Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has said Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have committed to “clear” and “tangible” investment projects in Pakistan. Speaking in an interview with a private news channel, the prime minister said the members and stakeholders of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SFIC) had worked on identifying various sectors ripe for investment. “There is a clear tangible plan with a timeline [on] where to do interventions,” he said, as well as who the potential partners would be, adding that they were already identified and engaged in communication. “We are in the process where probably in the next few months, we will be realising one, two or three projects in different areas on the ground,” he added. Questioned on which countries had expressed serious interest in the venture, the premier said: “Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar … have shown a lot of interest. It’s not just that they have shown interest, they have assured and they have commitments that they would come for some tangible projects in Pakistan.” The prime minister’s remarks come on the heels of his saying, while speaking to journalists at his official residence on Monday, that Saudi Arabia will invest up to $25 billion in Pakistan over the next two to five years in various sectors. He had said Saudi Arabia’s investment would come in the mining, agriculture and information technology sectors, and was part of a push to increase foreign direct investment in Pakistan. If confirmed, a series of investments worth $25bn would be the biggest ever by the kingdom in Pakistan. Meanwhile, questioned about the caretaker government’s relief proposals to the International Monetary Fund and their rejection by the fund, the prime minister said both sides had explored “many venues” and there was an agreement that the economic class which did not contribute to the tax base should not be incentivised. He said there was a need to look after the economic classes already contributing to the tax net, adding that a targeted power subsidy to disadvantaged socioeconomic classes consuming around 200 units of electricity was not discouraged or curtailed by the government or the Fund. Meanwhile, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said that amidst Pakistan facing multiple security challenges of extremism, terrorism and external aggression, the entire nation stood united alongside the Pakistan Defence Forces to thwart evil designs against the integrity and prosperity of the country. “The world also acknowledges the role our armed forces played in maintaining peace in various countries under the United Nations peacekeeping missions. We are committed to following the policy of peace as a hallmark of our foreign policy,” the prime minister said in his message to the nation on the Defence Day, annually observed on September 6. He said the Defence Day was remembered as the day of vigor, bravery, courage and resilience. It stood out in history as a symbol of national pride, integrity and sovereignty, he added. PM Kakar said that 58 years ago on September 6, Pakistan’s valiant armed forces proved that they were ever vigilant and ready to safeguard the territorial integrity and geographical boundaries of their beloved homeland at all costs. He said the glorious day, where the entire Pakistani nation stood side by side with its armed forces, called upon the nation to make a pledge to renew the spirit of loyalty and service to Pakistan and pay tribute to the valiant sons of the soil who embraced ‘Shahadat’ while ensuring the security of the nation. “On this day, the brave Pakistani nation displayed unprecedented strength with faith, unity and discipline that galvanized the armed forces – Army, Air Force and Navy,” the prime minister remarked. He said the defence of the country was not limited to September 6 alone, rather stretched upon an entire lifetime and encompassed all dimensions of physical and ideological frontiers, which needed to be guarded. Prime Minister Kakar said the brave sons of the soil, especially the Shuhada who laid down their lives but did not let the enemy move an inch to fulfill its nefarious designs. He said the unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir remained a big threat to regional peace and security. “The international community must come forward and play its due role in resolving this longstanding issue. Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir until they achieve their right to self-determination through an impartial plebiscite in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the prime minister urged. Prime Minister Kakar said the whole nation stood united with utmost discipline and unwavering faith to make Pakistan strong. “With hard work and dedication, we will make Pakistan unassailable against security and economic challenges,” he added. He paid homage to the martyrs of September 6, 1965 and all those who sacrificed their lives for the safety of the country in the subsequent years. Meanwhile, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar directed the Customs authorities to establish a monitoring system at irregular border crossings to prevent smuggling in the country. He was chairing a meeting to discuss measures for discouraging smuggling and promoting trade through legal channels. He was given a detailed briefing by the Ministry of Commerce. PM Kakar was informed about proposed plans to enhance exports volume, besides possible steps to curb smuggling. Different modalities of trade under the Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement were also reviewed. It was recommended to improve the system for scanning and monitoring of the traded goods.