Finance Minister Asad Umar has said that Pakistan has extended a hand of friendship to India but it wouldn’t take long for that hand to become a fist.
Speaking at a conference in Islamabad, Umar said that in his very first speech Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that if India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two. “And we stay committed to that. Our hand for friendship is still extended towards India [but] we have demonstrated that we have both the capacity and the will to defend ourselves so whenever need be,” he said.
“It doesn’t take much time for that hand of friendship to be converted into a fist but we would still rather keep it as a hand of friendship,” said the minister.
He added that Pakistan is looking forward to that friendship and looking for South Asia to become one of the centres of global economic growth.
Umar said that the IMF package terms have not been finalized yet. He said that the chief of IMF’s mission will reach Pakistan on March 26.
On March 25, a delegation from the FATF’s Asia Pacific group will arrive in Pakistan, according to the finance minister.
He also said that Pakistan is trying to improve its diplomatic and economic ties to Afghanistan and Iran.