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PM Imran Khan rules out talks with India

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday once again categorically ruled out any talks with India until it rescinded the illegal steps of August 5, 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Interacting with the public over the telephone, the prime minister said the international media was now also writing against the Hindutva policy of the Modi government after the incumbent government raised it effectively at the international level.

The prime minister also voiced his concerns over the maltreatment of Muslims and other minorities in India. He said their Foreign Office had raised the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in an excellent manner.

Responding to a query of a caller, the prime minister made it clear that no relaxation or NRO would be given to any mafia or corrupt elements.

However, he assured that no injustice would be done with anybody.

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed optimism that his struggle against the corrupt mafia and for the establishment of rule of law would succeed which would turn Pakistan into a great nation. He asked the people to stand by his struggle which was aimed at bringing the powerful under the law.

Imran Khan said those, who had plundered the nation over the last 30 years, didn’t want supremacy of the Constitution and law. He said mafias in different sectors including in sugar didn’t want the institutions to function.

The premier said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government believed in the rule of law and it was not interfering in the matters of the judiciary and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The prime minister said he had also waged a war against the land grabbers and noose had been tightened against them. He said 21,000 acres of land valuing Rs 27 billion had so far been recovered.

When asked about the price hike, the prime minister said he had brought Shaukat Tarin as the Finance Minister with the responsibility to bring down the prices of essential commodities and take the economy towards growth.

Imran Khan said they had kept the petrol prices and diesel lower as they realized that no more burden could be put on the masses. He said prices of electricity had a direct impact on inflation.

The prime minister said the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) signed expensive agreements, putting a huge burden of capacity payments. He said those payments were around Rs 180 billion in 2013 which swelled to Rs 484 billion in 2018 and now that amount was standing at Rs 900 billion.

Under the international agreements, he added, the government was bound to procure electricity even if it didn’t require so. He said they convinced the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and managed to reduce the amount of capacity payment to the tune of Rs 132 billion.

Similarly, the prime minister said they imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar on cheaper rates, saving US$ 300 million annually.

On the economic front, the prime minister said the government inherited a difficult economic situation with record deficits. However, he said the present government had laid the foundation for the prosperity of the Country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves had reached US$ 15.6 billion. He said there was a growth of 7.5 percent in large-scale manufacturing with the textile industry operating at its full capacity. He said there had been an increase in revenue collection and exports.

The prime minister said Rs 1,100 billion had gone to the farmers in 2021 due to the government’s pro-agriculture policy. He said the government would soon announce a long-term plan for the agriculture sector.

To a question, the prime minister said border markets were being opened with Iran and Afghanistan, saying that would provide legal trade opportunities to the local population.

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