PM continues meetings with MNAs on day two ahead of Senate polls
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ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government was compelled to pass on the impact of oil prices in international market to consumers for averting further debt burden on the country.

The prime minister, in a talk with a private television channel (ARY) during his visit of North Waziristan on Wednesday which was aired on Friday night, said the country could not afford taking further loans to keep the oil prices at minimum benchmark.

He said the devaluation of rupee impacted the prices of petroleum products, pulses, ghee and other imported items raising the inflation rate.

He said the dollar value had surged from Rs 107 to Rs 160 during the current government’s term which also pushed the prices up.

Imran Khan also mentioned the exorbitant contracts signed by the previous government with power producing companies with a difference of Rs 3 in electricity generation and sale to the consumers. However, the incumbent government could not take such measures to further put the country under debt burden, he added.

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To a question, the prime minister said having merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the people of merged tribal districts would see a positive change vis-à-vis development of their area as the provincial government would make huge spending there under a mega development package.

About the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) allegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf getting funding from Israel and India, the prime minister reiterated that there should be an open hearing of the case, be it by the Supreme Court or the Election Commission.

He said the PTI’s whole funding was legal with a complete record of donors, contrary to the opposition parties, which were unable to name their financiers. “Would I have called for open hearing, if I was frightened?” he questioned.

He said the allegations of Israeli or Indian funding by an anti-PTI individual were ill-intentioned and malafide. He said in the past, the opposition had its own handpicked chief election commissioner (CEC).

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Now as the incumbent government had appointed the new Election Commission chief after consultation with the opposition, the people should now know whether Israel or India funded the PTI or not, he added.

Asked about the Broadsheet issue, the prime minister said it had nothing to do with current government as General Musharraf had signed the contract and backtracked unilaterally by giving an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to Nawaz Sharif.

He said the government had formed a ministerial committee also comprising judges and lawyers to probe the case and suggest the way forward for it to retrieve public money stacked abroad.

He said the government had to make payment to the Broadsheet or face daily markup of 5000 pounds.

The prime minister also quoted a State Department’s report of annual money laundering of $10 billion, which made $200 billion during last 20 years.