ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Saturday that Pakistan would soon launch dedicated property projects for overseas Pakistanis to provide them investment opportunities with peace of mind.
“Overseas Pakistanis stand behind Pakistan to make it economically strong and the Prime Minister Imran Khan promises to stand by them as he has done, which no other prime minister could have even thought of doing for Pakistanis living abroad,” he said in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.
“We are bringing completely new concept of ‘overseas Pakistanis investment’ in Pakistan to keep them safe from any ‘fake’ or fraudulent real estate schemes. We have already acquired land in Islamabad and are in the process of getting more land in Karachi, Lahore and other major cities for Pakistanis living abroad. The prime minister will soon unveil new dedicated investment schemes for Pakistanis living abroad,” the minister said.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has given clear instructions to all the diplomats in Pakistan missions abroad that they would remain on jobs only if overseas Pakistanis were satisfied with their work. “Prime Minister Imran has given pride to our labourers working abroad by listening to their issues and resolving them on priority basis. He has regained ‘self-respect’ for Pakistanis working abroad due to his solid backing for them,” Chaudhry Fawad said.
He said Imran Khan was personally monitoring facilities for Pakistanis living and working abroad. The government has given them the right to vote and it was trying hard that they cast their vote in the next general elections, he said.
“We have made it easier for them to get passports, ID Cards and power of attorneys online without the need to visit the embassies and consulates.
To a question he said price hike was a concern for some segments of society in Pakistan, but it was an international problem now as every country was facing the heat of price hike since COVID-19 hit the world. While global economy is still under a lot of strain, he maintained that Pakistan has done well as its economy saw a 5.3 per cent growth last year which was important landmark achieved on the economic front.
The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will soon visit the UAE, though the dates have not yet been confirmed. He said UAE was the second home for Pakistanis and PM Imran had many friends here. His visit will definitely help grow the economic relations between the two countries, he opined.
Tourism, he said was one of the top agenda items of development for the prime minister. After the unfortunate incident of Murree, he said the government was working on a comprehensive plan to avoid any such incident in the future. He said that influx of tourists had been overwhelming, especially in hilly resorts and the government was in the process of introducing several safety guidelines for tourists to ensure hassle-free tourism.
Replying to a query he said the biggest achievement of the present government was that Prime Minister Imran Khan has changed the direction of the economy on the right path towards development.
He said earlier Pakistan had a service-based economy with focus on imports, but now Pakistan’s economy was standing on its feet with a significant rise in exports, especially in textile sector.
He said due to its solid foreign policy,Pakistan was playing a greater role in world affairs. Pakistan has regained ‘respect’ at the international level due to the prime minister’s stance on international policies, he remarked.
“Even with regard to India, we have a very clear policy that we want good relationship with India as people from across the border also want the same for they have a lot in common with people in Pakistan,” he said. Pakistan wanted to be a trade partner with India as both countries can benefit from this and together, both countries could become one of the largest markets in the world.
He called for work on the long-pending project of the TAPI gas pipeline, as it would help resolve energy crises in both the countries. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Natural Gas Pipeline, TAPI, aims to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year through a proposed approximately 1,800km pipeline from Turkmenistan to India passing through Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that Taliban government had already endorsed the project and Pakistan was ready to extend this gas pipeline to India. “Our friendly relations with India can be a game changer in the region”, he said.
He maintained that another major contribution of PM Imran was that the focus was back on the environment narrative in Pakistan. “Imran Khan is the only PM who speaks about environment and has made drastic changes in polices to tackle environmental issues. We are now talking about green economy and this is not an easy shift given the resources.”
About Afghanistan, he said the neighbouring country was in a shambles as global aid agencies have predicted that humanitarian crisis was getting worse in Afghanistan. He urged the countries around the world to work together to resolve this issue. A special session of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) foreign ministers was held recently and Pakistan was successful in garnering support from all. After the session, the UN also launched $5 billion (Dh18.39 billion) appeal to help Afghanistan cope with its worst ever- humanitarian crisis.
We have also asked the Taliban to have an inclusive government representing all segments of society. We have asked them to include Uzbek and Tajik communities in their government to ensure a smooth sailing.
He said he visiting Dubai to inaugurate the Pakistani music and film festival at Expo 2020 Dubai. The week-long film festival will feature our films at the Pakistan Pavilion. He expected visitors from different nationalities to come and watch our movies.
The minister said that Expo 2020 Dubai has given Pakistan a huge opportunity to showcase film and music industry here. The festival will help bring Pakistani films closer to film producers in the UAE. “We are also looking at joint venture opportunities to develop our film and music industry”, he said.