'SIFC is our redline,' says federal minister

Opponents cannot swallow "successful visits" being undertaken by new government, says Tarar

By Web Desk
May 24, 2024
Federal Minister for Commerce Jam Kamal (left) and Information Minister Ataullah Tarar address a press conference in Islamabad on May 24, 2024. — Radio Pakistan

Information Minister Ataullah Tarar Friday termed Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a civil-military forum established to attract foreign investment, “redline” of the federal government.

His remarks came a day after the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government censured the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led federal government for showing "bias" towards the province by not inviting Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur to the SIFC apex committee’s session scheduled for May 25.


Addressing a joint news conference along with Minister for Commerce Jam Kamal in Islamabad, Tarar, without naming any particular party or individual, slammed the critics of the SIFC and termed them as those who wrote to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) against granting loan to Pakistan and running an anti-GSP Plus campaign, placing the country at risk of being cornered in the world on the economic front.

"You declared a person your redline, our redline is SIFC," said Tarar, adding that the council is performing well.

He added that the SIFC is a joint effort of PM Shehbaz Sharif and army chief General Asim Muneer to save the country from default.

"SIFC is the lifeline of Pakistan. The government is providing favourable environment for foreign investors," he maintained.

Tarar maintained that the UAE government has confidence in Islamabad, as one success after another is being witnessed on the diplomatic front.

"The whole world is witnessing the seriousness of the government's behaviour," said the information minister, adding that the world believes in Pakistan's immense capabilities and resources.

Referring to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announcement about allocation of $10 billion for more investments in Pakistan, Information Minister Ataullah Tarar Friday said the government's opponents could not swallow the "successful visits" being undertaken by the new government to bring in investment opportunities in a bid to improve the economy.

"Wherever we go, we talk about investment and trade. We don't talk about loans or grants," said the minister, addressing a presser in Islamabad, flanked by Commerce Minister Jam Kamal.

The minister's comments came a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the gulf nation to meet with its President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on a day-long visit focused on inviting investments in Pakistan.

Tarar said the premier told the UAE that Pakistan does not need aid.

The decision was taken "to strengthen the Pakistani economy, support it, and enhance cooperation between the two countries", UAE's WAM news agency reported on Thursday.

'Govt working to improve economic development'

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Kamal termed PM Shehbaz's UAE visit "historic", stating that the government is working to improve economic development and encouraging foreign companies to invest in Pakistan.

He also acknowledged the role of Pakistan's own business community as key in improving the country's economy.

Kamal added that Islamabad was preparing for the UAE investment with many projects already discussed. "[We are] working in energy, trade and other sectors on a daily basis."