Economic revival, relief to people first priority: PM

Sunday, May 29, 2022

By News Desk

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Saturday reiterated his resolve to transform Pakistan into 'an economic power'. He regretted that inflation had skyrocketed but promised that the economy would be revived and relief would be provided to people, which was the first priority of the coalition government.

Commemorating the 24th anniversary of becoming a nuclear power, he stressed attaining economic sovereignty and self-dependence. In a series of tweets, he said the nation would have to move ahead with the same spirit as manifested on Youm-e-Takbir.

On May 28 in 1998, Pakistan successfully carried out five nuclear tests in Chaghi, Balochistan. The successful nuclear explosions made Pakistan the first nuclear power in the Muslim world and seventh in the world.

In a message on the silver jubilee celebrations of the country's nuclear tests, the PM said the day was a clear declaration of "no compromise on the country’s sovereignty and defence." He underlined that it was a day to get united for the solidarity of the country as it was the main strength of the nation and expressed his determination that with unity, hard work and staunch faith, they would turn Pakistan into an economic power.

The PM paid tribute to the patriotism of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also his brother, who enabled Pakistan to hold its head high among the comity of nations with pride. He also lauded ex-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, and also paid rich tribute to all those who had worked during the tenures of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif for making the defence of the country invincible.

The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to Saudi Arabia and other brotherly and friendly countries that had helped Pakistan during economic sanctions. He said the mountains of Chaghi still echoed with the same resolve, and the province of Balochistan still bore distinction with regard to the country's defence. The prime minister stressed that 10-day celebrations should be dedicated to the nation’s unity and progress and prosperity of the country.

In another tweet, he said, "In 2018, as the leader of the Opposition, I proposed the idea of the charter of economy which was ignored with disdain by the-then government. It is the need of the hour now. We are starting a process of consultation with all political stakeholders to build a consensus on the charter. Let us turn Pakistan into a country where the difference of opinion is not treated as an act of enmity; where criticism is faced with courage; where public service delivery is the definition of politics; where women are treated with respect and rights of minorities are protected,” he added.

Meanwhile, during the proceedings of a case in court, Shehbaz Sharif took to the rostrum and said: “My family suffered a lot for my decisions when there was adequate production of sugar." He reiterated that he had not even withdrawn his salary in 12.5 years. “God made me the PM of this country. I am a majnoo. I did not take any benefit," he added.

He recalled that the secretary had sent a summary to him for sugar export during his tenure as Punjab chief minister, adding that he had set an export limit and rejected summaries. “My family lost over Rs2 billion owing to my decisions. My family lost Rs800 million annually because of the decision,” Shehbaz added.

“I proposed subsidy at that time. My decisions were actually in favour of Pakistan, and not in favour of my family. Please not consider my words in the sense that I am praising myself,” he said.

He sought permission to leave the court, which was granted.