PESHAWAR: Awami National Party has rejected the demand of in-house change and stressed the need for consensus among opposition parties to seek free and fair elections in the country.

ANP senior vice president Ameer Haider Khan Hoti told a press conference after his party’s cabinet meeting at Bacha Khan Markaz here on Monday that government failed to overcome the growing economic problems. He said that rulers were blaming coronavirus for the economic crisis but economic problems were increased before the spread of the pandemic.

Mr Hoti said that the GDP figures showed that government failed to achieve its economic targets. He said that Federal Board of Revenue was short of Rs900 billion in its targets in addition to shortfall of Rs102 billion in non-tax revenue.

He said that government had set an unrealistic revenue target of Rs4,963 billion under the policy of International Monetary Fund that could be met only through loans or stopping developmental schemes in the country.

Ameer Haider Hoti says govt has failed to overcome economic problems

The ANP leader said that interest rate for the business community should be up to four per cent to revive business activities in the country. He said that Imran Khan had forgotten his commitments as he always opposed funds to members of parliament by describing it a political bribe.

He said that government ignored the opposition members in the developmental funds. He said that those funds should be utilised in education and health sectors to facilitate people irrespective of their political affiliation.

Mr Hoti said that his party had a clear stand to protect 18th Amendment and provincial autonomy and it would present its point of views at every available forum. He said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was in power but despite that it was reluctant to release net hydyl profit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that ANP raised many core issues in its cabinet meeting including NFC award and solution of financial, legal and administrative problems of tribal districts. “We support Afghan peace jirga and Pakistan should play its positive role in this regard,” he said. He added that international community should play its role for restoration of durable peace in Afghanistan.

Mr Hoti expressed dissatisfaction over decrease in quantum of Pak-Afghan bilateral trade and said that its main reasons were closure of border and lack of peace. He said that some forces were not in favour of cordial relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He added that government should facilitate business community to improve the bilateral trade.

The ANP leader appreciated opening of Kartarpur Corridor and said that government should provide similar facilities at Pak-Afghan border also.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020