• Sat. May 27th, 2023

Vandalism of installations equivalent to 9/11 attacks: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal deemed the May 9 vandalism on military installations by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers as 9/11-type attacks on the national interests of the country.

In an interview with the state news agency on Sunday, the minister lamented the regrettable acts of PTI workers, who barged into and destroyed several symbols of Pakistan’s pride including the Jinnah House [Lahore corps commander’s house], Yadgar-e-Shuhada, fighter jets of the famous 1965 war and the Chaghai mountain model. He added that the protesters’ reaction after the arrest of party chairman Imran Khan was “unprecedentedly irrational, unacceptable and not less than the 9/11 attacks” carried out in the US in 2001.

“The May 9 incident for Pakistan’s armed forces was equivalent to the September 11 of America. The violent workers of a political party attacked Pakistan’s heritage and the pride of the security departments. The Jinnah House was not only the residence of a corps commander rather a heritage of the founder of the country,” he added.

Ahsan regretted that the PTI workers broke the statue of Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed, which was a symbol of courage and bravery demonstrated by the martyr in the Kargil battlefield and even admitted by the arch-rival India. “If they have broken the fighter jets of 1965 war, [it means] they have attacked the pride of Pakistan Air Force attained by defeating the enemy in the air war,” he said.

The minister said the model of Chaghai mountain, which reminded the nation of nuclear tests carried out by its scientists that made the country’s defence impregnable, was also set on fire.

“There seems a scheme/method behind this madness as all such symbols were targeted selectively, which had a link either with national heritage or pride of the armed forces.”

Ahsan Iqbal said such serious offences could not be tolerated and forgiven by any country, reminding that charges were framed against all those who attacked the United States Capitol Hill at the behest of ex-president Donald Trump and UK courts opened at the night for giving exemplary punishment to those involved in street riots, loot and plunder.

“So, these people, too, do not deserve any mercy as they have attacked the national heritage and pride of the armed forces,” he said, adding that evidence-based legal proceedings would be initiated against those involved in the subversive activities.

“Those who caused destruction in civil areas will be prosecuted under the civil law, while those who attacked military installations, will be tried under the Army Act,” he added.

He said the enemies of Pakistan kept celebrating the subversive activities of the PTI. “Thus we made our enemies happy and brought tears to the eyes of our nation,” the minister said.

Answering a question, the minister said when the coalition government came to power last year, the national kitty was empty and the finance ministry was unable to release development funds for the last quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22, which happened for the first time in the country’s history due to failed economic policies of the PTI government.

Commenting on the issue of inflation, Ahsan said it was all because of the four-year rule of the PTI which damaged the investment pouring into the country under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

He said the PTI government laid the foundation of inflation by devaluating the rupee against the dollar and allowing the $80 billion imports in its last year to show artificial growth and benefit friends by issuing import licences. In the damage-repair efforts, he said the current government resumed the stalled programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and restored ties with friendly countries that had been affected during the PTI rule. He said the coalition government had launched a Rs800 million project under which the latest boats would be given to fishermen enabling them to earn their livelihood and contribute to the national progress.

To steer the country out of the financial crisis and turn it into a stable platform, the minister said the incumbent government was making concerted efforts to develop a framework based on five Es (Exports, E-Pakistan, Equity, Energy and Environment), which needed to be pursued vigorously.

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