Davos: Jan 23, 2020 (TNS): Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan stands as a partner for peace and will not become part of any war.
In his keynote address at Special Session of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today (Wednesday), he said Pakistan is actively playing a responsible role in defusing tensions between the US and Iran.
He said it is also playing a critical role in bringing peace in the neighbouring Afghanistan.
Referring to economic situation of the country, he said his government inherited fiscal and trade deficits at huge scale.
In order to stabilize the economy, the government took tough decisions, resulting in upward trajectory of stock market, stabilization in value of rupee and increase in foreign reserves.
He said in one year, ease of doing business improved by 28 points as per World Bank estimates.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan has a population of 210 million people and sixty percent of our population comprises of youth.
This has a huge potential to play an important role in economic development of the country.
Imran Khan said we have started skill development programs encouraging youth to start their own businesses and entrepreneurial projects. We hope to harness the potential of our youth for economic prowess of the country.
Imran Khan said Pakistan is endowed with rich mineral resources including gold and other deposits and we are now focusing to exploit these fully.
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He said apart from minerals, Pakistan is blessed with fertile land whose full potential has yet to be explored. He said with the help of China under China Pakistan Economic Corridor, work is being done in enhancing the agricultural productivity of the country.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan is placed at a very important geostrategic position. He said with the peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan can tap the benefits of energy rich Central Asia besides acting as a bridge between East and West Asia.
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Referring to Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours, he said with the normalization of relations with the biggest neighbour India, development and prosperity can be achieved.
He said the biggest challenge for his government is to bring reforms in state institutions to improve governance and work is being undertaken in this regard.
Referring to the steps taken by his government to cope with the challenge of climate change, the Prime Minister said after coming into power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2013, we embarked on planting one billion trees in the province to stop the adverse impact of global warming and successfully did it. After becoming the Prime Minister in 2018, he said, we resolved to plant ten billion trees in Pakistan to make the country greener. This is now our objective and we are using the same experience we learned in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We are especially involving women as they are very good in planting nurseries.
The Prime Minister said it is really important to grow trees as Pakistan is vulnerable to global warming and also to reduce pollution in our cities.
Imran Khan said economy of Pakistan cannot grow unless there is peace and stability. Referring to Pakistan becoming part of the US war against Soviet Union in 1980s, he said Pakistan was left with militant groups as a by-product of war. That became impediment in our growth. After nine-eleven incident, Pakistan faced the similar dilemma and seventy thousand Pakistanis sacrificed their lives in terror wave.
Replying to a question, he said there is no terrorism in Pakistan and 2019 has been the safest year in the country since 9/11 incident. He said we are taking steps to exploit the tourism potential of the country after restoration of peace.
Dilating upon the huge potential of tourism in the country, Imran Khan said apart from some of the most fascination mountains, the country is dotted with religious sites of various faiths. He said we are inviting foreign investment in tourism sector of the country.
In reply to another question, the Prime Minister said there is no military solution of Afghan crisis and it can be resolved only through dialogue. He said it is easy to start a war but very difficult to predict the course it will take after sometime.