Former planning minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar said on Sunday that no friendly country, including China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE is willing to offer support to the incumbent government, Aaj News reported.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Umar blamed the current government for rising inflation, which he claimed, was the highest in 11 years.
Umar said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was “clueless” and did not have the courage to make decisions.
He said that former president and PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari was enjoying the current situation more than PTI in which PM Shehbaz is completely helpless.
He said that former prime minister Imran Khan had tried to reduce inflation by procuring crude oil and wheat from Russia at 30 percent lower rates, but his government was toppled before the deal could be materialised.
“The foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan have dipped by more than $6b,” Umar said adding that the no-confidence motion had “hampered” economic progress.
Umar credited PTI-led government policies for increase in production of major crops last year, saying that due to the policies of Imran Khan government, cotton production increased by 18.6 percent, sugarcane production by 9.6 percent, rice production by 10.7 percent, and maize production by 8.6 percent.
Umar said that the industrial sector never witnessed a growth of up to 7 percent since 2005, however, the current year was the second consecutive year where the country’s industrial growth rate stood at 10 percent.
Similarly, he said, energy production increased by 10 percent during the PTI government’s tenure.
He reminded Finance Minister Miftah Ismail of his criticism when the previous government hiked the petrol prices.
“Miftah [Ismail], you said who could afford Rs137 per litre petrol and that the PDM wouldn’t allow the [PTI] government to increase even a single rupee on petrol.”
“Just remember this statement when you hike the petrol prices,” he added.