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Thursday Jan 23 2020
Web Desk

Corruption biggest challenge to reforms programme: PM Imran

Web Desk

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday mentioned corrupt systems in the country as the biggest challenge currently faced by the government.

Speaking at the ‘Pakistan Breakfast Meet at Davos’ on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum being hosted at the Swiss resort town, the prime minister shared his vision about Pakistan’s progress and related subjects, including strategic vision, fighting corruption, poverty alleviation and geopolitical balance.

The prime minister stated that corrupt systems are the biggest hindrance in the implementation of institutional reforms.

“It is like everyone wants to remove the tumor, but does not want the pain of surgery,” he said, adding that the moment the nation realises the importance of good governance, the country will make progress.

Also read: Pakistan slips three spots on Corruption Perceptions Index

PM Imran said the country’s founding and ideological fathers, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, had wanted Pakistan to be a humane and just society. He vowed to set the direction of society on a similar trajectory.

“Pakistan is about hope and I believe that, with its immense potential and determination, the nation will thrive,” he added.

Stressing the importance of good governance, he said institutions deteriorate quickly but their revival always tales a lot of time and effort.

“Go after a big mission, never ever think of compromising,” the prime minister said as he shared the guiding principle of his life. He said he did not want the nation to give up in these difficult times and be patient.

He mentioned that foreign debt taken on by past governments had resulted in undue pressure on the common man. He said he will soon consult his advisers on how to reduce the price burden on electricity consumers.

Prime Minister Imran also highlighted his government’s export-oriented approach to attain economic stability and mentioned the reduction in the current fiscal deficit by 75 per cent, which he said was reflected in a 200 per cent increase in foreign investment.

“I am confident that Pakistan is on the right track,” he said, adding that staying steadfast during a challenging period was important to achieve goals.

He said Pakistan’s large human resources, its copper, gold and coal reserves, and fertile land gave the country an edge that could help it make progress.

The premier termed overseas Pakistanis a “valuable resource” and expressed his desire to create a favourable environment for them within their homeland.

"Once Pakistan eases up and improves its business modalities and procedures, foreign investment will come from overseas nationals with great prospects for the country’s development, he added.

The prime minister also shared his inspiration from the development models of China and Malaysia, saying Pakistan would like to follow their footsteps.

He said China wanted to relocate industries to Pakistan, which will provide a major boost to the latter’s economy.

Read more: China helped Pakistan through difficult times, says PM Imran

He said the tourism sector of Pakistan had major potential to attract followers of different religions and history enthusiasts from around the world.

Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the Pakistani sponsors for bearing the expenses of the breakfast event, saying he would have otherwise not burdened the national exchequer.

“This is the cheapest official visit to Davos [by a prime minister],” he claimed.

He recalled that his trip to the United Nations General Assembly last November was the least costly at $160,000 spent, compared to former President Asif Zardari’s $1.4 million, Nawaz Sharif’s $1.3 million and even $800,000 spent by ex-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The premier also emphasized the uplift of the underprivileged segments of society, which, he said, have repeatedly proved their mettle when given proper opportunities and platforms.

“It is the drive that actually pushes people to accomplish new things, and people with humble backgrounds have enough potential to make their mark if given the support and encouragement,” he said.