Criticism of DG ISPR’s comments on economy wasn’t confrontational: Ahsan Iqbal

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that his criticism of the army spokesperson’s comments on economy was not confrontational, but only meant to point out that every department had its own jurisdiction.

“Only the finance and planning ministries as well as the opposition should comment on economic affairs,” he added.

The minister said state institutions needed to be careful that their comments were not used by enemies to tarnish the image of the country.

“If the glass is half filled, let’s spread hope that that it will soon be filled to the top instead of making the masses feel disappointed,” he remarked.

Also on Saturday, ISPR DG Major General Asif Ghafoor said he was ‘disappointed both as a soldier and as a citizen of Pakistan’ by Iqbal’s statement and he stood by his comments.

A day earlier, the interior minister said the army spokesperson should not be commenting on national economy.

Embassy Forum

Later, while addressing a gathering at the Embassy Forum organised by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC, the interior minister said said the security situation in Pakistan had improved considerably after successful military operations in the tribal areas as well as other parts of the country.

He was addressing participants from US State Department, academia and members of the Pakistani-American diaspora.

DG ISPR should refrain from commenting on economic issues: Ahsan Iqbal

“Through the valiant efforts of Pakistan’s security forces and the determination of the entire nation, the country had reversed the tide of terrorism which had gripped it five years ago,” he said.

The minister highlighted the economic gains and the security successes Pakistan achieved in the last four years. He also shared the remarkable progress made in the macroeconomic sector through prudent fiscal policies which have resulted in economic growth rate of over 5.3 percent per annum.

Iqbal also shared initiatives taken by the government to enhance education, empower women, improve healthcare and reduce poverty in Pakistan.

On Pakistan-US relations, the minister expressed the hope that both countries would continue to work together in future as they had been strategic partners over the last seven decades.

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