'Country with no inflation will eventually stop progressing,' Pervez Khattak tells NA

Published June 21, 2021
Pervez Khattak said if people's lives were getting better and they had money to meet their expenses, then it was an indication that the country was going forward. — DawnNewsTV
Pervez Khattak said if people's lives were getting better and they had money to meet their expenses, then it was an indication that the country was going forward. — DawnNewsTV

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak on Monday told the National Assembly that a country where there was no inflation would eventually stop [progressing] and termed the opposition's denigration of the government over rising inflation a “drama”, which, he said, “will not be lapped up by people anymore”.

Addressing the budget session, the defence minister, who is also former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said inflation and people’s lives were correlated. “Take a look at Europe or the US and analyse if there had been any price cuts in basic commodities. Countries where there is no inflation will eventually stop [progressing],” he insisted.

He said he was also in the construction business for years [in a private capacity], adding “I struggle to find people in this work, and the opposition still claims of inflation.”

As the minister was insisting that inflation claims by the opposition negate reality, a member from the treasury benches chipped in that his district still had poverty, eliciting a burst of laughter in the House. The minister responded, “our MNA from Karak is saying his district has poverty…I accept it will be the case,” he added.

Khattak said that if people's lives were getting better and they had money to meet their expenses, it was an indication that the country was going forward.

“This is a strange phenomenon. I challenge you to take a survey with me. This is all ‘drama’ from the opposition, which people will no longer buy into it. Now people have become sensible,” he said.

The defence minister said it seemed that the opposition had a strategy to repeat its lies so many times that they may sound like truth, adding that the year 2023 would reveal the results of the “good work” done by Imran Khan.

He was of the view that the construction industry and other industries generate employment in the country. “In 2019, Covid-19 hit the world, and Pakistan's economy should have sank in its wake, but Imran Khan saved it and his measures yielded results.”

He lamented that no previous government had doled out incentives to the agriculture sector like the PTI did, adding that the opposition was insecure of the steps taken by Imran Khan for the poor.

Firing broadside at the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Khattak said Shehbaz Sharif claimed no university was built in the KP. “I challenge him to have a debate with me and recount what he did in his 20 years and I will lay facts before the House about what I did in just five years.”

The minister said Shehbaz Sharif wouldn’t have been rejected by Punjab if his performance was really top notch. “Similarly, if our performance was bad, we would not be able to secure two-third majority in the province,” he added.

He recounted that when the PTI formed the government in KP in 2013, “there were terror activities, but we overcame the menace, and later we started with legislations like introducing Right to Information Act, Right to Public Service Act and many similar laws to ensure rights for our people.”

Referring to his construction business, the minister said it was easy for him to secure contracts worth billions of rupees using his authority, adding, “I didn’t do that because I am answerable to the public.”

Opinion

Casualties of war
17 Sep 2021

Casualties of war

As we ruminate over the consequences of America making a mockery of international law, it is equally important to take an inward
Love of wealth
17 Sep 2021

Love of wealth

Those obsessed with wealth are likely to be involved in corrupt practices.
Pro-rich growth
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pro-rich growth

An intellectually honest prognosis of our political economy for the working class makes for grim reading.

Editorial

TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...
Aid for Afghans
16 Sep 2021

Aid for Afghans

Humanitarian aid can resume even if the world decides to hold back on formal recognition of the regime for now.
16 Sep 2021

Wheat price

THE government’s decision to raise the wheat release price, or the rate at which provinces issue their grain ...
16 Sep 2021

Keeping the press out

ON Monday, the government yet again displayed its rising contempt for the freedom of press — this time in...