Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal Friday said the Director General (DG) of Army’s media wing should refrain from commenting on the country’s economic situation.
In an interview with a Pakistani news channel, DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor had said that if the country’s economy was not bad, “it is not doing so well either.”
“This [economy] is the minister of finance’s and government’s subject,” Major Gen Ghafoor had said in the interview, according to DawnNews. “At this time, sitting together and discussing how to improve the economy is important. Pakistan Army has to shape the environment of the security in such a way that people come and people in Pakistan can do their business easily.”
On Wednesday, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Bajwa had said that Pakistan needed to expand its tax base. “The economy is showing mixed indicators,” he had said before an audience of businessmen and the military leadership of Karachi.
“Growth has picked up but the debts are sky high. [The situation regarding] infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour,” Bajwa was quoted as saying.
In a statement, Iqbal said, “Pakistan’s economy is stable. Irresponsible statements will bring disrepute to the country.”
“Imports of the country have increased because we are investing in machinery to increase electricity production,” he later told DawnNews . “I think DG ISPR is in no capacity to comment on the country’s economy.”
Such statements give an impression that the country’s economy is in doldrums, so it became necessary for me to issue a clarification, Iqbal said.
“This is not a war of words; we will take up this matter before the national security council as well,” he said.