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Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal blasts Indian PM Modi for his “bangle” remarks for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday for his “bangle” remarks made during the election campaign.

Speaking at an event, Iqbal said, “The next 24 years are crucial for us to show India where we stand. The Indian premier is mocking Pakistan during the election campaign.”

Iqbal highlighted Pakistan’s financial challenges, stating, “Pakistan’s total income is Rs 7,000 billion, but our debt repayment bill is Rs 8,000 billion. We need to repay debts of up to $77 billion in the next three years.”

He emphasized the necessity of boosting exports and foreign exchange reserves and underscored the importance of tax compliance, lamenting, “People feel it is a crime to pay tax. Half of the country’s population does not even pay their electricity bills.”

Iqbal stressed the need for a national economic charter, stating, “We can achieve much more by handling things better over the next 10 years.”

He added, “To succeed, we must advance the economic agenda, stabilize, and continue policies. Political stability and law and order are essential for economic development.”

Reflecting on Pakistan’s past, Iqbal said, “We were ahead of everyone else in the region until 2000.”

He also acknowledged the efforts of the Shehbaz Sharif-led government, saying, “We have saved the country from default by making tough decisions.”

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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