DAVOS: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said that Pakistan had fought the war against terrorism from its own resources with a heavy toll on human lives and substantial loss to the economy.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting arranged by the Pathfinder Group here in Davos, Switzerland, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the prime minister said Pakistan had been hosting around three million Afghan refugees since long which was the longest and largest refuge provided anywhere around the globe. “The world must acknowledge Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices in fight against terrorism,” he said.
Abbasi said consolidation of democracy in Pakistan was a positive indicator and stressed all institutions should work with unity for the development and stability of the country. He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would provide dividends for centuries to come in the shape of employment generation, industrial growth and connectivity, adding that Pakistan was privileged to be part of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ by the visionary leadership of China.
Abbasi said the PML-N government, after assuming power in 2013, faced major challenges of law and order, terrorism, energy shortage and an under-performing economy. He said due to the hard work and commitment of the incumbent government, law and order had improved considerably which had in turn restored confidence of the investors. “I met several business leaders here in Davos and all of them expressed a strong desire to invest and expand businesses in Pakistan,” he said. Regarding the progress made on energy front, Abbasi said Pakistan had surplus gas and had already overcome energy deficiency in a sustainable and efficient way. “We have diversified our energy mix and with inclusion of coal and gas instead of expensive conventional fuels,” he said. Pakistan had achieved high economic growth with low inflation and it was a positive scenario augmenting greater investor confidence, he said, and added Pakistan had completed 1,700 kilometers of six-lane motorways under the CPEC, a target which many developed countries found hard to achieve.
The prime minister said Pakistan would exercise all options to retain its sovereignty as it faces serious challenges from its two neighbours, particularly India that has very aggressive designs. “A nuclear India has aggressive designs against Pakistan and the country has the right and responsibility to counter that design,” he said. “If you are threatened then there is no better purpose than retaining your sovereignty,” he added. The PM also reminded the world that US President Donald Trump’s infamous tweet about Pakistan did not reflect the ground realities. While responding to a question on the nuclear arms, he said that Pakistan did not initiate the nuclear arms race and that its nuclear weapons were only for defensive purposes.