Reviving economy top most priority of PTI govt: Chaudhry

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LONDON: Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry reiterated his government’s commitment to uproot corruption and regulate remittances for curbing money laundering.

He stated this while delivering lecture at the Oxford University on important national, regional and international issues here the other day.

The lecture was organised by Oxford South Asian Society along with Oxford Pakistan Society. A large number of students from various academic disciplines attended the event.

The minister said that the purpose of his visit to Oxford University was to develop linkages with student community and academic institutions as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan about youth.

In this regard, he said, the government would offer internships to the students from top universities of the world to various academic institutions of Pakistan.

Chaudhry on the occasion gave an overview of important national and regional developments that shaped up socio-economic and political contours of Pakistan during the last seven decades.

He said conflict in the region had negative impact on the social fabric and economy of Pakistan, yet the country survived due to its inherent and unparalleled resilience.

The minister said the current government led by PM Khan was especially focusing on revival of the national economy.

He said Pakistan needed to overcome its trade deficit for which the government was embarking upon industrialisation by setting up special zones in the country.

Responding to students’ questions, he effectively debunked the myths and negativity associated with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the Western media and termed it a great economic project for the prosperity of the entire region.

Chaudhry said civil and military institutions were working in complete harmony due to which 70 years old paradigm of foreign policy was shifting, and opening of Kartarpur corridor was one of its manifestations.

He stated that understanding between civil and military institutions was imperative for the continuity of policies as “it happens in developed democracies.”

Responding to questions regarding Pakistan-India relations, the minister said dialogue was the only way forward to resolve all issues with India, including Kashmir dispute.

He hoped that after its forthcoming elections, India would seriously consider Pakistan’s offer for a dialogue to resolve issues, including the core issue of occupied Kashmir.

“Pakistan wants peace within and peace without,” Chaudhry said, adding, “We are fighting extremism in our country and are willing to play our role in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

The minister on the occasion shared that foreign commercial giants from the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries have shown keen interest to invest billions of dollars in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

He said, “Transparency and rule of law are Prime Minister Imran Khan’s priorities.”

Responding to questions about freedom of expression, Chaudhry said Pakistan has free media and the present government removed all censorship on state media from the very outset.

He, however, underlined the need for developing an international regulatory regime to end incitement to violence and hate speech on social media.

Regarding rights of overseas Pakistanis, the minister said the government was working on enhancing participation of overseas Pakistanis in the economic and political affairs of the country, and benefitting from their experience and expertise in various fields.

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