PM Imran Khan says U-turns 'are only bad when ideology is compromised'

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  • PM Imran Khan laments his earlier comment about "being prepared" was "misconstrued", says he never made any excuses
  • States that "only a fool would not to know the problems of their country"
  • Says PTI govt's two years in power passed in "great difficulty", and that Pakistan's good times "are coming now"
  • Notes that there would "have been no accountability" if he formed govt with PPP, PML-N

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that "U-turns are only bad when the ideology is compromised" in what came as his latest defence of backtracking on promises and vows.

Speaking to Dunya News in an interview, PM Imran Khan lamented that his comment on his government's preparation was "misconstrued," adding that he had never made any excuses. 

"My statement that I was not prepared was completely misunderstood," he said. "I never made any excuses that I was not prepared. Two difficult years of my life have passed."

Read more: 'Ignoramus student failing despite cheating,' JI's Sirajul Haq lashes out at PM

"Only a fool would not know the problems of their country," he stated, adding that the solutions to Pakistan's ongoing challenges are "painful".

The premier said his PTI-led government's two years in power had passed in "great difficulty," but showing optimism, the PM predicted that Pakistan's good times "are coming now".

"People will decide about my performance after five years [and] God willing, Pakistan will soon have great times."

PM Imran Khan stressed that governments should be given presentations on functionality and processes involved in running offices before coming into power so that "you come and start working" right away. 

"It has been two months since the government in Gilgit-Baltistan was elected and they are still being given presentations", he said.

Also read: PM Imran speaks of remarkable turnaround in Pakistan economy despite COVID-19

'PTI govt repaid $20 bn worth of debt in 2 years'

Shedding light on the economic situation in the country, PM Khan said that "debt at home rose because income is low and expenses are high."

"Reducing expenditure at home can become a pain," he said. "There was a historic deficit in the current account [but] we repaid $20 billion worth of debt in [the past] two years. After 17 years, the current account deficit has turned into a positive [balance] for five months.

He added that half of Pakistan's tax revenue goes into debt repayments and that the country's remittances and exports have increased. 

"Our rupee has survived a crash and we're not pouring dollars into the market to stop the rupee from dipping," he maintained.

'There would be no accountability if I had formed govt with PPP, PML-N'

Speaking of the Opposition parties and the PTI regime's coalition partners, PM Khan said there would have been no accountability had he formed a government with the PPP and the PML-N. "I would rather have sat in the Opposition."

"After coming into power, the looting process in the country can only be stopped through accountability," he said, adding that his party's relations with allies, including the PML-Q and the MQM-P, have been good.

"My fight was against the terrorist founder of Muttahida [Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L)]," he added, noting that the views of the Karachi-based party's Pakistan faction are similar to that of the PTI.

Related: ‘I am a prime minister, not a king’: PM Imran Khan

'Opposition said PTI govt would collapse within 2 months'

PM Imran Khan also said that when his government came into power, rival parties said that 'the government would fall within a month or two.' He added that when corona [virus pandemic] hit, the Opposition celebrated it.

"The Opposition parties kept raising a hue and cry about how my government was going to crash," he added, noting that PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif returned from London in hopes that the PTI regime was about to be done away with.

PM Imran Khan underlined that it was the Sharif family that first joined the 'sugar mafia'. 

"Nawaz Sharif, [Asif Ali] Zardari, and their ministers set up sugar mills while sugar exports were only on paper," he said.

"If corruption allegations are levelled against any of my ministers, I will take action," PM Khan vowed, adding that corruption, together with the involvement of a country's premiers or ministers in graft, destroyed nations.