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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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Yes, Imran failed in war on corruption: Rashid

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Friday conceded that the people had expected Prime Minister Imran Khan to retrieve the country’s looted wealth and put corrupt leaders behind bars, but “we did not succeed”.

However, the minister insisted that the PTI-led government would complete its five-year tenure. Talking to the media, Sheikh Rashid said that no drastic change was happening in the country’s politics without Nawaz Sharif and added that all “four Sharifs were now minus” and had no further role in the politics. He said that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would complete its tenure and expressed confidence that it will also return to power.

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The minister said that the opposition parties were in a state of disappointment and stress, as against their wishes, the present government was “successfully running the state affairs”. He said that the government had already completed its three and half years in power and the opposition needs “further warm-up”.

“The opposition has been saying since the last year that PTI is going to lose power, but it should clear any misunderstanding about the government. Prime Minister Imran Khan is so lucky to have got such incompetent and ineffective opposition,” Sheikh Rashid remarked. He said the present opposition had no vision to understand the prevailing situation and had selected the wrong time for holding a protest.

“They have already lost their time and now they will get nothing but spoil their and our time,” he said, adding that “we will welcome them and not stop them or take any action against their long march as long as they are peaceful”. He stated that the opposition comprises politically visionless people, as there is no reason to hold two separate long marches in the country when the local government elections are around the corner.

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Speaking about the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rashid said the government had to go to the lending agency due to the weak economic policies of the past governments. “Opposition parties have looted the country’s money during their tenures without realizing the negative impacts of their wrongdoings on all sectors of the country. Their feeble economic plans compelled us to accept this hard deal just to move the economy of the country on right track,” the minister said.

He expressed the hope that things would improve now and more investment would come to the country and progress will be made in other sectors. He said that this year March 23 will be an important day as many important personalities of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are likely to visit Pakistan. He predicted that the Chinese J-10C flypast is also expected at the Pakistan Day parade.  Under Ehsas Program, the minister said that an amount of Rs180 billion has been distributed to 15 million deserving people of the country. He added that the PM has approved expansion in storage capacity of two dams in order to generate additional 10,000MW electricity from 13 million acre-feet (MAF) to 26 MAF.

Separately, the interior minister said that the remaining fencing of the Pak-Afghan border would be completed with the consent of the neighboring country, stating that “they are our brothers”. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rashid said that around 2,600 kilometers of the border has been fenced and expressed the hope that the remaining 21 kilometers would be completed “with the consent of our brothers”. Pakistan has fenced most of the border despite protestations from Kabul, which has contested the British-era boundary demarcation that splits families and tribes on either side. Over the past few weeks, videos have surfaced on social media purportedly showing Taliban fighters uprooting a portion of the fence along the Pak-Afghan border, claiming that the fencing had been erected inside Afghan territory.


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