Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has clarified that his remarks about China issuing a warning to Pakistan’s establishment ahead of the 2018 elections were ‘taken out of context’.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the minister said that “China maintains a policy of non interference in domestic affairs of other countries.”
“Some senior businessmen working on CPEC projects privately expressed the opinion that fair and free election was in the best interest of Pakistan to ensure continuity.”
He added that these opinions were expressed because it had ‘become clear’ at the time that the establishment was helping the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to come in to power by keeping the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz out.
Speaking to Saleem Safi on Geo News on Saturday, Iqbal had claimed that China had conveyed a message “in a diplomatic manner” to the establishment in 2018 “avoid any new experiment as it would derail CPEC.”
He had also claimed that the establishment had told Beijing that CPEC would go on regardless of who came to power.
The PMLN had accused the PTI government multiple times of putting CPEC projects on the back burner in order to purposely harm the interestes of Pakistan.
In his interview, Ahsan Iqbal also accused former Communications Minister Murad Saeed of making unsubstantiated claims against CPEC’s eastern corridor projects.