PTI leadership defaming institutions for personal gains: Hamza


Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz said on Thursday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership was hatching conspiracies against national institutions and defaming them for personal gains, as they were least concerned about people’s problems.

He said that the opposition parties were even violating the law and the constitution just to create hurdles in the smooth functioning of the present government.

Addressing a press conference here, the chief minister said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had also been criticising the armed forces which were rendering matchless sacrifices for defending the homeland.

He said that during almost four years of the PTI government, not a single promise made with the people was fulfilled by Imran Khan. Promise of 10 million jobs and 5 million housing units were made, but nothing was done practically, he added.

Hamza Shehbaz said that the country could not be run through hollow slogans, but practical steps and by following the principles of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He recalled that the previous PML-N government left the country’s growth rate at 5.8 per cent in 2018, but the PTI government brought it to negative due to its poor policies and bad governance. During the PTI tenure, people of the country were forced to stand in queues for purchasing sugar and flour, he added.

Hamza Shehbaz said the opposition tried to create chaotic situation in the country in the name of long march in recent past as they attacked the capital city Islamabad and put the green-belts on fire. The chief minister said he had been facing cases and also was kept in jail for 22 months in the name of accountability, but not a single penny corruption was proved against him.

The Punjab province had been passing through uncertain circumstances, created by the opposition parties as these parties did not want the elected government to work for welfare of masses, he added. A constitutional crisis was created by the opposition during the election of chief minister after they lost majority in the house, the chief minister said adding that he managed the Punjab government without any cabinet for many weeks due to non-democratic behaviour of the opposition including the Punjab Assembly speaker.

He said that the members of the assembly kept waiting for two consecutive days for the budget session in the provincial assembly but the opposition parties including the PA speaker did not allow the house proceeding for the budget presentation.

During the chief minister election, members of the Punjab Assembly and its deputy speaker were attacked by uniformed guards of Pervaiz Elahi, he said. The chief minister said that soon after assuming the charge, he took steps to provide immediate relief to the inflation-hit people of the province and announced various measures in this regard.

He said that a Rs 200 billion relief was given on flour to provide Rs 160 discount on 10-kg flour bag. The government had also taken preemptive measures for fulfilling flour demand and purchased wheat well in time at a cost of Rs 2,200 per maund. The wheat prices in international market have reached Rs 5,000 per maund currently.

The chief minister expressed his satisfaction that a pro-people budget had been presented to provide maximum relief to people. Salaries and pensions of the government employees had been increased and retired employees were also given raise in their pensions.

To a question, he said that the previous PTI government played havoc with the institutions and and set examples of bad governance and corrupt practices. The Punjab Safe Cities Authority, which was a flagship project of the PML-N for maintaining law and order situation, was also ruined as 30 per cent of the cameras had gone out of order now.

To another query, Hamza Shehbaz said that the present government was taking tough decisions of increasing petroleum prices by putting its political stakes at risk in larger national interest. He was also not happy over increase in the prices, but such tough decisions were necessary to bring economic stability in the country.

The chief minister said that the PML-N had the credit of eliminating menace of loadshedding from the country in the past and it would do so again.