Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday hit back at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman for his criticism of the ruling party over rising inflation, saying the incumbent government was bearing the burden of wrongful policies of the Imran Khan-led regime.
“It was the PTI that agreed on terms with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” the premier said while addressing the PML-N senators in Islamabad this afternoon.
The premier highlighted that when the prices of petroleum products rose across the globe, the previous government chose to bring them down further.
“By not increasing the price of petrol, the PTI laid landmines [for the country’s economy],” he maintained.
Shehbaz reiterated that the government had agreed on terms with the IMF, but added that it won’t bring prosperity overnight. “We will have to give our economy a boost and rise above personal preferences.”
The political quarters await an urgent deal with the IMF amid a deepening economic crisis, fueling the anti-government campaign.
Turning his guns back towards the previous government, the premier said the PTI made grave mistakes. “When the gas tariff was low across the world, they decided against signing a deal.”
“Had the previous rulers signed a deal to buy gas then, Pakistan would have inexpensive gas to use,” the premier said and added that the PTI didn’t think of the masses for the past three and a half years.
The previous government abolished free of cost medical treatment at the hospitals and didn’t honor their promise to provide homes, the premier said, adding that Imran Khan caused the relations with allies such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia to go frail.
Negating any notion of early elections, the premier said the government would complete its tenure and then would move towards polls.
“The decision to head for polls after electoral reforms has been made by the coalition partners.”
He maintained that the government was moving forward with consistent efforts, even though it faced several challenges after taking the reins of power.
“We will work day and night to steer the country out of the current crises,” the premier added.
PM Shehbaz on the occasion reiterated that China would lend $2.3 billion to Pakistan, adding Pakistan’s allies had always stood with it.
The premier stressed that the country was passing through a difficult phase, urging the countrymen to together strive to change its fate.
“We are faced with more testing times ahead. I had made it clear earlier that I won’t lie to the nation and we will not claim to end corruption within 90 days.”
“The way forward is difficult but I am certain that it is not impossible [to progress],” he concluded.