimed at influencing the decision of the court. In the opinion of the Islamabad High Court, the whole exercise was designed to tarnish the image of the court.
The Foreign Minister said that everyone knows that on the one hand a high profile case related to the PML-N leadership was about to start, in such circumstances first a story comes and then an affidavit comes to the fore. The affidavit states that former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had instructed Justice Amir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court what to do in such case, not to grant bail and not to be released till the end of the election. There is no mention of what happened three years ago.
He said that when an appeal is filed in the Islamabad High Court, delaying tactics are used for it. In one case, 15 petitions for adjournment are received. Surprisingly, the esteemed judge who was charged was not even present in the bench before which the case was filed.
The Foreign Minister said that it was now clear how the affidavit was prepared in London. Based on this, an audio tape also became an adornment of the media which was the subject of discussion for many days.
The Foreign Minister said that we need to learn from the past, opposition claimed that the independence of the judiciary is necessary for democracy and institutions and on the other hand the opposition interfere in judicial affairs. Attacks on the Supreme Court have not proved fruitful in the past, telephones have not proved useful to Justice Qayyum for favorable decisions, Rana Shamim’s case is pending.
The Foreign Minister said that all these efforts are an attempt to influence the judicial process which is a dangerous trend and we should all take notice of it. The Foreign Minister said that criticism was being leveled by the opposition, destructive criticism was spreading frustration in the country and the confidence of investors was being shaken. Our economy is moving towards recovery. The economic situation that the PTI government faced in 2018 is before the nation. In two years, the government made difficult decisions to stabilize the economy. In the third year, after stabilization, the economy recovered. This is not us, but the World Bank, Bloomberg and the Economist are saying, according to these institutions, GDP growth is 5.37 percent.
The Foreign Minister added that the PML-N claims a five per cent growth and there is a difference between the circumstances under which the PML-N has achieved this growth rate and the circumstances under which the present government has achieved this success. Growth of 5.37% is a great achievement in Covid-19 conditions, agriculture has grown by 3.3%, there are 8.3 million farming families in Pakistan, whose condition has improved, production of big industries has increased. Gross national product has been affected and this proves that the agricultural transformation project is moving forward successfully.
The Foreign Minister further said, the price of urea has increased, the government is not unaware of it but government has done what it could in this regard, despite the shortage of gas in the month of November. Gas has been supplied to the manufacturing plants. On an annual basis, 3.5 million tons of urea has been produced in the current year. Some dealers and stockists are exploiting them. It should be noted that at present the price of urea in the world market is around Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 9,000 per sack while urea is still available in Pakistan at Rs. 2500. “Urea should be at a controlled rate, but we also have to face the realities,” he said.
“Our exports have increased, remittances have increased, people have insight and they know what the truth is,” he said. The Foreign Minister said that the opposition is not a challenge to the present government, we have no fear of them, we are capable of dealing with the opposition politically, our challenge is inflation, and we are taking steps to control inflation.
The Foreign Minister said that there has been a historic increase in the prices of gas in the world market, 70% in the price of Spain, what is happening in Kazakhstan is before us, the prices of petroleum products have increased in the world market, as well as food items at the highest level, the global supply chain has also been affected by Covid-19.
He said that the currency depreciated 46.5% in Turkey, 17.3% in Argentina, 12.9% in Colombia, 9.1% in Japan and 6.8% in the European Union. We must not ignore these factors when it comes to inflation.