U-turn: Pakistan hasn’t ‘defaulted’- Defence Minister


Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, on Monday, retracted from his statement that the country has defaulted, and assured lawmakers that Pakistan was not going down that route.

Addressing the National Assembly, the minister said the Federal Board of Revenue has failed to meet its target for revenue collection.Without naming names, he said many big organizations and institutions have defaulted.

Criticizing the elite, Khawaja Asif said half of Pakistan’s population was living under the poverty line, while the remaining half was living lavishly.He said the fate of the goods not generating foreign exchange for the country will have to be reviewed.

If someone has to be settled, settle them in golf clubs, he remarked, and questioned why the settlements of the poor are being bulldozed.A golf club has been set up over 1,400 to 1,500 kanal on The Mall road for just Rs4,000.

This is like making a mockery of the miseries of the poor, he insisted. Earlier, the defence minister on Saturday suggested that one-fourth of Pakistan’s debt could be paid off if only two golf clubs built on expensive government land were sold.

Addressing the annual convocation ceremony of a private college in Sialkot, the minister had shocked the nation when he claimed the country has already gone bankrupt, and that the solution to the problems lies within the country itself, and not with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).__Daily Times