Saturday Oct 23, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Saturday termed the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) — an alliance of the country's major Opposition parties — countrywide protest drive against inflation as a “storm in a teacup”.
Addressing a press conference at Pakistan’s embassy in the United States, Asad Umar said prices of food and other items had increased not only in Pakistan but other countries as well.
Reacting to the remarks by various Opposition leaders on sending the government home, the PTI leader said that this was the sixth time he was hearing talk of the government being sent packing over the last three years.
“What Allah has ordained will happen,” he said about the government's future.
Replying to a question, the federal minister said that the scope of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor was being extended, adding that some countries did not want to see the project expanding.
Highlighting the PTI-led government achievements, the minister said that a Rs800bn budget was presented last year, adding that Rs600bn was allocated for development projects in it.
Umar said the government is taking measures to expedite investment in Pakistan to generate employment and other benefits.
“Pakistan gives great importance to its trade relations with the Central Asian countries,” Umar said, adding that the route to these countries goes through Afghanistan.
Referring to the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the minister hoped that the world will not repeat the mistakes of the '90s. He said that if the world does not repeat its mistakes in the war-ravaged country, the US government will be able to tell its people that its 20-year investment in Afghanistan had not gone to waste.
Replying to another question, Umar said that the Taliban’s behaviour is positive and they wanted constructive relations with the world.
Earlier on October 20, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had vowed that the PDM's protests against inflation will send the government packing.
The PDM had staged a protest in Rawalpindi that day, which was the first stop in its county-wide protest campaign to oust the government.
"People are exasperated due to inflation and unemployment, and they have no left hope from this government," the PML-N spokesperson had said as she addressed the protest.
The PML-N spokesperson had said people were "forced to commit suicide" during the incumbent regime's rule, as she sought the nation's support to make the Opposition alliance's country-wide protests successful.
"The people talking about Riasat-e-Madina will have to go home."
The PML-N spokesperson had said PDM would not allow Prime Minister Imran Khan to become a "political martyr" and that the people were well-aware of the country's political developments.
"Imran Khan has to put Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif behind bars to run his government," she had added.