MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says no one can fix economy in days and toppling the government is not a solution.

“Be it Asad Umar or anyone else, nobody can improve the country’s economic situation overnight. If toppling the government is the option to resolve issues, then no government will complete its tenure,” he said.

Talking to reporters after opening a water filtration plant in his constituency here on Sunday, the foreign minister said Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari should not hatch conspiracies against democracy.

“Political activity is the right of Bilawal. He should organise train march as launching a movement is the right of the opposition but he should not hatch conspiracies against democracy as the people have given mandate to the PTI and our government should also complete its five-year tenure,” he said. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would accept the decision of people after five years.

Says price hike is the result of PML-N government’s bad governance and corruption

Responding to questions over price hike, Mr Qureshi reiterated the PTI stand that their government was not responsible for the economic mess as it was the result of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s bad governance and corruption.

“The PTI’s eight months’ old government cannot be held responsible for the rising inflation. We have to see that who is responsible for taking huge loans during the past 10 years. Ishaq Dar kept the rupee stable artificially. The market was flooded with the dollars to keep the greenback stable and as a result the country had foreign reserves of just two weeks (when the PML-N government left),” he said.

He said the PTI’s economic team was making all-out efforts for improvement of economy and positive results were coming.

The minister said that the PTI had not slowed down work on the creation of south Punjab province and secretariat, however some elements were trying to sabotage it. “But we are taking positive steps for the creation of the province and one day the region will get its right,” he added.

Answering a question, he said the election process in India would continue till May 19 and Pakistan should remain careful till that time.

“It was a wrong impression that we are supporting any one (in Indian election). The statement of Imran Khan was misinterpreted. Whosoever will come into power in India, we are ready for dialogue with them,” he said.

The foreign minister said India issued irresponsible statements while statements from Pakistan were very responsible. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was going to Iran on April 21 and China on April 25.

“Iran is a friendly country of Pakistan. We are trying to improve the situation at border with Iran,” he added.

He said that Imran Khan was visiting China on the invitation of the Chinese president where he would attend an international forum as a chief guest. He said that Pakistan never interfered in the internal affairs of Afghanistan neither it intended to do so in future. Rather, he said, it was playing the role of a facilitator for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2019