Pakistan won’t make any compromise on its defence, says PM


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the observance of Youm-e-Takbeer provided an opportunity to the nation to reiterate its resolve for the defence and solidarity of Pakistan.

It’s the day which reminds us that the national interests should be given priority for the motherland’s progress, defence and unity.

In a message on the Youm-e-Takbeer being observed to commemorate the historic nuclear tests Pakistan made on the day in 1998, the prime minister said on this historic day, Pakistan emerged as the first atomic power in the Islamic world. The defence of Pakistan was made impregnable and the power of balance was maintained in the South Asia.

He said on May 11, 1998, the nuclear tests by India exposed its aggressive designs and caused impacts upon the regional balance of power and peace.

But it was need of the time to take difficult decision for the defence and solidarity of the motherland, he said, adding the credit went to the PML-N leadership at that time which without being succumbed to the international pressure, conducted its five nuke tests on May 28, 1998 in response to the Indian aggression, thus making the defence of the motherland invincible.

On that day, the country’s leadership reminded the world that no compromise would be made on the country’s defence and against any aggression.

The government, he claimed, had laid a strong foundation of progress and prosperity which will help nation to succeed in the comity of nations, he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says economy perform significantly better in almost all respects during the last five years as compared to what the present Government inherited in 2013.

He was briefing newsmen about performance of the economy during tenure of the present government along with Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb.

Giving comparable figures, the Prime Minister said in 2013 GDP growth was just 3.68% which has gone up to 5.79%

this year. In dollar terms, the GDP stood at 231 billion dollars in 2013 and today it is 313 billion dollars. He said industrial growth in 2013 was 0.75% and today it is 5.8%. Growth in large-scale manufacturing in first nine months of 2012-13 was 3.53% which is 5.89% in the comparable period this year.

The Prime Minister said construction sector grew eight times as compared to 2013; service sector growth went up from 5.13% in 2013 to 6.43% this year. Agriculture growth in 2013 was 2.86% in 2013, which is now 3.81%.

He said in 2013 credit availability was 259 billion rupees and with three time growth it is 736 billion rupees now.

He said wheat production went up from 24.21 million tonnes to 25.49 million tonnes; rice 5.54 million tonnes to 7.44 million tonnes, maize from 4.22 million tonnes to 5.7 million tonnes, and sugar cane 63.75 million tonnes to 81.1 million tonnes. Cotton production in 2013 was 13.03 million bales, which went down to 11.94 million bales. The Prime Minister said inflation in 2013 was 7.75% which has come down to 3.77% now.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi acknowledged that there were challenges in the export sector. Exports in 2013 stood at 20.55 billion dollar, then came down for various reasons and now again picked up to 20.6 billion dollars for 2017-18.

He said imports in 2013 stood at 33.4 billion dollar and now these stood at 44.6 billion dollar due to hike in oil price in the international market and import of machinery for developmental projects including those under CPEC.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated a project for the capacity building of youth in FATA under Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, in collaboration with the United Nation’s Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT).

FATA Development Authority will implement the project in coordination with Pakistan Army.
Under the project, vocational training and psycho-social support will be given to 100 terror-affected youth in FATA, both male and female under the age of 35, in order to provide them access to sustainable livelihood, and thereby gaining resilience against terrorist propaganda and its recruitment. Unemployed and disabled youth will be given priority.
20% of the training seats are reserved for female candidates from FR Kohat & FR Peshawar, whereas 10% seats are reserved for disabled persons. -NNI

Male candidates will be trained in trades like Mobile Repair, Auto CAD, Computer Operator, Industrial Electrician, Quantity Survey, and Civil Survey; whereas trades for female candidates include Tailoring, Embroidery, and Knitting.

Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appreciated the efforts of Ms. Leila Khan, Minister of State and Chairperson Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Pakistan Army especially 11 Corps Peshawar, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and FATA Development Authority for this valuable intervention aimed at socio-economic uplift of FATA youth. He thanked United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism for funding the project, and expressed hope that the recently-passed FATA-KP Merger Bill will also have a far-reaching impact on mainstreaming of FATA in the national economic development. – NNI