Markets respond positively to ECP decision against PTI: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD, Aug 3 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said the stock and foreign exchange markets had responded positively to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision in the prohibited funding case against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI).

The stock market showed positive signs soon after the announcement of the verdict on Tuesday and gained around 900 points on Wednesday, while the Pakistan Rupee got also strengthened against the dollar by Rs 9.59 to close at Rs 228.79, he said while addressing a press conference.

Ahsan Iqbal said there might be some other factors behind the positive development, but political stability was one of the main reasons which impacted the market positively.

He said the people knew very well that the PTI’s only objective was to create anarchy in the country. The market reacted negatively and rupee weakened significantly against the US dollar for fears of regaining power by the PTI, which won majority seats in the Punjab bye-elections last month.

He said the entire nation wanted political and economic stability, besides prosperity.

The minister maintained that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and his economic team led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had made relentless efforts to put the country on the path of stability and prosperity.

When the coalition government took over the charge, it was being feared that Pakistan might meet the fate like that of Sri Lanka, however, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and its allied parties jointly worked to save the country from default, he added.

He said the incumbent government was bound to honour the agreement made by the PTI government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The minister said PTI chief Imran Khan had concealed 13 accounts of his party and as per the ECP decision he had become a “certified liar and fraudster”, and he should quit his party chairmanship on the moral high ground.

The minister also asked the PTI voters and supporters to positively work for the country’s development. “I request all doctors, engineers, traders, officers, investors, journalists, and people from all walks of life to put extraordinary efforts to bring the country out of crisis.”

The government wanted to make Pakistan totally independent of the IMF, and for that it needed the support of people irrespective of differences and affiliations, he added.

To a question, Ahsan Iqbal said the government would complete its tenure and the next general election would be held on time.

He said work on the population and housing census was underway, which would be completed by February 2023 and then the ECP would require three to four more months to complete the process of delimitations.

Furthermore, the country could not afford early elections in the wake of economic situation, he added.

The minister also paid tributes to the officers of Pakistan Army, who were martyred in the helicopter crash in Balochistan.