Home Latest News P.M. Kakar Vows Pakistan will Never Surrender to Extremism

P.M. Kakar Vows Pakistan will Never Surrender to Extremism

Addressing businessmen in Karachi, interim prime minister urges them to ‘share their wealth’ for the national interest

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Wednesday came down hard on terrorists, stressing that the country will never surrender to radicalism and extremism.

“Pakistan will not surrender in front of radicalism, extremism, intolerance,” he told a press conference in Karachi, stressing the country would not be allowed to run on the term of militants. Referring to the martyrdom of six soldiers in South Waziristan a day earlier in an attack claimed by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), he said anyone with the “misconceptions” that such attacks would exhaust the state should realize that the nation would never forget its martyrs. “We will, in fact, pursue them [militants],” he said.

Noting Pakistan’s fight against terrorism was funded by taxes and not through donations, he said all law enforcement personnel, whether combating external aggression or ensuring internal security, were honored and respected by the entire nation. “We pay them for their jobs through respect. Money only fulfils their needs and we are doing that … but the nation is paying them through honor and respect,” he said.

Referring to suicide bombers as the “dogs of hell,” he warned that soldiers across the country, whether in Waziristan or Balochistan, were aware what God had in store for them. “We will keep fighting against the misguided,” he emphasized, in a direct message to militants.

The interim prime minister also appreciated the joint efforts of the Army, the civil administration and the local people for the Battagram rescue operation a day earlier, noting it had saved the lives of all eight people stuck in a cable car.

Economic challenges

Separately, addressing a meeting with businessmen in Karachi, Kakar urged them to avoid tax evasion for the national interest. “We will bring optimism and we will bring positive change. How? I assure you that we will do it together,” he said, adding this required all stakeholders to listen to each other and to “share” in each other’s wealth.

Acknowledging that people justified tax evasion by claiming their money was used “correctly” by the state, he lamented that this had created a “vicious cycle” that the country was struggling to break free from. He also made it clear that the interim government had a limited mandate to take corrective measures, noting its authority was limited to providing assistance during elections, monitoring day-to-day governance issues, and maintaining national and international agreements.

“We plan on taxing people, and using those taxes to provide for the underprivileged. This is our aim. If we do not fulfil our aims, then we are to blame,” he said, explaining the government’s economic strategy. He regretted that the prevailing system “incentivizes corruption,” and noted that to achieve economic success, the country needed “cheap energy” supplied consistently and securely. If this were not achieved, he warned, the country could do little but continue investing in unproductive housing schemes and similar services.

The interim prime minister also lamented the lack of a start-up culture in Pakistan, while acknowledging that domestic energy resources were insufficient to achieve heavy industrialization and transform the economy. He urged the business community to look within and examine whether its reputation in the global market was something to be proud of, noting credibility issues existed due to companies pursuing smaller profits at the cost of the “larger good.”

Nonetheless, Kakar maintained, the country’s structural challenges could be overcome. He also weighed in on the “brain drain” from Pakistan, saying neighboring India had witnessed the same in the 1960s. Rather than take it as a negative, he said, it should be seen as an opportunity, with steps taken to encourage expatriates to eventually return, turning them into “brain assets.” He also appreciated overseas Pakistanis for their role in “rescuing” the local economy.

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