LAHORE - Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday lambasted the criminal negligence and inefficient performance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government led by former prime minister Imran Khan Niazi, saying that the country paid.
He said the project was to be inaugurated during 2019 but it was stalled due to the criminal negligence of Imran Niazi and lack of interest of the previous government. A huge amount of the nation went down the drain, causing a huge loss for the poor country, he opined, adding it was one of the worst examples of PTI’s bad governance.
“Who will be held accountable for such blunder? It is the continuation of a saga of 75 years for which they were all responsible,” he quipped. Why did the judiciary not take suo motu of such negligence! the prime minister question, and maintained that he had no intention of victimization and did not want injustice with anyone, but there should be a transparent accountability of all those responsible for such failures whether it was done in a dictatorship or democratic regime, justice should be dispensed without any victimization, he said. With such accountabilities, the nations in the world moved forward, he added.
The ceremony was attended by the Punjab Governor, Caretaker Chief Minister, federal and provincial ministers, parliamentarians and the relevant authorities. The prime minister said these were the facts which the nation must know about the four-year rule of Imran Niazi who played havoc with the national economy.He said that they felt ashamed while carrying a begging bowl due to those failures of the past government. “It was a huge mishap of our history (PTI’s government) which is already strewn with such unpleasant incidents. If we do not change the attitude, we cannot aspire to achieve anything,” he regretted. Citing the example of China, he said it had now become the world’s second largest economy. Japan and Germany bounced back economically from the destruction of World Wars owing to commitment, devotion and determination, he added. “Let us gird up loins and work hard for the country’s progress as peeping into the past would be useless. If they fail, the public will not forget them. Let us wash away the blots of the past,” the prime minister stressed. He also expressed the resolve to revive the country’s economy by eliminating poverty and unemployment. The prime minister also regretted that due to PTI’s sit- in at D-Chowk during 2014, President Xi’s visit to Pakistan was postponed. He said under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the PML-N government had initiated Haveli and Baloki power plants with power generation of 1200 MW each, besides, 1150 MW Bhikki project in Punjab. The prime minister, on the occasion, said the Medical City project would be completed with all the allied facilities and would be at par with the world’s renowned health projects like the PKLI was ranked best among Asia’s top institutes. He said the federal and provincial governments would jointly execute the project.
About the 8km SL-3 Lahore Ring Road, the prime minister said one part of the ring road was left out, adding now its completion would facilitate a huge number of commuters by removing vehicular congestion. The extension of the Metro Bus Project would serve thousands of commuters on a daily basis, he added and directed for its completion within three months. Governor Punjab Baligh ur Rehman also highlighted the performance of the coalition government during the past fifteen months in which mega projects of public interest were launched. Meanwhile in an interview with a private news channel, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday said National Assembly will be dissolved before August 12 with the consultation of the allied parties.
He said the tenure of National Assembly will end on August 12 and before that the assembly will be dissolved, while the Election Commission will announce a date for the next elections. He said the decision about the caretaker prime minister will be taken in consultation with the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and before that he would consult all the allied parties and Pakistan Muslim League (N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif. Talking about the performance of his government, he said in the last 15 months, Pakistan was saved from default with the prayers of the people and the status and dignity of the country was restored among friendly and brotherly countries. He further said cheap oil was bought from Russia while the government signed an agreement with Azerbaijan under which the government of Azerbaijan will offer one cargo every month at the price suitable to Pakistan. Cheap gas would also be bought from Qatar. After COVID-19 the gas prices came down to three dollars, but Imran Niazi was focused on targetting the opposition and imposing dictatorship in the country and showed negligence and did not buy cheap gas, he reminded. He stressed that no case of corruption surfaced during his tenure, adding this year there was bumper wheat crop while the production of cotton would also be better than in many past years.
Shehbaz said Special Investment Facilitation Council was formed to undertake comprehensive economic recovery, attract foreign investment, bring about agricultural revolution, equip youth with tools of information technology and exploit mineral resources, adding all the federal and provincial governments would strive to achieve goals set by the council.
Talking about measures to provide relief to the people, he said the federal government increased the salaries of government employees of grade 18 and below by 35 percent and of above grade 18 by 30 percent besides increasing pensions by 17.5 percent. Similarly, the government of Punjab also raised the salaries of its employees by the same percentage. Super tax was imposed on the income of rich people and on big business houses related to sugar, cement and other sectors, he added. He told that taxes were also levied on the tobacco sector after holding numerous meetings and scanners were imported for right valuation of the tax on the tobacco industry. The prime minister said the May 9 incident was a conspiracy against Pakistan, Pakistan Army and Chief of Army Staff as Imran Niazi, his associates, some persons from Army and their family members wanted to overthrow the leadership of Pakistan Army, create chaos and cause civil war in Pakistan. He clarified that the cases of those who attacked civilian installations, would be tried in anti- terrorism courts and of those who attacked military installations, would face cases in military courts. Imran Niazi was the mastermind of the mayhem that led to the incident of May 9 and thugs associated with him burnt military installations and desecrated monuments of the martyrs, he continued. He said the hostility of Imran Niazi towards Pakistan was exposed, adding a conspiracy was hatched and Nawaz Sharif was sentenced in false cases to oust him from politics. Now all that conspiracy was unearthed and the mastermind of the conspiracy was former judge Saqib Nisar, he said while reiterating that name of Nawaz Sharif was not among the 400 persons mentioned in the Panama Papers but he was falsely convicted. He said judges did not take suo moto notice to determine the role of Sadiq Nisar in the conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif and his party leaders who were put behind bars and denied bails for years in fabricated cases. He demanded that through a transparent and all-encompassing process of accountability, all those who waged vendetta against Nawaz Sharif and his party and their families, should be held accountable. He said the decision to send Nawaz Sharif abroad was taken by a medical board formed by Imran Niazi. He informed that in the coming weeks, Nawaz Sharif will come back to Pakistan and face the cases against him. He said Imran Niazi was not willing to face court in corruption cases including scams of wheat, sugar, Malam Jabba, billion tree tsunami, hydel power projects and bus project in Peshawar in which there was irrefutable evidence against him.