ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will arrive in the Mansehra district on Sunday (today), confirmed Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.
In a statement, the information minister said that PM Shahbaz Sharif will address a public gathering in Mansehra at 3pm.
In his address, the prime minister will share the government's roadmap for improving the economic condition of the country.
A day earlier, PM Shahbaz Sharif said that the government will include a Rs28 billion package in the upcoming budget to provide relief to the masses.
Addressing the nation, the prime minister said that aside from the relief package, the government would immediately provide Rs2,000 for around 85 million people to help them fight the effects of inflation.
"This is aside from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) monetary assistance that they are already getting. This relief package will be included in the next fiscal budget," the premier said.
The premier added that he has directed the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to provide 10kg of wheat to people for Rs400.
At the beginning of his address, the prime minister said that taking up the challenge of coming into power was not easy as the country's situation was gloomy, and the nation was plagued with hatred during the previous government's tenure.
"I would like to thank my leader Nawaz Sharif and the leaders of our allied parties for trusting me with this office," he said.
Criticising the PTI-led government and ex-prime minister Imran Khan, PM Shahbaz said that "it was the demand of the people of Pakistan to rid them of the previous incompetent and corrupt government."
PM Shahbaz said a diplomatic cable was used for political means and the nation was fed with lies despite the National Security Committee (NSC) and the ambassador to the United States both rubbishing the "foreign conspiracy" claims touted by ex-premier Imran Khan.
PM Shahbaz said if Khan thinks his "ego" is bigger than the state, then it is his misconception as Pakistan will function in line with the Constitution and not upon following the direction of one person.
Ex-prime minister Khan has repeatedly blamed the US for backing the no-confidence motion — that lead to his ouster — and has refused to accept the newly-elected government.
He claimed that US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu had threatened Pakistan's ambassador for removing his government.
"This person, when Pakistan was progressing under prime minister Nawaz Sharif, staged dharnas. At that time, Chinese President Xi Jinping had to come to Pakistan, but due to [Khan's] arrogance, the agreement that was scheduled to take place was delayed."
The premier stressed that the incumbent government was responsible for the nation's safety and security and would not compromise in this regard at any cost.
Reminding the PTI of its performance during its tenure, PM Shahbaz said it was Khan that struck a deal with the IMF, not the current government.
"We did not agree to the strict conditions laid forth by the IMF; you burdened the masses with heavy inflation, not us; you buried the country under heavy debts, not us; international institutions said that corruption increased during your tenure, not ours; electricity load shedding was brought back during your tenure and you are responsible for the economy's suffering," he said.
He said that over the last 3.5 years, Pakistan incurred more than $20,000 billion worth of debt, which was more than 80% of the total loans taken during the history of the country.
The prime minister said the incumbent government was ready to take tough decisions for moving the country towards progress in a bid to end the politics of "incompetency and corruption".
He added that when the new government came into power, inflation was skyrocketing, industries were shutting down, and the US dollar — which was at Rs115 — had reached Rs189.
The premier added that in contrast, the PML-N government took fewer loans and provided 10,400MW of electricity, constructed roads, introduced a state-of-the-art public transport system, and initiated several development projects.
He said due to the previous government's policies, powerplants that generated 7,500MW of electricity were shut down, and as a result, people were forced to buy expensive power.
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