ISLAMABAD: In a tacit reference to opposition politicians, Information Minister Shibli Faraz Sunday said the right place was a prison and the masses had chosen the PTI to take power to complete the task.
Speaking at a press conference here, he said former prime minister and PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had brought opposition politics to a stalemate.
The minister said the PML-N was misleading the masses and pursuing a narrative that had nothing to do with reality.
“They are not doing anything for the country, except pursuing anti-people policies. They signed expensive energy contracts with foreign companies which led to hikes in gas and electricity tariffs,” said Shibli.
He said the PML-N was deliberately damaging the country’s economy to create obstacles for the next government.
The minister asked Nawaz Sharif to tell how he made assets and how he took the money abroad.
He said Imran Khan was effectively raising the Kashmir issue whereas Nawaz Sharif did not take the name Kulbhushan Jadhav and blackmailed Pakistan and its institutions.
“Nawaz Sharif has never had a smooth working relationship with military commanders and courts and he is accused of theft and financial crimes,” he said.
Faraz noted that Nawaz Sharif has dictatorial tendencies and his party is now divided.
Supremo PML-N must submit to the law and face cases against him, the minister said.
He said the government was trying to enforce a court ruling on Nawaz Sharif and sent him an arrest warrant through the Pakistan High Commission in London.
“Nawaz was convicted and went to London on bail,” he added.
Shibli said the former prime minister sat in a multibillion-rupee apartment in London and made speeches to create uncertainty and instability in the country and he did not want the economy to improve.
“Opposition to his statement must not be detrimental to projects of national interest,” he said, adding that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was pursuing opposition who took personal advantage by relaxing rules and regulations and using every opportunity to commit corruption.
“A case was filed against the opposition for corruption,” he added.
The minister said the opposition was using people to return to power.
“The opposition is divided and if its members withdraw from the assembly, their resignation will be accepted and a bye election will be held,” he continued.
He said the opposition first challenged the legislation related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and then formed an alliance to create instability.
Highlighting the country’s economy, he said the PTI government inherited a $ 20 billion current account deficit and a debt of Rs 30 trillion.
He said the PTI government had reserved Rs2.9tr in the budget to pay interest on loans taken out by the previous regime.
He said the PML-N government spent $ 23 billion to control the dollar’s value artificially.
The minister said the country’s exports and remittances were on an upward path and foreign reserves were now in a comfort zone.
He said FBR had collected around IDR1 trillion in taxes this quarter, which was above the target.
Speaking about the opposition statement on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said, “CPEC is a reflection of the historic friendship between Islamabad and Beijing. The opposition should refrain from damaging the brotherly relations between the two countries by engaging in politics on the CPEC project. “
Faraz said the current government was committed to completing the CPEC project at the earliest.
He said when people knocked the opposition out of power in elections, landmines were left behind to the detriment of the PTI government.
The minister said Ishaq Dar kept the dollar low by spending $ 23 billion and then he went abroad on the plane of then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The last government was unable to increase exports in the last five years and damaged the industry. When the PTI government arrived, the challenge was to repay the loan and pay for expensive imports of palm oil, crude oil and pulses, the minister said.
“Our exports and remittances are increasing, as people trust Imran Khan’s honest and sincere leadership and the government meets the revenue collection target of Rs1 trillion,” he explained.
Shibli said the reason for the increase in fuel prices was that international prices were not under the government’s control.
He said the PTI government had to pay capacity payments and circular debt because the previous agreement was expensive.