LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has said that sloganeering against heads of the Pakistan Army is against the national interest which must not be allowed at any cost.
The PML-N president expressed this while talking to the media after attending a function organized by the Masooda Naseer Welfare Trust here on Sunday. Shehbaz's comments came in the wake of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) October 16 rally in Faisalabad. On the occasion, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz had referred to the recent controversy and speculation over the appointment of the Inter-Services Intelligence director general and alluded to Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, without naming him. Immediately following her speech; a person appeared at the dais and named the ISI chief asking the crowd to shout slogans against him.
According to Shehbaz, making such slogans against the heads of the army's institutions in public rallies was not only against the national interest but there should be absolutely no permission for this.
He also disassociated himself and the PML-N from the individual who had incited the crowd to shout the slogans, saying that "the one who said the slogans in Faisalabad has no relation with our party. He is not a worker of our party or an officeholder. "I say this unapologetically and there is no need for this matter to be repeated," he added.
Shehbaz said a strong and professional army was necessary for a country's security, defence and peace. He said there was no need to interfere in the postings of an institution because posting transfer is the routine matter of such institutions.
He further said that the clouds of a new cold war are once again lurking in this region of ours. Afghanistan is our neighboring country and it is the whole nation's prayer that there is peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. This thing is decided that this time the whole nation, including the PML-N, will not allow Pakistan to become part of a foreign conspiracy. The whole nation is united and we won't allow a speck to come on Pakistan's defense and security, the PML-N president said. Shehbaz said the PDM caravan had set out and it will only rest after exposing the government and the rulers before the people of the country.
Criticizing the government over skyrocketing inflation, he said people had been economically devasted due to uncontrolled inflation and unemployment. He said inflation was the top issue of Pakistan at the moment. "I heard that Prime Minister Imran Khan went to Saudi Arabia with a delegation of 80 people which was yet another occasion when the premier took a u-turn," he said, referring to the government's austerity drive.
He said the rupee was undergoing devaluation, stressing that the trend needed to be stopped. If this imported inflation continues to wreak destruction, even our unity won't be able to save Pakistan, he added. He also claimed the PML-N government had taken effective measures to root out the dengue virus from the province. We sent doctors to paramedical staff abroad for training, delivered lectures in schools, colleges, and at universities level.
Reacting to Shehbaz's views, Hasaan Khawar, special assistant to the chief minister (SACM) and spokesperson for the Punjab government, said that residents of Avenfield, looters of national exchequer and destroyers of economy are giving lessons to PTI about national security.
He said that instead of leveling baseless allegations, Shehbaz Sharif should explain his position about his Rs. 25 billion TTs. Hasaan Khawer further stated that If Shehbaz Sharif can't justify Rs. 25 billion Telegraphic Transfers (TTs), and then at least he should be accounted for turning 5 private residences as Camp Offices on public money.
Hassan Khawar said that Pakistan's detailed negotiations with the IMF reflect that public interest is paramount to the PTI government. If PTI wanted to compromise on Public interest, its dialogues with IMF would have been completed within a day. He further stated that there would have been no need of IMF programme, if PML-N did not utilize national resources ruthlessly. He assured that the government would soon overcome the issue of inflation and ensure relief to the nation. The Spokesperson also said that burden of expensive electricity contracts and circular debt are because of the previous government and the people will have to pay the price for these expensive deals for a long time. He further clarified that the increase in oil prices is due to the changing situation in international market.
Hasaan Khawar said that if PML-N has this much care for people, then it would have gifted at least one hydel dam to the people. The increasing trend of inflation across the globe has also affected Pakistan. Opposition can see positive things if it is bespectacled with the lens of neutrality. He said that Ehsaas Cash Emergency Program has been ranked one of the four best social security programs in the world by the World Bank. Our export bills are gradually increasing due to rapid economic activity and large scale manufacturing, he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021