Tuesday March 21, 2023

We overtook amid breached IMF deal, surging oil prices: Shehbaz

By Agencies
January 05, 2023
PM Shehbaz addressing a public gathering here after the inauguration of Government Boys Secondary School, Kili Jia Khan on January 4, 2023. PID
PM Shehbaz addressing a public gathering here after the inauguration of Government Boys Secondary School, Kili Jia Khan on January 4, 2023. PID

SOHBATPUR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said the coalition government had inherited a country with a breached IMF agreement, skyrocketing oil prices and reduced wheat production.

Addressing a public gathering here after the inauguration of Government Boys Secondary School, Kili Jia Khan, which will be rebuilt, the premier admitted that inflation was at its peak compounding people’s problems.

He said the previous government had failed to purchase gas when it was cheapest in the international market, compelling the incumbent government to spend $27 billion on oil import to meet the energy needs.

He expressed the hope that the civilised societies would come up to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood-hit Pakistan at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan scheduled to be held in Geneva on January 9.

Shehbaz said he was constantly contacting the leadership of friendly countries to invite them to the conference. “Yesterday, I talked to the Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who assured me he would send a delegation to the conference. He will also join through Zoom,” he said.

Shehbaz also mentioned his telephonic interactions with the leaders of Turkey, Qatar and the UAE for the purpose. The prime minister said he would co-chair the moot with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

He said the government and people of Pakistan would have to put in their efforts for rehabilitation. The government had already distributed Rs100 billion among the flood-affected people through the BISP, but more funds were needed to pay compensation for one million houses destroyed by the flood and many people were awaiting assistance for rehabilitation.

The prime minister, who earlier unveiled the plaque of the newly-built school building, announced to develop the facility on a par with the Danish Schools of Punjab. He committed to inaugurate the upgraded school on March 23, to be equipped with IT facilities including e-library, solar energy and playgrounds.

He also announced the construction of 12 Danish Schools across Balochistan to provide equal educational facilities to poor children of the province.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz stressed that the United Nations must honour the commitments it had made 74 years ago and support the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination.

In a message on the occasion of Kashmiris’ Right to Self-Determination being observed today, he said the commemoration of the day was aimed at reminding the global community of its responsibility towards the oppressed Kashmiri people.

“Pakistan will continue to extend its unstinting moral, political and diplomatic support to the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.

The prime minister said the 5th of January was annually observed as the Right to Self-Determination Day for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The right to self-determination is a cardinal principle of international law and upheld by international human rights organisations,” he said, adding every year, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that denoted the legal right of people to decide their own destiny.

Regrettably, the prime minister said, the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) had not been able to exercise that right.

“Not only has the Indian government denied the inalienable right of self-determination to the Kashmiris, it has also created an environment of fear in IIOJK, which has been exacerbated with India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019. The people of IIOJK are being subjected to systematic and widespread human rights abuses,” the prime minister added.

Shehbaz said the Ministry of Planning and Reforms would launch the Champions of Reforms network during the day to bring together top experts to serve the nation.

On Twitter, the prime minister said professional Pakistanis were the country’s pride who had made their mark in various fields around the world. “Today, on my instructions, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal is launching ‘Champions of Reforms’ (COR) network. The COR network will serve as a platform to bring together top experts to serve the nation,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the prime minister visited the residence of Awami National Party Senator Hidayatullah Khan to condole the death of his father.

The prime minister offered Fateha and prayed for peace of the departed soul of senator’s father Haji Pir Muhammad Khan.