Ahsan Iqbal says his statement was not against Army

F.P. Report

NANKANA SAHIB: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said his recent statement was not against the army.

The interior minister had said last week that the Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) should refrain from passing comments on the country’s economy Addressing the media outside the house of martyred Captain Hasnain, on Monday clarified, “My statement was not against the Army.”

He also said that the government, democracy and the Army had no differences among each other. “We all ride the same boat and have to do our part to steer through the storm,” said the interior minister. He added that he gave a statement, which was discussed and explained by the Army and the matter is “done” now.

Elaborating further, the interior minister said the Pakistan Army and the government are mutually supporting and are essential to Pakistan for its prosperity and security. “The Army is ever ready to defend the country and any country possessing such brave souls cannot be defeated by any power.” The interior minister also said that any Pakistani, whatever his caste, creed, sect or religion can be proud of the country.

“The Army, security forces and all citizens of Pakistan are ready and striving towards making a better Pakistan,” added the interior minister.

Referring to the recent rescue of the Canadian-American couple, he said that more can be achieved with the close cooperation of all stakeholders and, “we hope that all international powers and countries affected by terrorism in this region will cooperate with Pakistan”. “We want this region to be peaceful and want peace to return to Afghanistan.”

DG ISPR should refrain from commenting on economy: Iqbal

The interior minister further said Pakistan was also fighting an economic war and by 2025 would become an economic power.

Last week, the interior minister had also said that irresponsible remarks can affect the international standing of Pakistan.

Iqbal had further said that there has been an increased pressure on imports due to the investment in energy projects, but added that the pressure is bearable. The interior minister had also further elaborated that there has been a two-fold increase in the collection of taxes, adding that the biggest development budget in the country’s history is being implemented.

Referring to the ongoing security operations being conducted in the country, the interior minister said resources are being provided as needed. The interior minister, who was visiting the annual meeting of World Bank and IMF, said it was unfortunate that he had to answer to the comments made by people due to DG ISPR’s statement.