ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government will soon be able to overcome economic challenges through its reforms programme, and the country will be put on the path of progress and prosperity.

In a statement issued on Monday, she said the government struck an agreement with IMF to improve economic conditions of the country and for benefit of people.

She said the country faced economic crisis due to maladministration and corruption of the previous rulers.

She said “Ehsas Programme” will be expanded and its budget will be enhanced from one hundred billion rupees to one hundred and eighty billion rupees. On the other hand, Margaret Adamson, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan in a meeting with Special Assistant to PM on Information termed the conclusion of an agreement between International Monetary Fund and Pakistan a major step forward and remarked that it would send a signal to markets across the globe that Pakistan is determined to bring reforms. We welcome that Pakistan is moving ahead and we would continue our efforts to impart skills training for improvement of the human resource and supporting development process in the country”, she said. We also commend the progress on National Action Plan and would further encourage efforts in that regard, she added.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that both the countries enjoyed a long standing and growing relationship underpinned by ever- growing people to people contacts. She said that PM represents the face of Pakistan and he is bent upon bringing much needed reforms in various sectors and institutions to address the core issues of the country.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also stressed the need for strengthening collaboration and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of media, information and culture. She said: “We would like our television plays and films to be telecast in Australia so that the people there could learn about the values and culture of Pakistan”.

The SAPM reiterated that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government firmly believed in fundamental right of freedom of expression, adding the independence enjoyed by media in Pakistan was unprecedented.

She said that both nations share passion for sports and arts and we need to further reinforce cooperation in these sectors. Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Pakistan-Australia trade in 2017 stood at $1.83 billion so there was a need to further strengthen this strong bilateral economic partnership.

The Australian high commissioner said: “We have joint trade committee and we should further focus on maintaining the momentum of bilateral partnership.”