ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday admitted to have made blunders after coming to power in 2018, but vowed to take steps which have never been taken before to get the economy out of the crisis if his party gets another chance to rule the country.

Mr Khan said three-and-a-half years of his government were very challenging as the then opposition parties had been attempting to topple his government from day one and cause political instability in the country, but he learnt a lot about the economy during his first term.

The ex-premier expressed these views at an event titled, Seminar on The Economy in Freefall, during which PTI secretary general Asad Umar, KP Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra, ex-finance minister Shaukat Tarin, economist Saqib Shirani, PTI leaders Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and Omar Ayub shed light on the deteriorating economic situation, its causes and possible solution.

Mr Khan said if his party came to power again, he will have better knowledge about economic challenges and their solutions, as he has decided to form an ‘economic team’ to assess them beforehand.

“Our government would take important decisions which had never been taken in the past,” he pledged, while highlighting the need to think out of the box to bring the country out of crises.

Nobody took decisions for a prosperous future of the nation, Mr Khan deplored, explaining that there was need to take ‘tough decisions’. “There had never been long-term planning to lift economy, to conserve water or to protect the environment,” he reasoned.

Censuring the coalition government at Centre, the PTI chairman said it devastated Pakistan’s economy.

He said the challenges were big and warranted ‘bigger steps’ to stablise the economy.

He said those sending remittances were a ‘great asset’ of the country, as neither the IMF nor friendly countries but the expats would bail the country out of crisis. “Overseas Pakistanis had supported me for Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. But nowadays, financial assistance from expats was being called ‘foreign funding’,” he remarked. The Election Commission of Pakistan must have seen ‘foreign funding’ during the August 29 live telethon, he jibed.

Also in a tweet, Mr Khan said: “I want to thank the people of Pakistan, especially our overseas Pakistanis, for donating so generously last night. In the three hours of our telethon we had pledges of Rs5 billion.”

In another tweet, the ex-premier condemned alleged torture on Haleem Adil Sheikh.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2022

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