Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday urged the national political leadership to forge unity in an effort to address the pervading challenges of economic instability and poverty, without letting the situation to further deteriorate.
The prime minister, addressing the Senate’s special session marking its golden jubilee celebration, said economic stability without political stability was an unfulfillable dream.
He said by assuming the government in tough economic conditions, the coalition parties had sacrificed their politics for the sake of the state.
He told the session, also attended by the diplomatic corps, that the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was expected to reach soon as the country had accepted even the toughest conditions.
The delay in the agreement, he said, was also due to the disorder created by the political opponents.
“A leader is poised to ruin the country, which cannot be allowed. We will not allow it,” he said and clarified that during an attempt to arrest him, the government showed restraint just to avoid any restlessness. “But it is not possible to put the interest of the state and its 220 million people at stake,” he warned.
The prime minister calls for national unity to tackle challenges, attain fiscal stability
“Let us brighten the future of Pakistan. We should strive and not conspire, remove hurdles instead of creating more, unite the nation instead of creating division,” the prime minister advised.
He recalled the historic incidents of the 1965 and 1971 wars, and the war against terrorism when the whole nation exhibited unity to overcome the challenges.
He expressed his gratitude to the friendly countries for extending support after the unprecedented floods hit Pakistan. The imported inflation created by the Ukraine war in form of surged oil, gas, food and fertiliser prices added up to the woes of developing countries like Pakistan.
He told the session that the previous government had signed and flouted an agreement with the IMF undermining Pakistan’s trust and making the 220 million people bear its brunt.
He said instead of shying away, the coalition parties opted the course of protecting the state, ignoring its political cost.
He said to satisfy his ego, ex-prime minister Imran Khan refused to sit with his opposition even during the challenging circumstances of COVID-19, and confrontation with India and also ridiculed his idea of the Charter of Economy.
He said currently he was going in total defiance of the national institutions, including the judiciary and promoting the politics of agitation.
Prime Minister Shehbaz said during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, the then opposition leaders were implicated in false cases but they neither uttered a word against the institutions nor violated the laws.
He said Imran launched a defamatory campaign against the incumbent government and labelled it as an “imported government” but later backed out of his claims of any US role in the removal of his government.
The prime minister reiterated his call for the national leadership to join heads and make major decisions on economic reforms, economic agenda and austerity measures, and ensure their implementation.
He also lauded the historical role of political leadership in the past which played its historic role in promulgating the 1973 Constitution which granted equal rights to all the four provinces of the country.
He said the Senate always made legislation on all issues of importance through minute deliberation and seriousness.