Successful foreign tours are hard for govt rivals to accept, says Tarar

ISLAMABAD: A day after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a $10 billion investment allocation for Pakistan, Information Minister Ataullah Tarar stated on Friday that the government’s adversaries were unable to accept the “successful visits” being made by the new administration to attract investment opportunities and boost the economy.

“Wherever we go, we talk about investment and trade. We don’t talk about loans or grants,” said the minister, addressing a presser in Islamabad, flanked by Commerce Minister Jam Kamal.

The minister’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the gulf nation to meet with its President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on a day-long visit focused on inviting investments in Pakistan.

Tarar said the premier told the UAE that Pakistan does not need aid.

The decision was taken “to strengthen the Pakistani economy, support it, and enhance cooperation between the two countries”, UAE’s WAM news agency reported on Thursday.

Tarar, during the press conference, spoke about the role of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which was established to attract investment in the country.

Without naming any particular party or individual, he slammed the critics of the SIFC and termed them as those who wrote to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) against granting loan to Pakistan and running an anti-GSP Plus campaign, placing the country at risk of being cornered in the world on the economic front.

“You declared a person your redline, our redline is SIFC,” said Tarar, adding that the council is performing well.

He added that the SIFC is a joint effort of PM Shehbaz and army chief General Asim Muneer to save the country from default.

“SIFC is the lifeline of Pakistan. The government is providing favourable environment for foreign investors,” he maintained.

Tarar maintained that the UAE government has confidence in Islamabad, as one success after another is being witnessed on the diplomatic front.

“The whole world is witnessing the seriousness of the government’s behaviour,” said the information minister, adding that the world believes in Pakistan’s immense capabilities and resources.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Kamal termed PM Shehbaz’s UAE visit “historic”, stating that the government is working to improve economic development and encouraging foreign companies to invest in Pakistan.

He also acknowledged the role of Pakistan’s own business community as key in improving the country’s economy.

Kamal added that Islamabad was preparing for the UAE investment with many projects already discussed. “[We are] working in energy, trade and other sectors on a daily basis.”

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