'People either with or against Imran Khan,' says Fawad Chaudhry

Updated September 30, 2018

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In this file photo Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to media.
In this file photo Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to media.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday asserted that all state institutions stand by Prime Minister Imran Khan and are working together to lead the country towards development.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Chaudhry said that before Khan came to power, every politician thought that "corruption was their right". However, PM Khan had ended tolerance for corruption after he assumed office, Chaudhry claimed.

He also referred to criticism being raised over the prime minister's austerity drive, saying that previous governments had left the country up to its eyeballs in debt by spending huge amounts of money on extravagance. The new premier was trying to repay this debt.

"People are either with Imran Khan or against him," Chaudhry claimed.

"They [the previous government] had ordered cars worth Rs980 million for one Saarc conference," Chaudhry said, adding that the maintenance expenditure of the cars amounted to Rs350m.

He further said that the budget allocated to state institutions like Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan State Television (PTV) and Radio Pakistan, among others, exceeded the returns, thus increasing state expenditure.

"The state is giving Rs3 billion to PTV and it earns only Rs250m," Chaudhry revealed. "The expenses of PIA are Rs45bn while Radio Pakistan is given Rs5,650m by the state."

He hailed PM Khan as a "symbol of change" and a "representative of the middle class".

"[Zulfiqar Ali] Bhutto's revolution in the 1970s was that of the poor people. Today's revolution is of the middle class."

He said that while the previous PML-N government circled around Nawaz Sharif and former finance minister Ishaq Dar, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government comprises a team of experts.

Chaudhry said that the government had asked other countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia to invest in Pakistan.