Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the world to help Afghanistan achieve peace after almost four decades of turmoil it has suffered.
“The world should try its best to bring peace in Afghanistan. There has been conflict there for 40 years. Their people have faced such hardships,” said the prime minister while addressing a ceremony on Thursday at Islamabad’s Convention Centre to unveil three years’ performance of his rule.
“It is time now that the world help Afghanistan. The Taliban are trying to reach an inclusive political settlement and they are speaking of peace, so we should help them,” he added.
The ruling PTI released a 256-page performance report to highlight the achievements since the party came into power in 2018.
Earlier, the premier welcomed the audience, especially greeting the newly elected Azad Jammu and Kashmir representatives.
He mentioned Faisal Javed in a lighter tone, saying “whenever he gets a mic, he never lets go of it, like in our jalsa days.”
Prime Minister Imran also lauded Sindh Governor Imran Ismail’s talent for producing PTI anthems, saying it may very well overshadow his performance as a governor. Ismail had sung “tabdeeli aayi re”, besides humming a tune in the making for “mujhhe kyoon nikala”.
He recalled how he was mocked in the party’s early days, but said that he continued to focus on one thing: how the Holy Prophet (PBUH) saw such hard times but remained resolute.
“We must never fear such times. Yes, this is a hard time (for Pakistan), but we must not panic.”
“The ups and downs in life prepare you (for greatness),” he said.
He advised the youth that never think that life is easy. “If it is easy, that means you have no standing.”
“Whoever stands on the true path, has to face difficulties. All of Allah’s messengers faced troubles. And that is the path we believe in.
“But people want an easy way out and at the same time seek the path of blessings […] you must never cry over such times.
“If you understand and analyse such things properly, you will see that the tough path is the path to your success,” he said.
The premier added: “No one has achieved success without failing. It is impossible for someone to just land on his feet.”
“No one has become a leader with shortcuts. Look at the struggle of Quaid-e-Azam. If there is one leader I believe in, it is him.
“The way he struggled, especially towards his end, during his illness. He did not do it for his personal gain, he did so for a greater purpose. And this is why people will continue to laud him.”
The prime minister said that last three years were “very difficult” after having inherited a bankrupt country left behind by the past rulers.
“Our reserves were low, our liabilities high. We had no money to pay back our debtors. We were not going to default, we were in the process of defaulting, because we had no foreign exchange.”
Prime Minister Imran appreciated friendly countries, including UAE, China and Saudi Arabia, for providing financial assistance to Pakistan, saying the country’s economy would have been in “very dire situation if they did not help”.
Highlighting his government’s achievements, the PTI chief said his government reduced the current account deficit of $20 billion to $1.8 billion during its three years in power.
He called his political opponents “mafias”, and said they were busy in spreading “hopelessness” because they did not want the rule of law to be established in the country.
He also spoke of the coronavirus crisis and the Pulwama incident.
“I thank Allah, we have the kind of armed forces that we do. When [India] bombarded us in the middle of the night, I thought that if we did not have the kind of army that we rely on so much, what would we do before such a powerful opponent?”
“And this mafia that gave speeches against our army […] I too have spoken out against the army in the past […] everyone makes mistakes, but the aim is not to malign them.
“They are after the army because they want them to topple the government. You call yourselves a democratic government and seek the removal of a democratic government?” he said while criticising India.
“The Indian lobby is trying its best to malign the Pak Army […] and this has been going on for a while,” said the premier.
Prime Minister Imran said that it is due to the confidence that the country has in the Pakistan Army, that it was able to boldly tell the Modi government that if they tried anything, Pakistan will provide a befitting response.
PROGRESS REPORT: The prime minister highlighted the key achievements of his government marking a journey of stable economy, development and welfare projects.
The report aims to give an insight into the efforts of each ministry and division in facilitating the common man in line with the vision of Naya Pakistan.
The performance report 2018-21 has been compiled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the patronage of its head Chaudhry Fawad Hussain.
The 251-page report gives an outline of the achievements of 44 public bodies, including ministries, divisions and departments.
During its three years in power, the PTI-led government claimed to have completed 19,000 low-cost housing units while 45,000 are under construction.