Will have to quit policy of relying on others, says PM Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that the mindset of running the country through foreign debts damaged it and that they will have to quit the policy of relying on others. Addressing a conference of envoys here, the prime minister said there is no respect of the one who keeps asking others for money. He stressed the need for eliminating hurdles in the way of foreign investment in the country. Lauding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for organising the conference, Khan said a nation rises only when it starts believing. "We are mocked when we speak of national honour. Where Pakistan stands today, I believe that this is a great opportunity for us." He, however, said they will have to change their mindset for the country to make progress, since a fraudulent mindset had caused huge loss to it. The prime minister said that rulers in past kept taking shortcuts instead of increasing revenue of the country. "Some of the richest individuals were devastated by taking loans. We made the decisions that provided us short-term benefit, but [negatively] impacted the society," he noted. "We could not become one nation. We made wrong choices for short-term benefits." Khan said the elite of the country continued to thrive on foreign loans and tarnished its reputation in the world. "We have a major role in distorting the image of the country. We need our envoys and we will utilise them for doing things that have not been done so far," he said, stressing coordination among the Foreign Office, envoys and the Ministry of Interior. The premier directed for maintaining lists of overseas Pakistanis and keeping in touch with them. "We need teamwork which was not there until today. Remember that we overseas Pakistanis are the ones who work for up to 12 hours leaving their families behind," he said. "There should be special empathy for them; there should be special communities for overseas Pakistanis since these working class people reach abroad braving great difficulties." Khan urged the envoys to keep in touch with the Board of Investment (BOI) to open new avenues for exports. He said his government also needed assistance from them on the issue of money laundering. The prime minister said huge amounts are laundered abroad through fake bank accounts, which was also one of the reasons for rupee's depreciation. He reiterated that his government was contacting different countries for bringing back looted wealth. "People are right now looking towards Pakistan as it is the best place for investment," he said. He added the youth of the country could take Pakistan forward if utilised rightly.

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