Vibrant economy vital for strong defence: Asif

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Khawaja Asif Friday said vibrant and robust economy was vital for ensuring strong defence of a country.

“Prosperity and strong economy make the country’s defence strong,” he said while participating in Federal Budget debate in National Assembly.

He said Soviet Union had a large army but broke up in pieces after its economy collapsed.

Asif said his party would not disrupt proceedings of the House if the other side avoided confrontation, adding atmosphere in the Parliament had great impact on routine life across the country.

He complained that when PML-N talked about congenial environment in Parliament, it was accused of seeking NRO (National Reconciliation Order). He said his party wanted to run business of the House with sincerity for benefit of the common man. 

He said PML-N, during its five-year tenure, never took any extreme step which led to violence in the country.

Asif underlined the need for ensuring supremacy of the constitution and respect to vote.

He was of the view that all political parties should give due importance to elected representatives, instead of turncoats and non-elected personalities.

The PML-N parliamentary leader criticized partial withdrawal of zero-rating facility for five exporting sectors, saying that the government decision would lead to decline in exports. He said the government should take necessary measures for creating more job opportunities, bringing down inflation, curtailing utility bills and providing incentives to industrialists and business communities.

Asif said his party spent Rs116 billion for improving electricity transmission lines and overcome the issue of load-shedding to great extent in five years, besides effectively tackled the issue of terrorism with support of security forces and law enforcement agencies.

Sahibzada Sibghatullah of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) termed the budget balanced and people-friendly, expressing confidence that the government would succeed in putting the national economy on right track. He said the country would progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan was coming out of grey-list of Financial Action Task Force and United Nations had also declared Pakistan ‘Family Station,’ which was reflective of the fact that ‘Naya Pakistan’ had started emerging, he added.

He also highlighted issues hindering tourism promotion in Upper Dir recreational areas, urging the government to provide missing facilities like gas and improved road infrastructure so that more tourists could be attracted.