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PR No.316 THROUGH THE MARCH OF TIME, DESPITE HURDLES AND BOTTLENECKS, PAKISTAN HAS CONTINUED TO GROW AND PROSPER. ECONOMIC GROWTH IS PROJECTED TO CONTINUE PAKISTAN’S PROGRESS IN COMING YEARS. Islamabad: March 30, 2017

Mr. Nasrullah Khan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Singapore, speaking at a seminar on the theme of “ Pakistan at 70” at the  Institute of South Asian Studies , traced Pakistan’s journey from 1947 to 2017.“Through the march of time, despite hurdles and bottlenecks, Pakistan has continued to grow and prosper”, Pakistan’s top man in Singapore asserted. He opined that a country’s uplift can be gauged from the performance of its economy. The remarkable growth that Pakistan’s economy has sustained for last few years is underpinned by dynamism in industry, agriculture and services, supported by strong growth in domestic demand, he said. He added that Government has taken a number of   policy measures to boost economic activities in all major sectors of economy. The operations, Zarb-e-Azab and Rudd ul Fassad have played a decisive role in maintaining peace and stability in the country. The enabling, secure environment has also revived confidence of the investors at local and international levels. The High Commissioner informed the Singaporean audience that the uptick in economic growth has placed Pakistan on the radar as a future investment destination. Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), the US equity indices provider, has included Pakistan Stock Exchange in its benchmark emerging-market index that is likely to attract multimillion dollars of portfolio investment in the Asia’s best performing market. Answering a question, he pointed out that the Government of Pakistan has allocated significant funds to implement various social safety net measures with the aim to attenuate the degree of poverty such as Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM), Zakat, Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF). The High Commissioner also underlined the government’s awareness of and commitment to revamp Pakistan’s education policy to eradicate many an ill which can be traced to the lack of education and literacy rate in the country. During the briefing, Khan asserted that empowerment of women and equal opportunities for them is a priority for the government. Today, women are playing important roles in the development of the country and hold important positions in every field, says a press release received here today from Singapore.

Speaking of CPEC, the High Commissioner stated that with the help of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, roads and railways infrastructure will integrate Pakistan with the regional countries which will result in generating economic boom by integrating Pakistani markets with Central Asia, Middle East and other parts of the world. The investment on the corridor will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub and it will be confidence booster for investors and attract investment not only from China but also from other parts of the world.  India, he said, too may consider joining the Corridor, as was also stated by China’s spokesperson in her briefing in Beijing a few days back.

 

Pakistan’s key and frontline role in fighting terrorism was emphasized upon by the high official. “Countering terrorism effectively requires strong international cooperation and coordination” he said. Pakistan’s cordial bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia, China,  Iran, Sri Lanka and Turkey were also discussed in replies to questions by those present. Answering questions about Pakistan- India- Afghanistan ties Nasrullah Khan said that Pakistan is committed to seeking better ties with India and look forward to working closely with the Indian leadership to promote an environment of trust and friendship. “Improving relations with our neighbours, particularly India and Afghanistan, is in our own national interest”. Commenting about future prospects of ties with the US, the High Commissioner expressed optimism and termed the relationship as important for both countries.

The High Commissioner delivered his lecture titled “Pakistan at 70”at the board room of Singapore’s prestigious think tank ‘Institute of South Asian Studies’, National University of Singapore. A large number of faculty members, diplomats, journalists, analysts, students and officers of the High Commission of Pakistan were present at the lecture/seminar.

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