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National consensus on CPEC, no threat to the mega-project: FM
Addressing the Senate of Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi emphasized that there is a national consensus on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the country’s nuclear program, and there is no threat that can malign the two programmes. He further said that Pakistan is seeking a bail-out package from the IMF, although friendly countries such as Saudi Arabia and China have played a critical role in reducing Pakistan’s balance of payment crisis.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has emphatically stated that there is no threat to the country’s nuclear programme and multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Winding up discussion on an adjournment motion in the Senate today, he said there was national consensus on both the nuclear programme and the CPEC and it will stay intact.

The foreign minister also dispelled the impression that the country is heading towards One Unit or a Presidential system is being brought in the country.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that announcing National Finance Awards every five years is a constitutional responsibility and present government will fulfill it. He, however, regretted that the previous government of PML-N failed to fulfill this constitutional requirement in its five year tenure. He said the president constituted the 9th NFC award but despite repeated requests by the former Finance Minister Asad Umer, the provincial governments especially delayed the process of nominating its representatives for the NFC award.

The Foreign Minister said the present government is seeking an IMF package because of the damage inflicted to the economy over the last ten years. He said that our friendly countries including Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates gave the much needed balance of payment support but the gap is so huge that we have to go to the IMF to secure economic package. He, however, reminded the opposition parties that their governments in the past also approached the International lender for the bailout package.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi strongly rejected the opposition’s criticism on the appointment of Reza Baqir as the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan. He said Reza Baqir is the son of Pakistan and he has offered his services for the country while leaving a better remuneration package at the IMF.

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