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December 26, 2011

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Progress, N-plan can’t go together

ISLAMABAD: The PPP government was on the verge of making yet another blast to complete the implementation of the notorious ‘Memo agenda’ on Monday when the deputy chairman Planning Commission was all set to deliver a lecture at the National Defence University on the growth strategy based on major cuts in the country’s nuclear budget or completely giving up the nuclear programme, it is reliably learnt.
Credible sources told The News that Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq was preparing the lecture he was to deliver at the NDU on December 26 with the aim of convincing his audience of Pakistan Army officers that the only way to take the country ahead and to make economic progress was to make major cuts in the country’s nuclear programme and subsequently follow the South African Model.
These sources revealed to The News that under instructions of the present government, Dr Haq was to come out in public on the last point of the memo, something the Prime Minister Gilani had stopped short of doing in his two fiery speeches on Thursday.
Dr Haq was to tell the under-training senior and junior army officers to start consider giving up the nuclear programme in order to take the nation ahead for a sustainable economic growth and development.
When The News approached Dr Nadeem, he differed completely with this interpretation and said his speech, which had been cancelled, was not to focus on the nuclear programme in any way.
Dr Nadeem, however, insisted that he was about to discuss a growth strategy based on research by his big team comprising top economic experts of the country. He, however, admitted that no growth or development was possible by following the nuclear programme of the country. Following is the transcript of Dr Nadeem’s conversation with The News at 2222 hrs on Sunday night.
“This lecture is cancelled. This lecture had nothing to do with the nuclear programme of Pakistan. It was basically an attempt to discuss the growth strategy, which is the

basic function of the Planning Commission of Pakistan. Our basic problem is this that we remain sitting in Islamabad so I have managed to discuss these concepts with almost 20 universities across the Pakistan to explain what is the basic concept of our growth strategy to take Pakistan ahead. Now we will arrange this conference in January. It will not be about the nuclear programme.”
“You people have no interest in what I have to argue. You people don’t want development in this country. You people want to continue by taking the nuclear programme in your laps.”
“Mashallah, keep on sitting with this nuclear programme and simply forget about the development of the country. You people don’t need any progress.”
When told this was not the case and he was taking things in a wrong way, Dr Nadeem replied, “No, it is so. You don’t want development. I declare it with my full assertion that it is so.”
“It is so, it is so, he repeated, and all you journalists want it like that, and even Imran Khan spoke the same today. What is all this? Why does nobody want development?” When told we do want development but there is no link between maintaining our nuclear programme and development and economic progress, Dr Nadeem, the chief of the country’s Planning Commission, declared neither is there any development nor will there be any in the next 30 to 40 years. “Please write this with my name,” Dr Nadeem said and continued with much more.

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