Speaking to the media in Multan, Qureshi questioned whether those elements were serving the country or strengthening its economy.”Who brought peace in Waziristan? Who sacrificed their lives and eradicated the menace of terrorism from the area?” he asked.
Responding to a question about the opposition taking to the street after Eid, Qureshi said the opposition should not take any step against the country’s interest as protest demonstrations could harm economy and democracy.
“The opposition should learn from past experiences and avoid doing politics of agitation,” he said.
The foreign minister further said that protests and demonstrations will cause chaos and unrest in the country. “Who would be responsible in case of any loss of human life during the protest demonstrations”, he said.
“If the protests”, he said, “could help reduce inflation, then the opposition should go for that. The politics of agitation would not even be in their own interest.”
Qureshi added, “They [opposition] needed to not ignore the reason behind the rising inflation, which was the result of ill-conceived policies of past governments. The incumbent government was inviting foreign investors and the opposition’s protest would affect foreign investment.”
The government has liberalised visa policy to promote tourism, he added.
Responding to another question, he maintained that the defence budget was not reduced on the pressure of International Monetary Fund, but a decision in that regard was taken by the Pakistan Armed Forces voluntarily as evident from an Inter-Services Public Relations statement.
“Though the requirements of the armed forces were genuine, yet they made the decision to reduce the economic burden on the masses and in national interest only,” Qureshi added.