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August 27, 2017

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Panama verdict costs economy Rs1,500 billion: Ahsan Iqbal

Panama verdict costs economy Rs1,500 billion: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal Saturday said the national economy suffered a loss of around Rs1,500 billion due to the Panama Papers case verdict and this matter should also be looked into.

“We respect the Supreme Court and we have implemented the court verdict,” he said while talking to media persons here after visiting the weekly bazaar to review damages caused by fire there on Wednesday.

The minister said the nation has paid R1,500 billion price of the Supreme Court verdict in Pamana case. He said the country has faced R1,500 billion loss from the formation of joint investigation team (JIT) till date.

To a question, he said that a joint investigation was conducted into News Leaks issue and it was taken to its logical end. "Now it is a past and closed transaction," Ahsan Iqbal said. He said Pakistan needs greater unity and a strong message should be sent to the world that "we are the one nation" and those who want any trouble in the country would fail. To a question about prevailing situation in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, the minister said that he himself had time and again pointed out conspiracies being hatched in the countries surrounding Pakistan. Ahsan Iqbal said conspiracies and progress could not move together in any country, adding that the government wants to see stability and permanent peace in the country, for which a strong and flourishing economy was must. He said the Interior Ministry would continue to play an effective role under the National Action Plan (NAP) for national peace and stability.

Commenting on a recent statement of US President Donald Trump, the minister said both political and military leadership examined the statement by all aspects and rejected Trump’s assertions of billions of dollars payments to Pakistan over the years on account of eliminating terrorism. He said fight against terrorism was in Pakistan’s own interest and not to please anyone else, because it was aspirant of lasting peace in the region.

“Pakistan is a distinguished country among comity of the nations and it will continue its efforts for regional peace in collaboration with friendly countries,” he remarked.

Responding to another question, Ahsan Iqbal said the ministry would make Islamabad Police a role model force for other provinces. He said police stations of the capital would be transformed into model police stations by December this year, for which special training was being imparted to personnel.

Moreover, he said police stations were being equipped with latest technologies and peace and reconciliatory committees were also being activated to facilitate citizens.

“We will make Islamabad Police a friendly force to serve the public in a more efficient manner,” he said.

Ahsan Iqbal stated that the government will safeguard national interest at all costs. He said Pakistan will play its role for the peace of region along with its friendly countries. 

The minister said the US has to pay billions of dollars to Pakistan under the agreement signed by General Pervez Musharraf with US for the provision of logistic support. 

Criticising political opponents, he said that fanning political instability and doing politics for the sake of it will inevitably result in hampering economic development in the country. 

He said in today’s era any country which plays with its political stability has to forget the dream of economic development. He said the Interior Ministry will play its role for the implementation of the National Action Plan and peace and security of the country.

Assuring provision of relief by the government to the affected shopkeepers Iqbal said that the incident would have caused even more damage had there not been safe city projects. He also said that he will request the prime minister to provide help to the affectees. He directed Capital Development Authority to ensure safety measures at the bazaar to avoid any such incident in future.

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