ISLAMABAD: Addressing the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Country Strategy Dialogue (CSD), Prime Minister Imran Khan held that Pakistan more ‘fortunate’ than other countries impacted by COVID-19.
The CSD on Pakistan was held recognising Pakistan’s upward economic trajectory and its commendable resilience amidst the myriad of challenges faced during the pandemic.
PM Khan said that Pakistan opened the construction sector, and because the work done there was in the open air, the virus did not spread much.
Speaking about the Ehsaaas Programme, PM Khan said that 15 million families were given cash handouts.
“Because the people [cooperated] with us, they complied with our measures we came out of it better than any other country,” the premier said, adding: “We saved our economy and we save people from dying from the virus.”
Imran Khan however expressed worry as the second peak had hit Pakistan, and the people were not taking it seriously.
“We don’t know how long will this wave last.”
“In our country with high levels of poverty, we cannot afford to [impose] a lockdown where we [close] our businesses and factories,” he said, adding that the country had taken a policy decision to only prohibit public gatherings — which he termed “non-essential stuff”.
“The fiscal deficit — the biggest in our country’s history — and the current account deficit that was also a challenge.”
“Among the countries hit by COVID, Pakistan is fortunate,” the prime minister said.