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ISLAMABAD: The meeting of the ruling coalition partners, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has resolved not to allow the PTI to storm the federal capital by crossing the constitutional limits and also warned the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to refrain from becoming “tools” of PTI chairman Imran Khan for paving the way for “anarchy” in the country.

The meeting of the leaders of the allied parties met under the chair of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the PM House to discuss the prevailing political situation amid an expected call by Imran to march onto Islamabad in coming days. According to a statement of the PM House, the meeting discussed the overall political, economic, internal and external situation of the country as well as approving the future strategy.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar briefed the meeting about the country’s economic situation, discussions with financial institutions, especially the IMF, and measures to restore the economy. Dar told the meeting that the four years policies of destruction of the former government brought no positive change to the economy.

He said that the PTI government gave a historic debt of Rs20,000 billion in just four years, leaving the economy on the brink of bankruptcy.

He said that the value of the rupee has increased significantly against the dollar since last Monday and he expects the dollar to fall below Rs200.

He said that in our earlier period inflation was 3 percent and growth rate was 6.3 percent. Continuity and strict fiscal discipline will be needed to give economic stability to Pakistan, he added.

The coalition parties of the government expressed confidence in the actions of the finance minister and appreciated his performance.

Minister warns of action against provincial govts supporting PTI’s long march

The Prime Minister and the leaders of the coalition parties of the government decided to ensure the reduction of electricity tariff. The meeting resolved that steps should be taken as soon as possible to reduce the bitterness in people’s lives brought by the policies of the previous government. The meeting expressed deep concern over the issue of the leaked audios of the former prime minister and his close aides coming to the fore with regard to the diplomatic cipher and strongly condemned “playing serious games” with the country’s security and national interests.

In this regard, the statement added that the meeting fully endorsed and supported the decisions and government initiatives taken in the cabinet meeting on 30 September 2022. The meeting emphasised that the investigation team of FIA should complete the investigation on the “crimes” committed against the state and the national interests and speed up the process of fulfilling the legal requirements against the involved characters as per the constitution and law.

The meeting strongly condemned the attacks on national institutions and made it clear that those who try to trample or cross the ‘red line’ drawn by the constitution will be stopped by 220 million people and through the ‘force of law’. “The one, who diverts the institutions from the path of the constitution, is a traitor, a conspirator and a rioter. The instigator of institutions to violate the constitution wants to push Pakistan into serious crises. Bringing the abrogator of the constitution itself is a constitutional requirement,” the statement added.

The meeting decided that storming the federal capital by crossing the limits of the constitution and law will not be allowed. The provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were warned not to pave the way for creating chaos by becoming a “tools” of Imran Khan. “If you cross the constitutional line, you will face the law,” the meeting further warned.

The meeting also expressed condolences with the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in the catastrophic floods in the country.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif termed the formation of the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre as a timely initiative and expressed satisfaction over the measures taken for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims. The meeting appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s leadership skills, day and night hard work and diligence and attention to help the flood victims and appreciated his passion.

The meeting paid tribute to the role of the federal, provincial governments, institutions, administration, especially the Army, Navy and Air Force. The meeting appreciated the willingness of philanthropists, institutions and associations to donate and lend a helping hand in relief work.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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