Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail on Saturday said real freedom means economic self-reliance, without which the concept of freedom and self-reliance is not achieved. He said the PTI government took 79% of the external debt out of the total debt taken in the country’s history, he said. The federal minister said this in a live press conference on Pakistan Television. The finance minister said, during the PTI tenure, Pakistan’s imports jumped up to US$80 billion while the trade deficit reached $48 billion, which is a record in the country’s history. Miftah wondered how PTI could talk about real freedom without achieving economic self-sufficiency. He said that former finance minister Shaukat Tarin’s today’s press conference differs from the facts. Miftah said that the former PTI government was leading the country towards default and the Muslim League government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif saved the country from bankruptcy. The minister said, "we have saved the country from a situation like Sri Lanka, where petrol and gas are blacking out". He said that PTI made agreements with the IMF to make electricity and oil more expensive, the effect of which continued even during our government’s tenure. PTI government raised Rs 19,000 billion rupees in loans during their tenure, he added. The minister criticized the PTI’s role, claiming that the country was at a critical juncture following the floods while the PTI was preoccupied with politics, altering national interests. Miftah said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan did not fulfill any of his promises, including the construction of 5 million houses. The finance minister insisted that the government was distributing Rs 25,000 to each of the 4 million flood-affected families, at a cost of Rs 70 billion overall. He said that cotton, sugarcane, and date crops had been destroyed in Sindh province. He said that the government will import tomatoes and onions from Turkiye and Afghanistan, adding that inflation will be controlled in the next couple of months. Miftah Ismail said that PTI was investing $25,000 per month in lobbying, which is against the national interest in the current situation.