Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said despite prevailing mammoth economic challenges, the government would make Pakistan to emerge as a great country, without bowing before fascism and propaganda by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership.
The prime minister, in his address at the National Assembly, said the united opposition had accepted the challenge of assuming the government just to save the state as the country was at the verge of default with record inflation and unemployment.
Rubbishing the propaganda of “imported government”, he said he did not become the prime minister through the backdoor, rather for the first time the parliament changed the government through a constitutional process.
The PTI government violated the Constitution through the National Assembly deputy speaker and the president through the dissolution of assembly, he added.
Shehbaz Sharif also questioned whether the court summoned that NA deputy speaker like they did to the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker, who had decided against counting of 10 votes by the PML-Q (Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid) lawmakers in the chief minister’s election citing a letter from (PML-Q President) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain advising the members to vote for Hamza Shehbaz.
He said if the system continued without reformation, and the sanctity of law and constitution was not ensured, “we will be nowhere in the history”.
Calling the parliament the mother of the constitution, he said the 1973 Constitution would continue to provide the guidance in the decades to come.
He said the constitution also defined the powers of the legislature as well as the judiciary, but unfortunately, a mockery of the constitution was made during last 75 years by imposing martial laws which also led to the country’s disintegration and weaking the democray.
He said contrary to Pakistan, the neighbouring countries, which were far behind it vis-à-vis development had excelled and also got rid of the International Monetary Fund after improving their economies.
Calling the 2018 general election “the worst in the country’s history”, the prime minister said a government was imposed through massive rigging. Consequently, during its over three and a half years term, the ousted PTI government took loans of Rs20,000 billion and dropped the GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate from 5.8 percent to negative in 2020 making hundreds of thousands of people jobless.
He said considering the challenges, he knew well that holding the prime minister’s office was not a bed of roses, however, he accepted the responsibility for sake of the country.
Reiterating his due respect for the judiciary, the prime minister said the justice should be done without any discrimination. He said no one questioned the previous government despite record surge in corruption index, stained ties with friendly states, sugar export scam, helicopter and Malam Jabba cases.
Shehbaz Sharif contradicted Imran Khan’s claim of Russia offering oil to Pakistan on reduced rate; however, accepted to have received offer of wheat from the country which was being mulled.
Calling the PTI leader a “foreign stooge and agent”, he questioned why the Election Commission did not yet decide his party’s foreign funding case, involving the funds received from Israel and India.
“Did anyone take a suo motu notice despite the passage of eight years?” he asked.
He said the PTI government’s focus was to target the opposition while overlooking its own corruption scandals and criminal negligence.
Even the former prime minister’s sister was quietly given an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) through the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the case of her undeclared assets, he added.
Calling for an immediate need to control the situation, the prime minister without naming Imran khan said a “blue-eyed” got unprecedented support from the institutions but despite that he failed to deliver.
Shehbaz Sharif said the inflation swelled during the past three months as the oil and gas prices were beyond their control and assured that they were striving to rectify the economy.
“But he (Imran Khan) is propagating that Pakistan is about to become another Sri Lanka. This is narcissism,” he remarked.
He recalled that in 2014, Imran Khan had planned an attack on the parliament, provoked the people for civil disobedience, and also led to the postponement of the Chinese president’s visit (to Pakistan).
He said Shahazad Akbar wrote to the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency for inquiry against him (Shehbaz Sharif) but could not prove any corruption. However, Imran Khan got the cabinet’s approval for an agreement with the NCA after the agency recovered 190 million pounds.
Referring to the ongoing flood situation in different parts of the country, the prime minister said the government was alive to the plight of those having the loss of lives and property.
He said with the collaboration of provincial governments, the Federal Government was contributing to the relief efforts through the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority). He told the House that the government would ensure the implementation of the relief package announced by it. A meeting would be held on the subject on Thursday to take more decisions to provide relief, he added.
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