Friday Jan 21, 2022
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said on Friday that neither there is factionalism with the PTI for leadership nor anyone could be Prime Minister Imran Khan’ substitute within the party.
Speaking during Geo News' programme "Naya Pakistan", the minister said that 99% of the PTI's vote bank belongs to Imran Khan, therefore, if anyone doubts his leadership, they can employ every effort to challenge him.
Shedding light on information minister Fawad Chaudhry's statement about four senior PML-N members being "hell-bent on removing Nawaz Sharif from their party," Umar said that he does not know whether those four members had met anyone to make a confession, but there "surely is a rat-race for leadership going on within PML-N."
The federal minister went on to say that whenever the budget is passed or an important development takes place in the country, the Opposition claims that "allied parties are not standing with the government."
"I reiterate that the nation is standing with Imran Khan and this is the only reason that the Opposition has been unable to harm him," Umar said.
Answering a question regarding his earlier statement regarding Pakistan's Growth Domestic Product (GDP), he said: "While the Opposition termed a 3.94% growth in GDP in 2020-21 fake, it has reached 5.4% and they are not even accepting this positive growth."
He further went on to say that due to global inflation, the government is facing a current account deficit but the country’s economy still progressed towards growth.
Umar also appreciated former finance minister Hafeez Sheikh, saying that he took good decisions during his term as he was "good at economic management."
He further shed light on the rising cases of COVID-19 and said that in the light of the current situation, the government has taken decisions to impose sanctions.
Speaking during the show, PML-N leader and former finance minister Miftah Ismail seconded Asad Umar’s statement regarding 5.4% GDP growth and exports. However, he criticised the PTI's policies which, according to him, led to historic inflation and the ensuing poverty.
"The country’s exports have, indeed, increased but poverty is still a problem in the country," he said.
"Despite the growth in GDP, Imran Khan has broken records by accepting the highest amount of loans [from international bodies] in the country's history.