Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Anwaarul Haq Kakar stated on Sunday that the Pakistani government was enthusiastic about Saudi investment in the wake of meetings between Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and Pakistan’s top of army command.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar told a private news channel that the government was considering a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adding that the visit would be focused on fully maximising the country’s economic prospects.
The premier stated that a task team led by the finance minister will evaluate the sizes of federal and provincial governments, examine options for better-managing pension funds, and work to rationalise public spending and generate revenue.
“We are convinced that there is a need to rationalise government expenditure and increase revenue in order to create a viable state and lessen existential threats due to economic vulnerability,” he said.
He stated that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was seeking to assist in achieving adequate governance and addressing the causes of poor governance in the past. In the past, civil institutions were lazy in their job, but the army leadership, with its organisational strength, had increased the degree of confidence in public service, giving it newfound vigour to implement policies and achieve goals, he noted.
The prime minister stated that a Pakistani consortium of oil corporations and Saudi oil company Aramco were in negotiations to build an oil refinery in Pakistan.
He also claimed that the United Arab Emirates was very interested in mining exploration in Pakistan.
While providing distorted reasons for the absence of industry and agriculture in Balochistan, PM Kakar stated that in the past, a liberal approach was taken towards the issue of smuggling, which negatively impacted the economy and caused products intended for border areas to be diverted to the country’s interior. Smuggling from border areas had an impact on import regulations and economic management, he said.
He stated that the current military leadership and caretaker government believe that the movement of persons and products across Iran and Afghanistan’s borders should be restricted. The prime minister stated that because of the political and military leadership’s clarity of vision, law enforcement personnel realised that borders were sacred, which resulted in successful measures to restrict the flow of illicit products.
In response to a query, he stated that in the post-Cold War context, the government was monitoring the geostrategic situation in the area and the international arena in reference to Pakistan’s essential interests. He added that geoeconomics, in addition to key strategic aims, now dominates Pakistan’s foreign policy.
In response to another question, he stated that the SIFC’s work was focused on specific sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, and that the council was dealing with issues such as per-hectare water conservation, technology transfer, quality seed, and job development.
He agreed that there was a lack of information on the topics addressed by SIFC and stated that the government was developing a strategy to keep the people informed and raise awareness about taxation culture, economic initiatives, and strategic challenges.
He stated that simply relaying information will destroy rumours. He stated that the caretaker government would make sound judgements rather than turning to populism and would work to create the groundwork for the next administration.
In response to a question, he stated that with the 18th constitutional amendment, the incumbent President would remain in office until his successor took over.
The Election Commission, as a constitutional body, would announce the date for elections under the current law, constitution, and legislation done by political parties, he said, adding that general elections should be held before March so Senate elections could be held to fill the seats left vacant by retiring Senators.