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Shaukat Tarin opposes PM Imran Khan’s public outburst against EU envoys

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  • I think PM Imran Khan should not have said in public what he said, says Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin.
  • PM Imran Khan in a speech had lashed out at EU states for asking Pakistan to vote against Russia at UNGA.
  • Finance minister says FATF’s move to keep Pakistan on grey-list is a political decision.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Wednesday expressed his opposition to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public outburst against European Union envoys in a rally in Vehari.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad, Tarin said the PM should not have slammed the EU envoys in front of the public.

The PM in his speech on Sunday had lashed out at the EU states for asking Pakistan to vote against Russia at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and condemn the invasion of Ukraine.

“EU ambassadors wrote a letter to Pakistan, asking us to issue an anti-Russia statement. I ask EU ambassadors did you write that letter to India as well?” PM Imran had said.

“When India broke international law in Kashmir and abrogated Kashmir’s autonomous status, did anyone of you break ties with India, end trade or criticise [New Delhi]?” he continued.

“What are we? Are we your slaves? Do we do what you say?” the premier had stated, inviting criticism from the Opposition.

Responding to a question today about the prime minister’s speech, Tarin said: “I think the prime minister should not have said in public what he said.”

To another query regarding the FATF’s decision to keep Pakistan on the grey-list, he said it is a political decision by the anti-money laundering watchdog.

“Pakistan has complied with 26 of the 27 conditions,” he said.

The finance minister said the government is providing a subsidy of Rs104 billion on petroleum products in order to provide relief to the people.

He said given the soaring prices of petroleum products in the international market, the government has reduced the petroleum levy and brought to zero the sales tax.

Shaukat Tarin said that those using 700 units of electricity per month will be provided with a subsidy of five rupees per unit for the next four months. For this, he said, we will have to give a subsidy of 136 billion rupees.

The minister said negotiations have been held with the IMF over this relief package announced by the prime minister.

“The IMF should not have objections on the package as we are meeting it from our own resources including enhancement in tax revenues. This [relief package] will not increase our fiscal deficit.”

Shaukat Tarin said the government has also given industrial relief package to promote industries in the country. He said the package envisages tax holiday for overseas Pakistanis and incentives for the turnaround of sick industries.

The finance minister said tax exemptions have also been given to the IT sector in order to significantly bolster its exports.

He pointed out that the IT sector grew by 47% last year and currently growing by 70%. He said they are targeting 100% growth in this sector during the next year.

Shaukat Tarin said our trade deficit has also come down but due to heightened political activity, this good news was overshadowed. 

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The PPP promises the government will support the budget vote.

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Insiders state that the PPP will support the budget despite expressing reservations about it.

As previously stated, the party leaders had not yet decided whether to support or oppose the federal budget that the administration will be announcing today.

Leading figures have reportedly reached a resolution over the dispute between two parties that are allies.

In order to have the budget approved, the People’s Party will give the PML-N its whole support. Sources stated that the PPP would back the budget’s adoption “in spite of protests and speeches in committee.”

The administration promised the PPP that some of its recommendations would be included in the budget, according to sources. Voting supporting the PML-N budget is a quid pro quo commitment made by the PPP leadership.

For assistance in passing the budget, the PML-N had asked the PPP.

The PPP has not yet decided whether to accept or oppose the budget, according to PPP leader Nayya Bukhari.

The forthcoming yearly budget for 2024–25 and the state of the nation’s economy as a whole were the topics of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari’s Tuesday meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Professor Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives, a press statement from the President’s House stated.

The protection of low-income and middle-class interests in the annual budget is a priority, as highlighted by President Zardari. Along with pledging his support for fiscal benchmarks to be met, he also gave the prime minister assurances on national development.

The next budget’s proposed development projects were also discussed by President Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz. He told the president about his recent five-day travel to China, the prime minister said.

On June 12th, or today, the federal government will unveil its budget for the fiscal year 2024–25.

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PM Shehbaz will preside over today’s federal cabinet meeting.

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We will talk about the political and economic state of the nation on Tuesday, or today.

The meeting, which will take place in the prime minister’s office, will be facilitated by the prime minister.

As per insiders, the prime minister is expected to reassure the cabinet on his recent trip to China. The meeting will also include a discussion of the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The decisions made at the sessions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) are expected to be ratified by the cabinet as well, according to sources.

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Today, the IHC will hear the petitions of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi in the matter of an illegal marriage.

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Imran Khan, the founder of PTI, and his wife Bushra Bibi will present their cases in an illegal marriage lawsuit before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today, Tuesday.

At the hearing will be IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. Regarding both petitions, the registrar’s office has previously voiced objections.

Bushra Bibi has appealed in her petition that the high court to take note of a matter that is still ongoing in the sessions court about the suspension of her sentence in an illegal marriage case.

In his appeal, PTI founder argued that the District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand should be ordered by the high court to announce the case’s reserved ruling.

Through Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry and Barrister Salman Safdar, Bushra Bibi’s attorneys, filed the petition.

The petition was moved in the interim on Imran Khan’s behalf by attorney Salman Akram Raja.

Notably, on February 3, a civil court condemned Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Terrorist Organization, and Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison for their illegal marriage.

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