Chairing meeting of ruling party’s spokespersons, Pakistan’s prime minister regrets Murree tragedy and stresses on need to improve infrastructure
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday reiterated that ties between the civilian government and Pakistan’s security establishment remained ‘unprecedented’ and there is no truth to rumors of a growing rift.
Chairing a meeting of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s spokespersons, he claimed that the opposition’s narrative of divisions between the government and the armed forces had been laid to rest with a recent press conference of military spokesman Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar.
The prime minister’s comments echoed a statement he gave to a journalist last week. During a one-on-one interview with Dunya TV’s Khawar Ghumman, he said that he was not under “any pressure” and predicted he would complete five years in power with the support of coalition partners.
During Monday’s meeting, the prime minister urged the spokespersons to work toward strengthening the organizational structure of the PTI, adding that PTI workers should be encouraged to help the party achieve success in upcoming local government elections across Pakistan.
He also hit out at the opposition’s commentary on the foreign funding case, claiming the report prepared by the Election Commission of Pakistan’s scrutiny committee had “cleared the PTI of all suspicion.” Reiterating his party’s demands for all political parties to reveal the sources of their funding, he also clarified that the undeclared funds identified by the ECP were the result of a counting error and would be rectified in the next hearing of the case.
Expressing sorrow over the Murree tragedy, in which 22 tourists stranded in their vehicles died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, Khan said the “government was working tirelessly to make tourism better” and that a committee had been formed to investigate the incident. “The administration, police and several institutions helped evacuate the stuck tourists,” he stressed.
Admitting that “timely intervention” could have averted the tragedy, he said that the number of tourists across Pakistan had outpaced existing infrastructure and called for improving facilities and constructing new hotels in tourist spots to facilitate more people.