ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan Thursday said powerful circles had now reckoned the popularity of his party with the masses, adding, “If they continue to push us to the wall, then we will have no option but to give a call for protest”.
“There’s no party in the country’s history that enjoyed as much popularity as the PTI; it is the only federal party in the country that keeps the country together,” Imran said in his speech to the nation on video-link.
“Delay in holding elections is harming Pakistan. Clean and transparent elections should be held early to save the country from economic destruction, as the way this ‘imported government’ is running the affairs, the country is going down. Their corruption cases are ending but they are taking the country down.”
Imran said he wanted to inform the nation that economy was going down so fast that if there was no political stability, no one will be able to save it from collapse. “There is no way to save the economy unless there is political stability. There will be no economic stability if there is no political stability,” he noted.
The former premier claimed that no one had confidence in the ‘imported government’ at home and abroad, as it had no status orvalue in the international and internal markets. He pointed out it was said that the country’s situation will improve as soon as the IMF agreement was signed, but despite that the economic situation was before the whole nation.
Imran said he had talked to his economic team and viewed in which direction the country was going. “Now I fear the government has no rescue plan for the economy.” “Make any excuse for not holding elections, but it is only and only Pakistan that is suffering,” said the PTI chief.
He attacked the government and alleged that big criminals were sitting in the government. He further said 60 percent of the cabinet was on bail, while the prime minister was going to be convicted in the FIA case.
“They are not worried about the country’s situation except for the concern of waiving their cases; these thieves said they had got a very bad economy. Shehbaz was very fond of becoming prime minister. Some people thought he was a very capable man and was next to Einstein and will change the situation of the country at once. The biggest problem facing the economy is external deficit,” he continued.
“When our government came to power in 2018, $20 billion was the biggest external deficit in Pakistan’s history,” he recalled and said the ‘imported government’ got $16 billion in the external deficit. He said the PMLN left $9.8 billion reserves but during the PTI rule, there were reserves of $16.2 billion till the end of the government.
“Even after the IMF deal, the reserves remain at $8.8 billion, foreign remittances $19 billion and exports $24 billion. During our time, exports were at $32 billion; we brought more dollars to the country and also reduced the deficit. We strengthened the economy and also fought corona. The world praised us that Pakistan was among the top three countries to tackle corona. The World Bank reported that Pakistan was the country in the entire subcontinent providing the most employment after the pandemic.”
Imran said the government had no plan to deal with the flood situation except for seeking money from abroad. “When the UN Secretary General came, Shehbaz Sharif was not leaving his hand to get the money. How are they running the country?”
Imran said, “When we left the government, dollar was worth 178 rupees and today it is worth 236 rupees. Why has dollar become so expensive? In our time, the price per unit of electricity was 16 rupees and today it is 36 rupees per unit. Oil in the global market was $103 and we were giving petrol and diesel at Rs146 per liter. Today oil in the global market is selling at $93 and the imported government is giving diesel at Rs248 and petrol at Rs236, while gas prices are also increasing. The price of gas will increase by 250 percent, the price of flour has increased two times today. In our time, flour was 50 rupees per kg and today it is selling at 100 rupees per kg in Karachi. Rice was selling at 100 per kg but now it sells at 225 rupees. Pulses were at 225 but they are now selling at 360 rupees. Inflation was 18 percent in our time and today it is more than 45 percent. All this happened in five months. It is causing a lot of damage to the common man,” he noted.
Imran said the IMF and World Bank say that Pakistan is heading towards the Sri Lanka like situation. “This government has no solution to this bad situation; this year Pakistan has to repay loans of $30 billion, together with the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. We will get only $8 billion, while the remaining $22 billion will have to be financed from the world. Pakistan’s credit rating was positive in our time but now it has become negative.”
Imran said he had clearly told the country’s powerful people that they had handled the economy with difficulty and if there was any political instability, then the situation will become difficult. “Those who had power could have stopped this conspiracy against us,” he argued.
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