LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Monday asked the government to share with the parliament the conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its talks with Pakistan.
Concealing terms and conditions agreed between Pakistan and the IMF and details of talks between the two sides from the parliament shows that there is something fishy, he expressed the fear.
He was of the view that constant rise in the US dollars rate was not only catastrophic for the countrys economy but was also a bad omen for the national security.
Shahbaz said that history bore testimony to the fact that whenever dollars rate went up, inflation in the country had soared. Increase in dollars rate has turned the masses poorer while the government is least bothered,he said, adding that the governments silence on extraordinary increase in dollars rate as well as price hike could be due to a dealstruck between it and the Fund behind closed doors.
PML-N president called for an end to the practice of accepting tough IMF conditions and thus unleashing inflation at the people.
Sloganeering against heads of armed forces
Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday said that sloganeering against heads of the Pakistan Army’s various wings was against the national interest and must not be allowed at any cost.
His comments come in the aftermath of the October 16 rally by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – an anti-government alliance of opposition parties – in Faisalabad. On the occasion, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz had referred to the recent controversy and speculation over the appointment of the Inter-Services Intelligence director general and had alluded to Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, without naming him.
Immediately following her speech, a person appeared at the dais and named the ISI chief, asking the crowd to shout slogans against him.
Questioned on the matter today and whether it was the PML-N’s policy to seek the “removal of the head of the spy agency”, Shehbaz said making such slogans against the heads of the army’s institutions in public rallies was “not only against the national interest but there should be absolutely no permission for this”.
He also disassociated himself and the PML-N from the individual who had incited the crowd to shout the slogans, saying that “the one who said the slogans in Faisalabad has no relation with our party — they are not a worker of our party or an officeholder — I say this unapologetically and there is no need for this matter to be repeated.”
Shehbaz said a strong and professional army was necessary for a country’s security, defence and peace. He said there was no need to interfere in the routine postings of an institution.
“The clouds of a new cold war are once again lurking in this region of ours. Afghanistan is our neighbouring country [and] it is the whole nation’s prayers that there is peace and prosperity in Afghanistan […] this thing is decided that this time the whole nation, including the PML-N, will not allow Pakistan to become part of a foreign conspiracy.
“The whole nation is united and we won’t allow a speck to come on Pakistan’s defence and security,” the PML-N president said.
Shehbaz said the PDM caravan had set out and it will “only rest after exposing the government” before the people of the country.
‘Inflation is Pakistan’s no. 1 issue’
Lambasting the government over burgeoning inflation, he said people had been economically devasted due to rising inflation and unemployment. He said inflation was the top issue of Pakistan at the moment,
Shahbaz said he heard that the prime minister took along a delegation of 80 people to Saudi Arabia, adding that this was yet another occasion when the premier “took a U-turn”.
He said the rupee was undergoing devaluation, stressing that the trend needed to be stopped. “If this imported inflation continues to wreak destruction, even our unity won’t be able to save Pakistan,” he added.
He also claimed the PML-N government had taken effective measures to root out the dengue virus from the province.