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January 26, 2021

Foreign funding: Those trying to trap us now trapped, says PM Imran Khan

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January 26, 2021

Foreign funding: Those trying to trap us now trapped, says PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that those who trapped us in the foreign funding case are now trapped in it themselves.

The premier stated that the government’s position in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) proved to be correct. He further said that he wanted a transparent and fair investigation into the Broadsheet matter.

“We will expose everyone that harmed the national treasury,” he said, adding that the opposition is under the illusion that they would be able to hide the facts through propaganda. He also directed the authorities concerned to broaden the scope of their operation against the land mafia in the country.

The directions from the premier came while presiding over a meeting of government officials wherein they apprised PM Imran of matters related to Broadsheet, foreign funding case and crackdown on the land grabbers. “The PML-N has always provided patronage to occupiers of government lands,” the premier said. “No one can occupy government land without political patronage,” he added.

In what appeared to be a reference to demolition of 'illegal construction' at PML-N MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar's house, the premier stated that attempts to reclaim government land were also "surprisingly being termed ‘political revenge’".

He further directed the government's spokespersons to inform the nation about the details of the operations being carried out against land grabbers. In his key note virtual address at 4th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Financing for Development (FfD), Prime Minister Imran Khan proposed a five-point agenda in relation to COVID-19, including suspension of debt re-payment for the most stressed counties until the end if the pandemic and restructuring of their public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multi-lateral framework.

He thanked the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development for organising the extremely important meeting. He said the pandemic offers an opportunity to address the structural barriers hampering global prosperity and development and he proposed the agenda, which included a viable framework for equitable and affordable supply of COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries. The coverage of the COVAX facility must be expanded. This would enable the developing countries to spend their precious resources on socio-economic development needs.

Additional debt relief by:

• Suspending debt re-payments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic; and

• Restructuring of their public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multilateral framework; and

• Expanding concessional financing through multilateral development banks.

A general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of $500 billion to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures.

• Return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals.

The illicit financial outflows from developing nations causes more poverty in this world than any other factor. Reportedly, a staggering amount of $7 trillion is parked in “haven” destinations. And it is also reported that one trillion dollars annually leaves the developing countries for these “havens”.

Meeting the agreed target of mobilising $100 billion annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries.

Earlier, the prime minister noted that the world today was grappling with a series of inter-linked and unprecedented public health and economic crises.

“While the coronavirus does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, the most vulnerable people and countries have suffered the most. Millions are likely to fall back into poverty. In Pakistan, our efforts have been aimed at ensuring that we save people from dying from the virus, and at the same time preventing them from dying from hunger,” he said.

He explained, “Our strategy fortunately has worked well so far. But continuous efforts are needed to fully overcome the second wave of the virus: And also at the same time to maintain and stimulate economic growth. COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered in developed countries. But it seems that it will take much longer time for the vaccine to fully cover the global South.”

The PM noted that sustainable development would remain elusive as long as the pandemic persists while developing countries were trapped between recovering from the pandemic and meeting their debt servicing obligations.

“In April last year, I called for a ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ for creating fiscal space and reviving economic growth for developing countries. But I am afraid much more needs to be done on this account. Otherwise, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by the target date of 2030 will remain a daunting challenge,” he said.

The PM emphasised that economic malaise and recession, like the coronavirus, was highly communicable. “Global policy measures, along the lines I have outlined, are urgently needed to save lives, revive economies, and build back better,” he maintained.