4 MAY 22
(Jeddah) The coalition regime is focused on bringing progress & stability in all sectors of Pakistan besides ensuring consensus on legal reforms for free and fair elections to ensure political stability, sustainable and progressive democracy in the country, said Ahsen Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning and Development during an interactive session with the distinguished community members of Pakistan in Jeddah. The Minister expressed that the regime change in Pakistan was constitutional and legitimate, which is a well-accepted international democratic practice.
“The prime focus of the present regime, for the remaining term, is to stabilize the economy, restore investor and public sector officials’ confidence, end Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation and pass constitutional and legal reforms for holding of free and fair elections in the country”, Iqbal maintained.
He further added that the Government supports the voting right of overseas Pakistanis however this should be without compromising the sanctity and security of the election process. “There is yet no secure Internet-based voting system prevalent in the world. However different proposals including a proposal to give representation to overseas Pakistanis through reserved seats in the Parliament are under consideration”.
He said that polarization in the country is poison for national unity and harmony. We shouldn’t allow differences of opinion to become the basis of animosity and hate in politics. We are all patriotic Pakistanis, no one can claim monopoly over patriotism, faith, and integrity.” He added.
He said, “no country can become strong without following the rule of law and constitution. Lack of respect for the constitution brings anarchy. The previous regime violated the constitution, therefore, the Supreme Court, which is the guardian of the constitution had to intervene.”
He further said, “conspiracy theory of regime change is fiction and after clear cut rejection by National Security Committee which includes Service Chiefs and Chiefs of Premier Intelligence Agencies it is buried. No foreign country can dictate Pakistan. Pakistanis are self-respecting people. We need to focus on building our economy because a strong economy means strong Pakistan.”
He said, “national and foreign relations are not children’s play these are serious matters. Leaders mustn’t subject them to personal political gains. Pakistan is a developing country and we need to have the strongest relations with our economic stakeholders namely, China, the EU, US & Gulf Countries with dignity. Overseas Pakistanis in these countries are an asset and must contribute by bringing their ideas, talent, and investment to Pakistan. He promised to advise BOI for removing hurdles for investors from Saudi Arabia and make processes simpler. He said that he will advise MOFA to conduct academic audits of Pakistani Schools in KSA to ensure quality education for the children of expatriates.
The Minister invited questions from the community and patiently replied to all questions.