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Imran Niazi’s corruption, bad governance cause of economic malaise: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 23 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday said Imran Niazi was responsible for current economic difficulties as he destabilized the country’s system for his vested political interests, committed massive corruption, badly governed, undermined relations with friendly countries and grossly violated the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before the vote of no confidence against him.

In an interview with a private television, he said Imran Niazi damaged relations with friendly, brotherly countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and China.
“Imran Niazi falsely accused me of corruption of 45 percent in Chinese assisted projects and damaged relations with China,” he remarked.
He said corruption was rife during the tenure of Imran Niazi and every day a new scandal of corruption surfaced, including
sugar, wheat and Malam Jabba scams.
The prime minister said the coalition partners assumed government in very difficult conditions and with great efforts his government succeeded in securing the IMF programme, after getting the consent of Nawaz Sharif.

He said the most difficult matters he dealt with during his government were the revival of the IMF agreement, devastating floods, price hikes, restoration of ties with friendly countries and appointment of army chief.

Talking about inflation, he said price hikes were caused by skyrocketing commodity and fuel prices in the international markets and the Ukraine war.

His party saved the state at the cost of its politics, he emphasized, admitting that due to price hikes the popularity of his coalition government suffered and political capital was exhausted. He said the government brought cheap oil from Russia and now was importing liquefied natural gas from Azerbaijan at a lower cost to provide much needed relief to the people.

He recalled that Imran Niazi did not buy gas from the international market at the rate of three dollars, and the negligence added to the economic difficulties of the people.
He said May 9 was an anti-state activity and was an internal conspiracy led by Imran Niazi and his associates who attacked installations of armed forces.

The incident of May 9 was similar to the attack of the Indian air force in February, 2019 which was foiled by the brave pilots of Pakistan Air Force and ended in the capture of the Indian pilot Abhinandan, he continued.
The May 9 attacks were organized and preplanned for more than a year and were an evil attempt and conspiracy to instigate a coup in the army and against its chief, he stressed.

He said Allah Almighty failed the conspiracy as people and army were united, people stayed away from the violent acts and only a few groups of thugs violated the sanctity of the monuments of army, adding the whole nation was tearful on these anti-state activities against the armed forces.
He said the civilian government and army were on the same page and it was decided that law would take its course and nobody involved in these incidents would be spared. There was intense anger and sorrow in the ranks of the army and among heirs of the martyrs because of the incidents of May 9, he added.

Drawing comparisons to the incidents of May 9, he said the attack of 9/11 in the United States led to the setting up of Guantanamo Bay. Furthermore, people were prosecuted and given sentences in the United States after the attack on Capitol Hill in Washington and after riots in Britain.

The prime minister said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was judicially murdered and Nawaz Sharif was sent into exile and then removed from power through a conspiracy in 2017, masterminded by former judge Saqib Nisar, but the leading parties did not undertake a campaign against national institutions.
The name of Nawaz Sharif was not among the 400 persons in the Panama papers but still, he was targetted by the conspirators, he pointed out.
He reminded that Nawaz Sharif carried out huge development projects including China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, eliminated loadshedding and built a vast network of roads, adding after removal of Nawaz Sharif through a conspiracy the nation faced unprecedented problems and the country was put off the course of development.

Answering a question, he said those who attacked military installations would be tried in the military courts and those who vandalized civilian properties would face trial under the anti-terrorism law. Nobody would be spared regardless of whosoever he was.

He said it was painful that even after 75 years Pakistan was dependent on IMF, adding now Pakistan was out of danger of default, foreign exchange reserves were gaining stability and the country was on the path to stability.

He said the government had initiated a plan of economic recovery by undertaking projects in agriculture and information technology and by equipping youth with modern tools of information technology. A Special Investment Facilitation Council was set up to attract investment in diverse sectors, he mentioned.

He said if people would give an opportunity to his party led by Nawaz Sharif in the next elections then they were committed to
put Pakistan on the journey of progress and prosperity after forming the next government.

Responding to another question, he said in 2018, Pakistan Muslim League(N) and Pakistan Peoples Party were dismantled and politicians of all hues were gathered in Pakistan Tehreek i Insaf (PTI). Later on, results of elections were stopped and delayed in the cities and the worst form of rigging was perpetrated.

Now those who changed political loyalties in 2018 and joined PTI were again leaving for other parties, he observed, adding
Nawaz Sharif did not believe in politics of revenge and never resorted to victimization of political opponents during his previous term.

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