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Print Print 2022-12-13

PM rejects default speculations with much vehemence

  • Says government has taken much needed measures to save Pakistan from default
Published December 13, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan will not default even though the previous government “laid landmines” for the present government in the last days of its tenure.

Addressing a press conference on Monday along with the finance minister and minister for planning and development, the premier said soon after coming to power the present government has taken much needed measures to save Pakistan from default.

The premier said that when he assumed office after taking the oath, the economic situation was very dismal and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was not ready to trust Pakistan primarily because of the previous government’s failure to honour the commitments.

He said that the government accepted the Fund conditions and signed an agreement with the sole purpose to save Pakistan from default.

He said that when the oil prices were increasing all over the world, Imran Niazi reduced the oil prices after realising that he would not survive the no-confidence move, which created immense problems for the incoming government.

Pakistan does not face any risk of default, reiterates Ishaq Dar

He said that Nawaz Sharif was in pain that the government has to increase the prices unwillingly, which fuel inflation in the country and thereby, burdened the people. We gave preference to the State over politics and took difficult decisions, he said.

The Imran Niazi-led government made every attempt to defame him, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and family by levelling false allegations, he said.

He said that the real case was of ‘Panama’ but Nawaz Sharif was awarded punishment in Iqama. He said the former prime minister’s name was not in Panama and one judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Justice Shaukat Siddiqui’s statement was also circulated, adding truth needs no support.

He said that Imran Niazi and his colleagues’ including Shehzad Akbar and others provided many documents to the National Crime Investigation Agency, in which the investigation continued for two years, but he was vindicated.

He said Imran Niazi and Shahzad Akbar knew that this would not only bring disgrace to Pakistan more compared to the Sharif family but they heartlessly pursued the case only to degrade the Sharif family in the whole world.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the UK had given 600 million pounds from 2008 to 2018; most of them came to Punjab and spent transparently, but Imran Niazi’s aim was that millions of pounds were taken by him and his children. He said that after the story was published in the Daily Mail newspaper on July 14, 2019, he immediately sued the newspaper but the newspaper adopted delaying tactics for three years on the pretext of Covid and others. Finally, after three years, the newspapers extended an unconditional apology not just to him but the people of Pakistan.

On the other hand, the premier said as per his information, only one watch was made by King Salman with the model of “Khana Kaaba”, which was gifted to the former prime minister but he sold it which brought disgrace to the country. Moreover, he said that the shopkeeper also appeared on scene, who has purchased it in two million dollars. Shehbaz Sharif said that one person has damaged Pakistan’s economy, ruined foreign relations and brought relations with the best brotherly countries to the lowest ebb, and “lied” day and night.

The primer also mentioned the news published in the Financial Times against Imran Khan, in which it was stated that billions of dollars of donations were received in the name of Shaukat Khanum and that money was spent on politics. The former prime minister also gave NRO to his sisters, whereas, sent Maryam Nawaz and others to jail besides his biggest fraud of Rs50 billion. He said that Faryal Talpur, sister of Asif Zardari was also arrested on the night of Eid but Imran Niazi did not feel shame about it.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the government is in need of trillions of rupees for the rehabilitation of the flood victims because 33 million people are sitting in the cold.

While speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that he has heard and read statements and it seems a campaign is being run to falsely propagate that Pakistan is on the verge of default.

The finance minister criticised the previous government for contributing significantly to the public debt and stated that inflation was 4.6 percent, food inflation was two percent, policy rate was around six percent, GDP growth was 6.1 percent, stock market was best performing in South Asia and policy rate was 6.5 percent and overall public debt was Rs25 trillion when the PML-N had left the government in 2018, whereas, inflation is very high in 2022.

He said that the second thing, the then PTI government were presenting the country as a ‘corrupt nation’ at every international forum. Amid such a statement they were asking investors to invest in Pakistan without realising that how one would come to invest in a ‘corrupt country’. He said that they had claimed to reduce Rs10 trillion debt and instead of reducing debt was increased from Rs25 trillion to Rs44.5 trillion. Inflation was highest, medicine prices were increased 300-400 percent and revenue was not doubled as per their claim.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

Comments

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Abdul Sheikh Dec 13, 2022 12:07pm
On the balance sheet, you are already defaulted.
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Tariq Qurashi Dec 14, 2022 11:36am
I do hope we manage to avoid a default. At the moment we are firefighting. However we need a long term plan of deep and complex reforms and deregulation across the board to improve governance and increase exports. Unfortunately I do not see the capacity to plan and undertake such complex reforms in our executive or legislature; nor do I see the political will or long term vision required. I think we need to set up a specialized multi-disciplinary team to lay out a sustainable long term plan to get us out of this mess.
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