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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Saturday that there is no concept of independence without economic self-reliance, Aaj News reported.

While addressing the nation on the eve of the 75th Independence Day, PM Shehbaz called for unity of the nation and lamented that efforts to spread anarchism were underway. He said that the opposition is continuously trying to divide the nation.

His address was scheduled to start at 9:15 pm as per Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb who shared it on her Twitter account, however, it started nearly an hour after the scheduled time.

Turkish President Erdogan assures 'steadfast support' for Pakistan in phone call with PM Shehbaz

In a televised address, the prime minister reiterated his call for the formation of a "charter of economy", saying that time has come for Pakistan to head in the right direction.

“We should keep national interest above personal interest [...] as real political leadership does not look towards the next elections, but at the future of the next generation,” he said.

“Most importantly, we will need to revive the passion that led to the creation of Pakistan,” he said, noting that this passion will lead to the establishment of a great nation.

The premeir criticised the previous government, saying it left $48 billion trade deficit - the biggest in history. "Our government had to seek loans from friendly nations to avoid bankruptcy."

In phone call with Iran's President, PM Shehbaz appreciates support on Kashmir issue

"Is this 'real independence," PM Shehbaz said, taking an indirect jibe at former premier Imran Khan, who is scheduled to address a large rally in Lahore. Imran had earlier said that he would define 'real independence' during his address.

He blamed the previous government for creating an ‘atmosphere of disappointment’ in the country.

The premier also accused the PTI government of regressing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and leaving the country indebted after its four years in power.

“However, due to the efforts of the current government, Pakistan has been saved from bankruptcy," he said.

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