Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal Sunday said PTI Chairman and ex-prime minister Imran Khan ruled the country for more than three years but mishandled matters. Addressing a press conference in Lahore, he said Imran was trying to revive his failed politics by holding public rallies, adding that he was playing with the country’s interests by souring relations with the US, European Union and other countries. Ahsan said the National Security Committee (NSC) twice dismissed the claims of any foreign conspiracy, adding that a strong economy was necessary for a strong country and “if we want to be a strong country, we will have to arrange ourselves with the global economy”. He said the PTI government created hurdles in CPEC progress and soured ties with the European Union, the United States and brotherly Muslim countries, and risked isolating the country. He said the government’s top priority was to gear up all pending projects, which had been going on at a slow pace. Ahsan said Pakistan will have to put itself on the path to development like Malaysia, Turkey, China and South Korea, adding that he did not want Pakistan to turn into Cuba or North Korea. He said ex-PM encouraged the then deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri to violate the Constitution when a no-confidence move was brought against him, adding that now he was portraying Suri as a hero of the nation. He said a legal action would be taken against him for violating the Constitution and law, says a news report. He asserted that the PTI was trying to pressurize the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in an attempt to influence the outcome of the foreign funding case. He termed frequent mentions of “conspiracy” by the ex-PM the “rona-virus” [wailing-virus], vowing that the country would move forward and the coalition government would fix all issues facing the country. Ahsan Iqbal said Imran Khan brought disrepute to Pakistan by selling Toshakhana gifts abroad. The minister assured that the masses would be given relief in some time, adding that the first priority of the government was to overhaul the economy. To a question about the PTI’s long march on Islamabad, he said the government had nothing to do with Imran’s march on the capital, asserting that the ex-PM and his party had been doing all that before and they would continue doing so in future as well. To another question, he said there was no restriction on holding protest demonstrations or arranging public meetings; however, no one would be allowed to violate the law. He said the former prime minister used to claim that he was “praying the opposition would move the no-confidence motion against him”. “Imran Khan had also claimed that the then opposition had fallen into his trap but later declared the no-trust motion an international conspiracy”, Iqbal said. “No politician has adopted such a childish behaviour after losing power,” Ahsan said, adding that the former prime minister was putting his political career above the Constitution and state institutions. “The National Security Committee (NSC) had said twice that there was no mention of a conspiracy in the memo. Imran Khan is playing with the country’s national interest to keep his politics alive,” said the minister. Talking about relations with the European Union, the minister said Pakistani immigrants live in the region and that it had granted GSP Plus status to Pakistan. “Yet, Imran Khan started speaking against the EU in his jalsas,”. The minister was also of the view that Pakistan will have to go to the American markets and also make use of its technology. “Every developed country sent its human resources to American universities [to make their graduates well-equipped with knowledge and latest technology],” said Ahsan. The planning minister also lashed out at the PTI for the delay being caused to the oath-taking ceremony of the Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz. “A joke is being made in Punjab,” said Iqbal, adding that Pakistan’s largest province was without any leadership. “This does not happen even in a nascent democracy. A worse administrative crisis has been created in Punjab for three months,” he said Iqbal. Speaking about other issues, Ahsan said the new government was working tirelessly to solve the issues facing the country.