LAHORE: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Sunday said that the PTI-led government had doubled the country’s debt during the last four years which had made the lives of the poor miserable, adding that the incumbent government was making efforts to provide basic necessities of life including flour, health treatment and medicines at subsidized rates.
Talking to a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), the prime minister regretted that during the previous government’s rule, special arrangements were not made at PKIL like facilities for giving free-of-cost treatment to the poor and deserving patients.
The premier reiterated that the government had no intention to put any restriction on freedom of media and expression and assured that journalists would be provided with all possible protection against unwarranted actions under the PECA ordinance and other related laws.
He said that ministry of law had already been tasked to review the PECA ordinance.
Praising the CPNE’s role in the freedom of media, strengthening of democracy, and evolution of democratic institutions in the country, the prime minister said that the government was keen to engage constructively with the CPNE and other media representative bodies for the protection of the rights of journalists and promotion of responsible journalism in the country.
During the meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Secretary Information Shahera Shahid, Principal Information Officer Mobashir Hasan and other officials were present.
CPNE delegation included president Kazim Khan, senior vice president Ayaz Khan, vice president Punjab Irshad Ahmad Arif, secretary-general Aamir Mahmood and other members.
The prime minister said that the government was taking all possible measures to ensure power generation and its supply so that public woes could be addressed.
He stressed upon the solidarity of the nation to resolve the current economic challenges for the welfare of the people and said that holding of march, in this situation, amounted to uncalled for and creation of fissures among the nation.
Speaking about the electoral reforms, the premier observed that electoral reforms were a must for holding transparent elections in the country.
The prime minister expressed his resolve to effectively work on the CPEC and Riko Diq projects.
He reaffirmed to maintain ties with all the brotherly nations and other countries on basis of mutual respect and mutual interests.