Published On: Fri, Mar 17th, 2023
Published in Category: Islamabad

PM Shehbaz offers dialogues to all political parties on national issues in the state interest

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday offered dialogues to all the political parties on the national issues in the state interest. PM Shehbaz Sharif said that we have saved the state while sacrificing our politics, adding that not due to conspiracy of someone but carrying out effort for Pakistan he is ready to talk with everyone. PM said that we are acting carefully regarding the matter of Imran Khan but implementation of law will be ensured. PM Shehbaz Sharif urged the political parties to join hands for a common goal of bringing political and economic stability in the country.

PM Shehbaz Sharif was addressing the special commemorative session of the Upper House to mark the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Senate of Pakistan in Islamabad on Thursday. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that Pakistan will come out of all crises by applying political acumen and collective wisdom.

He, however, said that nobody will be allowed to harm the interest of Pakistan at all costs. He said the coalition government is ready to render every sacrifice to safeguard the interests of the 220 million people of Pakistan.

The prime minister said economic stability without political stability was an unfulfillable dream. He said by assuming the government in tough economic conditions, the coalition parties had sacrificed their politics for the sake of the state.

He told the session, also attended by the diplomatic corps, that the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was expected to reach soon as the country had accepted even the toughest conditions. The delay in the agreement, he said, was also due to the disorder created by the political opponents.

“A leader is poised to ruin the country, which cannot be allowed. We will not allow it,” he said and clarified that during an attempt to arrest him, the government showed restraint just to avoid any restlessness. “But it is not possible to put the interest of the state and its 220 million people at stake,” he warned.

“Let us brighten the future of Pakistan. We should strive and not conspire, remove hurdles instead of creating more, unite the nation instead of creating division,” the prime minister advised.

He recalled the historic incidents of the 1965 and 1971 wars, and the war against terrorism when the whole nation exhibited unity to overcome the challenges.

He expressed his gratitude to the friendly countries for extending support after the unprecedented floods hit Pakistan. The imported inflation created by the Ukraine war in form of surged oil, gas, food and fertiliser prices added up to the woes of developing countries like Pakistan.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif along with Chairman of Senate Sadiq Sanjarai unveils a plaque in the Parliament House to mark 50 years celebrations of the foundation of the Senate of Pakistan

He told the session that the previous government had signed and flouted an agreement with the IMF undermining Pakistan’s trust and making the 220 million people bear its brunt.

He said instead of shying away, the coalition parties opted the course of protecting the state, ignoring its political cost.

He said to satisfy his ego, ex-prime minister Imran Khan refused to sit with his opposition even during the challenging circumstances of COVID-19, and confrontation with India and also ridiculed his idea of the Charter of Economy.

He said currently he was going in total defiance of the national institutions, including the judiciary and promoting the politics of agitation.

Prime Minister Shehbaz said during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, the then opposition leaders were implicated in false cases but they neither uttered a word against the institutions nor violated the laws.

He said Imran Khan launched a defamatory campaign against the incumbent government and labelled it as an “imported government” but later backed out of his claims of any US role in the removal of his government.

The prime minister reiterated his call for the national leadership to join heads and make major decisions on economic reforms, economic agenda and austerity measures, and ensure their implementation.

He also lauded the historical role of political leadership in the past which played its historic role in promulgating the 1973 Constitution which granted equal rights to all the four provinces of the country.

He said the Senate of Pakistan always made legislation on all issues of importance through minute deliberation and seriousness.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has admitted that the “tough decisions” taken by his government are leading to “inflation and hard conditions” for the common man but is hopeful that there is “light at the end of the tunnel”.

The premier assured the masses of good times ahead in his address during the special Senate session being held in Islamabad on Thursday to celebrate the golden jubilee of the upper house of parliament.

He told the Senate that when the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government took over the economy was facing very difficult challenges. The last government, he said, had signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but did not adhere to its conditions.

Pakistan is anxiously waiting for confirmation from Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar, as well as from the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, for fulfilling the external financing needs of $6 billion by the end of June 2023.

“We took over through a constitutional instrument and this coalition government faced a very difficult challenge and we had two choices,” PM Shehbaz said, adding that the first option was that the current government could follow the path taken by the Imran Khan-led PTI government.

“The other path was to show the highest level of responsibility, the highest level of maturity and the highest level of statesmanship,” the premier said. The current government, he added, through a consultative process adopted a path which would protect Pakistan.

“We had to take some bold decisions. And the process certainly led to inflation and tough conditions for the common man in Pakistan but we did not shy away from taking those decisions.”

He added that the coalition government “saved the state and sacrificed their politics”.

“I have to say that we are going through a difficult period but there is light at the end of the tunnel, provided you are sincere to the cause,” the premier said, adding that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar "is working tirelessly to turn around the economy".

Everyone is human and makes mistakes but it is important that lessons are learnt from those mistakes, he added.

In the past, the premier said, political leadership had sat together many times to find solutions. He cited the example of 2014 when the political leadership united against terrorism. “Nations tackle such challenges with a political vision.”

Premier Shehbaz said when he was in opposition he had attended the National Assembly session on COVID-19. He added that they listened to his predecessor’s speech but he left without listening to them.

“A national leader does not have ego, arrogance, hatred and anger,” he said, lamenting that the law is being flouted today and institutions are being disrespected.

“We were being thrown in jails on baseless charges. No one took the law into their hands unnecessarily,” the prime minister added. In order to fix the economy, he further said, there is a need for political stability. “If there is no political stability then economic stability is a dream that cannot be fulfilled.”

PM Shehbaz also said that Pakistan will secure the IMF tranche but at the same time called for all political leaders to sit together and take important economic decisions.

"Political differences should be left aside and sought-after decisions should be taken. There is still time for us to come to our senses."

Later, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani presented a memento to the prime minister as part of the 50 years celebrations of the Senate. The prime minister also presented a medallion to the Senate chairman as part of the celebrations.