No independence without economic self-reliance: PM

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Renews call for ‘Charter of economy’

On the eve of August 14, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday night ttold the nation that there is no concept of a nation’s independence without economic self-reliance and once again offered the opposition to sit together and discuss his proposal of “Charter of economy” in greater national interest and for the sake country.

“We should keep national interest above personal interest […] as real political leadership does not look towards the next elections, but at the future of the next generation,” he said.

“Most importantly, we will need to revive the passion that led to the creation of Pakistan,” he said, noting that this passion will lead to the establishment of a great nation.

Without naming his party’s arch-rival PTI, PM Shehbaz said that the nation is facing a crisis of anger and hatred spread in an attempt to divide the nation.

Economic dependence has become Pakistan’s identity, which our elders never would’ve thought.”As a prime minister, this has been my harshest experience,” he added.

PM Shehbaz said that the government has worked day and night to lead the country out of this crisis and prevented Pakistan from getting default.

“The previous government took the highest debt of Rs43 billion dollars in the history of Pakistan which forced the incumbent government to take loans from friendly countries,” he said while questioning Imran Khan’s “haqiqi azadi”. He shared that the payment of interest on the loans taken by the government has also become impossible. “Our [PML-N] government left the country self-sufficient in wheat, but the previous government’s negligence led to the import of wheat,” highlighted the premier. “The previous government did not sign any Liquefied natural gas contract for the long term when it was cheap. This negligence has caused people to suffer from loadshedding.”

At the outset of his address, the prime minister congratulated the nation on completing 75 years as an independent nation.

He said that the people celebrate Independence Day, Pakistan Day, Quaid-e-Azam Day, and Iqbal Day but the “truth” is, in the last 75 years, the nation has only celebrated these days but not acknowledged the founding father’s purpose.

The premier noted that the country failed to provide the young generation what they deserved.

“Why this nation is still lost even when God has blessed it?” he questioned.

He said that it was the need of the hour as a nation that we move forward in the right direction. “We must not sacrifice the national interest for our personal ego and stubbornness,” he said in an apparent message to former prime minister Imran Khan.

The prime minister said that Pakistan faces “ruthless realities that can only be triumphed with national consensus, continuation of policies, and with political and economic stability”.

He added that, “Most importantly, we must reignite the same passion for self-sufficiency and self-confidence which founded Pakistan”.

Shehbaz said that his heart was restless on the 75th Independence Day of the country. “We have to admit with an open heart that we could not give our children what they rightfully deserved,” he added.

The premier said that the nation which was blessed by the Almighty and which had the guidance of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal is left behind today. “We only celebrate such days but we have not adopted the goals for which these days came into being,” he added.

The prime minister said the government had committed itself to taking the country on the path of economic independence, adding that a “conception of freedom” without the former was impossible.

PM Shehbaz credited the government’s economic policies, such as clamping down on unnecessary imports, for the rupee’s continuous appreciation against the US dollar. “By adopting austerity, we will depend on our own resources like self-independent nations.”

The prime minister said the government had “worked hard day and night” to take the country out of the current economic crisis in a short time, because of which the country was saved from financial default.

PM Shehbaz blamed the PTI government’s economic policies and decisions for much of the country’s woes, adding that it left the country’s biggest trade deficit in history for which loans had to be taken from allied nations and international financial institutions.

“Is this real freedom?”

He alleged the previous government’s created financial crisis had made the situation more “critical”. “It’s almost as if financial destituteness has become our national character which our elders would never even have envisioned,” Shehbaz added.

On the country celebrating 75 years of independence, the prime minister paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan’s establishment and congratulated every Pakistani around the world.

He questioned why the nation was still in search of a destination and subject to various crises, foremost being the economic crisis.

The prime minister said the country also faced a crisis of sentiments, explaining that “seeds of hate” were being sown and the nation was being divided.

Despite that, he said the country’s past was filled with examples of pulling through with hard work and passion, such as the establishment of Pakistan or the completion of the nation’s nuclear programme.

 

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