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CPEC will earn Pakistan benefits and will strengthen economy: PM Imran Khan

RIYADH: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the next three to six months are going to be difficult for the country but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government remains adamant to chalk long-term policies to achieve development related goals and end corruption.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference 2018 in Riyadh, Khan shed light on PTI’s policies among other matters of Pakistan’s concern. “Next 3-6 months are going to be difficult for Pakistan. It’s a crucial time. Corruption makes a country poor and our main objective is to eliminate malpractice and strengthen state institutions,” Khan said.

“We have been in power for 60 days. We have inherited two big deficits; fiscal deficit and current account deficit. So the immediate concern of our government is to increase exports because we have shortage of foreign reserves,” PM Khan said when asked about the economic agenda of the PTI government.

“We need to get more remittances through banking channels because there are 8-9 million foreign Pakistanis who live abroad. We need to bolster our foreign reserves. At the same time, clamping down on money laundering is extremely important,” he said.

The premier continued that the country is in close contact with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and trusted allies to find solutions to economic problems. Moreover, the PTI government was also keeping a close eye on money laundering and ways to curb it.

Speaking about the idea behind naya Pakistan, Khan said that the concept behind a naya Pakistan was to get the country and people reconnected to its roots. “Naya Pakistan means Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan, and Quaid’s Pakistan will function how Jinnah had visioned it to. I want the country to become a welfare state as that of Madina.”

PM Khan also talked about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and lauded China for pulling itself out of poverty in just 30 years. “China pulled its people out of poverty in just 30 years. We have learned a lot from China on how to tackle corruption, and there’s no doubt CPEC will earn Pakistan a lot of benefits and strengthen economy,” he said.

He also said that tourism in the country was greatly impacted due to the 9/11 incident and war on terror. “Pakistan was the first choice for tourists and investors in 60s. Then the 9/11 changed everything and the country saw less number of visitors every year.”

On status and rights of women in Pakistan, the premier said that provision of employment opportunities and education is a priority for his government. “Our aim is to provide them with education and better opportunities in all fields. Moreover, women in many parts of the country do not get their lawful right to property too and we are working on that as well.”

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