PM Imran Khan responds over media reports of renegotiating CPEC terms with China

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ISLAMABAD- Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the economy of the country despite its challenges is moving in the right direction since his government came into power two years ago.

“Pakistan economy is facing huge deficits external and internal, with the power sector in serious trouble, no country can carry out reforms in a snap,” said PM Khan, in his interview to *Al Jazeera*, when queried regarding the economic performance of his government.

“It is a struggle and takes time because of the whole mindset and incentive structure and then you have to change the way government works,” he said.

“In my opinion, in these two years Pakistan has moved in the right direction,” he added. On the issue of rising inflation and improvements in people’s living standards, the PM Khan said: “Pakistan has to change the structure of raising its revenues, which takes reforms and cutting down the expenditure, which we have done.”

Clamping down corruption

PM Khan called corruption as the ‘biggest killer of the society’ saying that his government has managed to control it at the top level, “Which is why there is no mega corruption scandal. However, the problem is still we have corruption in lower levels, for which we need a lot of steps to control it at all levels.”

Imran Khan said that the reason why the preceding governments have failed to clamp down on corruption was that the powerful people involved in it were never held accountable. “This is the first time in our history that the powerful are being held accountable,” added the premier.

Pakistan and CPEC

Talking about the progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and reports saying that Islamabad wants to renegotiate its terms of the CPEC with Beijing, PM Imran Khan rejected the notion, adding that Pakistan's relationship with its ally was better than ever.

“Our relationship with China is better than ever before, Pakistan's economic future is now linked to China," he said. "China is growing at a faster pace than any other country and Pakistan, you know, can really benefit from the way China has developed and lifted people out of poverty," he added.