MULTAN: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz Monday said the last PML-N government had passed on a strong and robust national economy in 2018 which nosedived in the face of a miserable failure of Imran Khan-led PTI regime.
In a matter of few years, the PML-N government’s achievements were squandered, thus opening a floodgate of inflation and leaving common people at the receiving end, she said while talking to the media before meeting with the PML-N parliamentarians, ticket-holders, and social media team here.
Maryam Nawaz, who is also Senior Vice President of the PML-N, said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had inherited a Pakistan with a high economic growth rate of 5.8 percent, but it drastically cut down the development trajectory.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mariyum Aurangzaib, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, senior party leaders Pervaiz Rasheed, Tehmina Daultana, Talal Chaudhry, and Senator Saud Majeed were also present.
Maryam Nawaz said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was working round the clock to steer the economy out of trouble and control price hikes, which had resulted due to the wrong policies of the PTI regime.
It would take time to rectify the ills the country had to suffer during the four years of the PTI’s “misrule”, she added
Maryam recalled that Nawaz Sharif had finalized a programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016 but its burden was not shifted to the people and as a result, the country was economically strong when the general elections were held in 2018.
On the other hand, the IMF programme signed by the Imran-led government worsened the economic conditions and triggered the worst-ever inflation, she added.
Maryam said the last PML-N government had kept the prices of essential commodities stable such as wheat flour was available at Rs 35/kg, sugar at Rs 55/kg, and edible oil at Rs 140 per liter.
She said the agreement signed by the PTI regime with the IMF not only caused inflation and an economic downturn but its violation further worsened the situation as well leaving no choice for the incumbent government except to accept the tough conditions being imposed by the international lender.
As regards the PTI’s ‘Jail Bharo’ movement, Maryam said Imran Khan should surrender himself first. “We are waiting for him and other leaders to do that.”
To a question, she said the reasons for the PTI’s victory in the last general elections were different. Now the situation was totally different.
She, however, added that political stability was imperative for the country’s development. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was taking all possible steps to overcome inflation, however, the provincial governments would have to play their due role in controlling the price hike.
To another question, Maryam brushed aside the PTI’s propaganda of terming cases against its leadership ‘political victimization’ and said no one should escape from the law of land on the pretext of being a politician. There were solid pieces of evidence in the foreign funding case, besides another case of hurling life threats to the officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan and their families.
She said the PTI’s promises of creation of 10 million jobs and building of some five million houses were mere bluffs, as thousands of people, including media-persons, were rendered jobless in its tenure.
There was no media freedom during the PTI government, while on the contrary, the PML-N firmly believed in freedom of expression, she added. Social media was being used to mislead the people through the propagation of lies, she said.
Maryam said the PML-N had always prioritized development activities in South Punjab, including Multan, and it would win elections from the region. The Saraiki Sooba Mahaz was merely an election stunt, which ended with the last general elections. The PML-N would realize the dream of establishing the South Punjab province, she added.
She criticized the PTI for not implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last 10 years. NAP was finalized with the consensus of all political stakeholders but the PTI government willfully avoided enforcing it and consequently terrorism was resurfacing now.
Anti-terrorist operations were carried out during the tenure of PML-N and peace was restored in the country after the sacrifices of many lives, she added.
Maryam said the youth bulge could play a role in the country’s development and advised the young generation to take advantage of advancements in information technology. They should, particularly, get skills in artificial intelligence as it was the future of the technology world.
Later, she met PML-N parliamentarians, office bearers, and social media activists of South Punjab.