PM Shehbaz again offers to form "charter of economy"
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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Saturday during his address to the nation once again reiterated his call for the formation of a "charter of economy", saying that time has come for Pakistan to head in the right direction.
He said that there is no concept of a nation's independence without economic self-reliance.
He said as opposition leader he has proposed to the-then government for the formation of a charter of eceonmy and once again he is ready for that.
PM Shehbaz said strengthening the economy should be the main focus instead of new elections. Shehbaz also urged all political forces to work together for the future of next generations instead of considering results of next elections.
"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.
“It is the need of time that we as a nation continue our course in the right direction and don’t allow national interest to be sacrificed at the altar of personal ego and stubbornness.”
The prime minister said the government had committed itself to taking the country on the path of economic independence, adding that a “conception of freedom” without the former was impossible.
PM Shehbaz credited the government’s economic policies, such as clamping down on unnecessary imports, for the rupee’s continuous appreciation against the US dollar.
“By adopting austerity, we will depend on our own resources like self-independent nations.”
"As a prime minister, this has been my harshest experience," he added.
PM Shehbaz said that the government has worked day and night to lead the country out of this crisis and prevented Pakistan from getting default.
"The previous government took the highest debt of Rs43 billion dollars in the history of Pakistan which forced the incumbent government to take loans from friendly countries," he said while questioning Imran Khan's "haqiqi azadi". He shared that the payment of interest on the loans taken by the government has also become impossible.
"Our [PML-N] government left the country self-sufficient in wheat, but the previous government's negligence led to the import of wheat," highlighted the premier. "The previous government did not sign any Liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract for the long term when it was cheap. This negligence has caused people to suffer from loadshedding."
The prime minister said the government had “worked hard day and night” to take the country out of the current economic crisis in a short time, because of which the country was saved from financial default.
PM Shehbaz blamed the PTI government’s economic policies and decisions for much of the country’s woes, adding that it left the country’s biggest trade deficit in history for which loans had to be taken from allied nations and international financial institutions.
He alleged the previous government’s created financial crisis had made the situation more “critical”. “It’s almost as if financial dependence has become our national character which our elders would never even have envisioned,” Shehbaz added.
The prime minister paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan’s establishment and congratulated every Pakistani around the world.
However, he said the “reality” was that the people had only celebrated independence day in name for the last 75 years, instead of adopting its “real aims”.
“That is why my heart is distressed. We must openly admit that we couldn’t give our children that of which they were rightfully deserving.”
He said that the people celebrate Independence Day, Pakistan Day, Quaid-e-Azam Day, and Iqbal Day but the "truth" is, in the last 75 years, the nation has only only celebrated these days but not acknowledged the founding father's purpose.
The premier noted that the country failed to provide the young generation what they deserved.
"Why this nation is still lost even when God has blessed it?" he questioned.
He questioned why the nation was still in search of a destination and subject to various crises, foremost being the economic crisis.
The prime minister said the country also faced a crisis of sentiments, explaining that “seeds of hate” were being sown and the nation was being divided.
Despite that, he said the country’s past was filled with examples of pulling through with hard work and passion, such as the establishment of Pakistan or the completion of the nation’s nuclear programme.
The prime minister also pointed to the recent success of Pakistani athletes in the Commonwealth Games for raising the country’s banner high on the international stage.
PM Shehbaz stressed that hope and optimism were the only options to follow, adding that there were opportunities in every crisis.