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Imran propped up by Army, to be seen if he can change Pak: V K Singh

September 17, 2018 19:30 IST

Observing that the new Pakistan premier Imran Khan was 'propped up' by the Army, Union minister V K Singh on Monday remained skeptical whether Pakistan has been able to change its attitude towards India, an issue over which Union Home minister Rajnath Singh shared similar sentiments.

Rajnath suggested he did not see any change towards India under Khan though he hoped for Pakistan to change its mindset and that he was praying for this to happen.

Alluding to Khan without directly naming him, V K Singh said it remains to be seen whether 'the person' will be able to bring about a change.


India is adopting a 'wait and watch' approach after the installation of the new government in Pakistan, the minister of state for external affairs told reporters in New Delhi.

Responding to a question on incidents of infiltration at the border after the change of government in Pakistan, he said, "Did you all expect a change? I don't know. After all, the person has been propped up by the (Pakistan) army. The army still rules. So, let's wait and watch how things go -- whether the person remains under army control or doesn't remain under its control."

Dialogue with Pakistan can happen only if the environment is 'conducive' for talks, the minister added on the sidelines of the opening of a two-day conference -- Smart Border Management -- organised by FICCI in New Delhi.

"India's policy is very clear. Dialogue can happen only when the environment is conducive," Singh said when asked whether there have been any attempts from Pakistan to initiate further dialogue with India.

Rajnath Singh, who was in Jammu to inaugurate two pilot projects of high-tech comprehensive integrated border management system (CIBMS) along the International Border, said he is hoping for a change in Pakistan's mindset and end 'support to terrorism' as India wants good relations with its neighbour.

Asked about Pakistan's continued support to terrorism despite change of government there, Rajnath said, "Pakistan has its own mindset and we cannot change its nature."

"They(Pakistan) have to do it on their own (to give up supporting terrorism). They have to understand how the neighbours are treated. India tried its best, keeping in mind the neighbourly relations, and initiated measures like our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) broke the protocol and visited Pakistan for the sake of better relations but if they fail to understand what one can do,” he said.

When asked whether he was hoping that there would be change in Pakistan mindset after the change of the government there, he said he was not hoping so. However, he said, "I am praying for a change to take place there. It will be good."

Imran Khan govt auctions 70 luxury cars

The cash-strapped Pakistan government on Monday sold 70 cars 'above their market price' as it started the process of auctioning 102 luxury vehicles of the PM House under Prime Minister Imran Khan's austerity drive, a senior minister said.

Apart from luxury cars, the government, facing huge debts and liabilities, plans to auction eight buffaloes kept by deposed and jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House for his 'gastronomic requirements'.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the first batch of 70 vehicles have been sold successfully.

"These cars were sold above their market price," Chaudhry claimed amid reports that the government hopes to collect Rs 2 billion ($16 million) from the auction. He added that vehicles which are classified as protected (bomb and bullet-proof) would be auctioned next. The cars that are being auctioned include four recent models of Mercedes Benz, eight bullet-proof BMWs, three 5000cc SUVs and two 3000cc SUVs of 2016 model.

24 Mercedes Benz of 2016 model are also being auctioned.

Two of the 28 cars are 4,000cc bullet-proof vehicles, the report said. Further, 40 Toyota cars, a Lexus SUV, and two Land Cruisers are also up for auction. Other vehicles that are being auctioned include eight Suzuki cars, five Mitsubishi vehicles, nine Hondas and two jeeps.

The cars will be sold to those who have the highest bid, the report said.

In his first address to the nation, Prime Minister Khan had emphasised on cutting government expenditure. As part of the cost-cutting initiative, he had announced the auction of surplus PM House vehicles.

Pakistan's debt and liabilities rose sharply to nearly Rs 30 trillion or 87 per cent of total size of the economy at the end of previous fiscal year, according to media reports.

Statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) last month showed that in the last five years, Pakistan's total debt and liabilities increased Rs 13.5 trillion or 82.8 per cent to stand at Rs 29.9 trillion. Five years ago, Pakistan's total debt and liabilities were Rs 16.4 trillion, the Express Tribune reported.

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