Shah Mahmood Qureshi (Foreign Minister): Despite economic instability, the current Federal budget 2020-21 is aimed at providing maximum relief to the masses, especially those who are living below the poverty line. The government presented tax-free and balanced budget under tough economic conditions due to Covid-19. The pandemic has adversely impacted the economies of the entire world, including Pakistan. Honestly speaking, Pakistan could not generate sufficient revenue through tax collection due to countrywide lockdown. At present, petroleum prices in Pakistan are the lowest in the entire region. The PTI-led government has taken concrete and effective measures to improve the economic outlook of the country. Opposition's attempts to mislead the public through false narrative have failed following approval of the budget by the National Assembly. A specific segment of media gave unnecessary projection to opposition propaganda against the government. The opposition is only engaged in disrupting the country’s journey of economic progress and development for political gains. Pakistan is passing through very critical phase of its history. On the other hand, India is also engaged in defaming Pakistan through cheap tactics. All the opposition parties in the country should set aside their personal differences and get united for the sake of national interests.
Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig (Economist): The United States of America has injected new currency into economy through national reserve. The governments all over the world are exercising every possible option for revival of economy after emergence of Covid-19. The incumbent government is highly concerned with the economic situation of the country and financial condition of the most vulnerable segments of the society. Government deserves appreciation for allocating specific budget is allocated to address the negative impacts of Covid-19. The coward attack at Karachi Stock Exchange is highly condemnable. Pakistan’s security forces timely took action and killed the terrorists. Despite terrorist attack, the investors did not lose confidence in stack exchange. Indian spy agency RAW wants disruption of economic activities in Pakistan, but such heinous acts do not discourage the investors.
Dr. Aaliya Hashmi (Economist): The world has countered an unprecedented challenge in the form of Covid-19, which shriveled the global economy. The government presented the budget 20-21 in a very critical situation. Pakistan is under the conditions of IMF and keeping in view the current economic scenario, the government has proposed a very rational and reasonable budget. It is appreciable that budget have been passed by the opposition as well. The political differences should not hinder the progress. The opposition has not provided any convincing suggestions and strategy to improve the federal budget. Passage of Finance Bill is a victory of government’s agenda to provide relief to down-trodden and marginalized segment of society. The government is taking concrete measures to increase imports and strengthen national economy. It is appreciable that Pakistan has started producing protective kits and ventilators to contain Covid-19. Opposition should join hands with the government in its efforts to strengthen national economy.
Lieutenant General, retired, Naeem Khalid Lodhi (Defense Analyst): The security agencies have given abrupt response to terrorists. The police, ranger and security guards on duty acted vigilantly. The terrorists who attacked the Karachi Stock Exchange were very well trained and well equipped. They planned to enter into the building and hijack the workers. The terrorists wanted to hijack the country’s economy by attacking the stock exchange building, but they failed. RAW is the perpetrator of the attack. Pakistan has clear evidences that India has been involved into subversive activities to destabilize peace in Pakistan. Our security forces are vigilant enough to give befitting response to any act of terrorism. India is closing the communication links with Pakistan. Pakistan and India should resolve their outstanding disputes, including Kashmir through dialogue.
Lieutenant General, retired, Asif Yasin (Defense Analyst): Pakistan stock exchange is the economic nerve of the country. The terrorists are targeting our security agencies. It is a pre-planned attack to terrorize the people of Pakistan. Terrorists want to give a message that people in Pakistan are not safe. The whole world is eyeing upon the security situation in Pakistan. India is involved in subversive activities to destabilize peace and security in Pakistan. The terrorists have chosen an important day to commit this heinous crime. India is not part of the solution it is part of the problem. India is playing a role of peace spoiler in the region. Pakistan’s valiant armed forces are fully prepared to deter any aggression against their country.