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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday said that the only way forward to rescue the “endangered” Pakistan is to get rid of the incumbent government, dubbing it “selected, unrepresentative and unconstitutional”, through holding an immediate transparent, impartial, and free elections in the country.

In a meeting of PML-N Punjab chapter, chaired by party Quaid Nawaz Sharif via a video link from London, which was also attended by senior party leadership, including party president Shehbaz Sharif, the top party leadership reviewed the overall socio political and socio economic situation in the country and discussed in detail the future course of action and unanimously passed a resolution on the situation in the country, according to a statement issued by party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb here.

“It is in Pakistan’s interest to get rid of this system of selected, unrepresentative and unconstitutional incumbents and to hold transparent, impartial and free elections in the country immediately. Only in this way can the endangered Pakistan be rescued,” stated the statement.

The meeting agreed to start the process of consultation with other national political parties for the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and to pave the way for practical steps for the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law, and rule of the people in the country, it added.

Expressing full confidence in leadership of Nawaz Sharif, the meeting paid tribute to the “historic” struggle for constitution, law, democracy, and the people’s right to “respect the vote”.

The meeting decided that a “historic movement” should be started the under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif to get rid of serious challenges. “The meeting delegated all decisions to the party leader and requested him [Nawaz] to decide on his return in the light of the views of doctors regarding his life and health”.

“They paid homage to the unwavering spirit and determination of party president Shehbaz Sharif for the courage with which he was active in the field and said that they were proud of Shehbaz’s achievements despite the reorganization of the party across the country, its activation and all the political victimization by the PTI government,” according to the statement.

It added that PML-N expressed grave concern over the worst inflation, unemployment and economic catastrophe in the country, and termed the current situation as a serious threat to Pakistan’s survival and national security.

The meeting said that the historic high level of food and essential commodity prices and the resurgent inflation is “oppression, abuse and economic terrorism against the people”.

“Laborers, wage earners, salaried people and white-collar people have lost their livelihood. The performance of the present government for more than three years includes heavy taxes, continuous increase in prices of electricity, gas and petrol, gradual implementation of petroleum development levy,” it added.

They expressed alarm that there is a constant economic slaughter of the people by raising the prices of essential commodities under various names and by imposing direct and indirect taxes. This is due to the fact that the per capita income of the Pakistani people is constantly declining, i.e. the people are being crushed in the mill of inflation and taxes. The people have had enough, but the oppression of the people is not taking the name of stopping. The present government has become a nightmare for the people which has resulted in tragic incidents like suicides and killing and selling of their children.

“The meeting expressed concern that the “so-called” sovereignty of the SBP and the economic sovereignty of Pakistan were being held hostage on the terms of the IMF, and for the first time in history, Parliament was subjected to a government-mandated law by an international financial institution,” the statement added.

“While this move is a clear violation of the right of the people’s representative parliament to constitutional sovereignty and sovereignty, it is tantamount to posing a serious threat to Pakistan’s economic security,” it further stated.

It added: “These measures will prove to be a hurdle in the future for Pakistan which would face a severe financial crisis, fulfillment of basic requirements of national security and, God willing, any emergency national or public situation. The hands and feet of the state of Pakistan are being tied, which in no way is in the interest of a nuclear Pakistan, its very serious implications will be on the basic national interests of Pakistan like Jammu and Kashmir.”

The meeting noted that the present government has not fulfilled its obligation to negotiate with the IMF on the terms seriously and with proper preparation, but only played the role of a “rubber stamp”.

“The suspicion of conspiracy has also increased because not only the parliament but also the cabinet and the coalition parties of the government had been kept in the dark about the terms agreed with the IMF,” noted the statement.

Despite the demands, it added that the government kept the IMF deal a secret.

The meeting decided that these dangerous government measures against national security and interest should be stopped with full force inside the parliament, it stated.

In this regard, they agreed that steps would be taken by adopting an effective strategy from the platform of joint opposition, while conscientious government members and ruling coalition parties should also be made aware of the deadly effects and consequences of these government measures on the people and the country, it added.

The meeting, while blaming the “incompetence, incapacity and corruption” of the PTI government that caused the economic catastrophe, also felt that the foundations of the economy were “filled with dynamite” under a deliberate conspiracy.

When the PML-N left power in 2018, it maintained that the country was growing at a growth rate of 5.8 percent, inflation was at a 47-year low, and other economic indicators, including a historic increase in revenue, were moving in a positive direction.

“Pakistan was counted among the 20 emerging economies of the world. But the current government has given Rs181 to the dollar, 20,000 billion debt in three years, inflation at double digit high level, six million people unemployed, more than 20 million below the poverty line, including industry and trade, trade and business, employment and agriculture,” it stated, adding that the frequent manipulation and fluctuations in policy rate breaks the backbone of business and spreads uncertainty. The meeting believed that economic stability can be brought only by removing political instability in the country. The present government has become a burden for Pakistan. Continuing this process would, God forbid, prove to be a poison for Pakistan’s stability, survival, the atmosphere of national unity and solidarity, and for Pakistan’s key internal and external interests, which will cause irreparable damage to Pakistan.

The PML-N leadership considered the report of the scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the PTI and its chairman in an illegal foreign funding case pending for seven years as an “indictment”.

“His [PM Khan] fellow party leaders took illicit funding for the PTI, extorted huge sums of money from foreigners and foreign companies in violation of the law, and deliberately concealed their bank accounts, sources of money and accounts from the Election Commission. Imran Khan submitted incorrect certificate regarding party accounts to the Election Commission,” it stated.

Prior to this report, it added that the report of independent auditors has also been submitted to the ECP, in which, evidence of illegal funding of Rs2.2 billion has come to light.

“The facts had also brought to light that the details of illegal donations from PTI accounts and other sources at home and abroad are yet to come. The bank accounts of the four employees of the PTI Central Secretariat and the money coming into them, including embezzlement, are still hidden and many other important facts are still hidden, which is a basic requirement of the law,” it added.

The PML-N leadership also called on the ECP to take immediate legal action against Imran Khan, his accomplices and other party leaders in the light of the two reports in the PTI foreign funding case and the facts stated in them.

“The case, which has been pending for seven years, should be heard on a daily basis and the requirements of speedy justice should be met,” it added.

The meeting also urged that all records, reports, bank accounts and related documents be made public, especially the record sent by the SBP to the ECP.

“They stated that Imran Niazi was not honest and trustworthy after being caught red handed in foreign funding, so he should resign immediately. This is important because the federal government will have to carry out further legal proceedings in the foreign funding case, but the current government will be an obstacle to the legal process as it has heard the foreign funding case. The case had been on hold for seven years due to legal considerations and tricks,” they maintained.

“The facts revealed in the foreign funding case also made it clear that Imran Khan’s sit-in against the government of the elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in fact sponsored. Its purpose was to sabotage the development and prosperity of Pakistan and its people,” it maintained.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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