ISLAMABAD: PTI government’s focus is on adopting an inclusive system and introducing new policies which will create ease for the country’s biggest asset — overseas Pakistanis, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday, as he laid out a vision for fixing the system to reach these goals.
The premier spoke to the media at the inauguration ceremony of the first international five-star hotel in Nathia Gali.
“Over the years, governments in Pakistan have evolved in a way where their personal benefit tops the priority list,” he said. “This is wrong. The government is responsible for fulfilling the needs of the public and the country, not themselves.”
If we ask ourselves what does Pakistan needs the most right now, the answer would be “wealth creation”. “And overseas Pakistanis gave us exactly that.”
There are approximately nine million Pakistanis living abroad. Their yearly earnings are the same as the annual income of the entire population of the country, PM Khan pointed out.
Then why are these people not investing in Pakistan?
The system of the country, PM Khan answered. “They are scared of losing their money to land mafias.”
To combat this, Pakistan needs to work on its rule of law and create a system where overseas Pakistanis feel safe investing in the country. “We don’t realise the benefits these investments will bring.”
Investments will lead to job creation, poverty alleviation, economic growth, and wealth creation. “When dollars will come into Pakistan, they will increase the reserves leading to the stability of rupee and eventually an uptick in the exports.”
The prime minister remarked that today, Pakistan’s war is to make the system better. “Once a rule of law is established in the country, investments by overseas Pakistanis will eventually rise.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted that over the span of five years, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has seen the most growth when it comes to reducing poverty across the country.
“This has been proven in a report by the United Nations Development Programme.”
Despite suffering the most during the “war against terror”, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has flourished tremendously in these years. And the credit goes to tourism. “During Eid holidays this year, 2.7 million people headed up north. This is proof that tourism acts as a catalyst for creating wealth.”
To keep the trend going, Pakistan needs to focus on high-end tourism by opening resorts and introducing recreational activities such as skiing in the region.
For this purpose, the government has decided to provide cheap leases for land in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Concessions will be given to investors and levies on imports will be reduced as well.”
If the country focuses on tourism today, it will easily be able to pay off its foreign debts in the upcoming few years.