India perpetrated PSX attack in an attempt to destabilise Pakistan, PM Khan tells NA

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the Pakistan Stock Exchange attack in Karachi was perpetrated by India in order to destablise Pakistan.

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The prime minister was addressing the National Assembly, where he lauded the security forces for thwarting the attack, which could have otherwise caused considerable destruction.

“We have no doubt that India is involved in the attack,” the prime minister told the lower House of the parliament in his speech.

The prime minister paid respect to the martyrs of the attack, which included a policeman and two security guards of the stock exchange.

In the yesterday’s attack on the stock exchange in financial hub of the country, security forces killed four terrorists in retaliatory response.

‘Difficult budget’

Speaking regarding the recently-passed budget, the premier said that the COVID-19 has affected economies around the world and the federal budget this year turned out to be quite an uphill task for the government.

“We had to accumulate Rs5,000 billion initially but because of the virus our accumulation dropped down to Rs3,000 billion,” he told the NA.

The prime minister added that the government could not incur the losses caused by the ‘unprecedented’ pandemic.

The PM said that despite the criticism, the government reopened the construction sector and imposed ‘smart’ lockdown in areas with surge in virus cases.

“We were not the ones suffering from confusion but those who are not familiar with the woes of poor,” he said.

He said that the future of the country lies in industrialisation, adding that the desired results for economy cannot be obtained until ‘cartels such as sugar mill mafia’ keep on reaping profits through illicit means.

PM Imran said that the regulators and Federal Bureau of Revenue have a duty to keep things in check but they are also complicit in these matters.

“It is our duty to rein in this mafia under the law,” he told the lawmakers at the NA.

‘Devastation from virus not over yet’

The prime minister said that the devastation from the virus is not over as yet and the small and medium scale industries around the world have taken the biggest hit during the pandemic.

“We cannot exactly make a forecast about our tax collection in the coming years, although Hammad Azhar has come up with commendable policies and a financial plan,” said the premier.

Quoting Charles Dickens’ historic opening lines from ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, the prime minister said: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

Building up on the notion, he said that the country has to make the best of these times by calculated and effective measures.

The PM lamented that all the sectors such as power, agriculture, steel mills, import and export were inherited in dismal condition from the former governments.

He said that the country cannot prosper until these sectors bring reforms, particularly the Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills.

“For example PIA, which was known for its services around the world, has changed 10 executives in the past 11 years because of corruption and incapability of the institution,” said the prime minister.

The PSX attack

A day earlier, security forces foiled an attempt made by four militants to storm the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the busiest building on Karachi’s II Chundrigar Road.

Police said all four terrorists who attacked the PSX building around 10am on Monday morning were killed by security personnel, with two security guards and a police sub-inspector embracing martyrdom.

Armed militants had arrived at the PSX compound in a sedan and attempted to enter it from the parking ground side, according to initial reports and eyewitness statements. They were seen shouldering backpacks and carrying automatic weaponry in an amateur video captured by an eyewitness. The equipment, arms and ammunition recovered from them indicated that they had come prepared for a long siege.

After failing to enter the compound, the militants launched a gun and grenade attack and attempted to storm the building while opening indiscriminate fire. They were engaged by security personnel posted and failed to make headway amidst the heavy exchange of fire.

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