ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday announced to launch a nation-wide campaign after Eid-ul-Fitr against extensive inflation and unemployment by connecting with people.
Speaking to media in the federal capital, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the country’s economy would not have come to this point had the incumbent leadership kept their mouths shut.
Abbasi said, “even today, I offer the same advice. If they cannot speak the truth, then they should not lie either.”
“We will tell the people on Youm-e-Takbir that [former PM] Nawaz Sharif is a political prisoner.”
The ex-premier realized that in light of the concerning inflation, the minimum wage should be raised to at least Rs20,000 a month. He also demanded repeal the extraordinary hikes in the prices of petrol and diesel, saying, “prices [of petroleum products] should be set at a level that is bearable.”
Ex-prime minister added, there should be no new tax in the forthcoming annual budget or increase in the rates of existing taxes either.
On the recently signed bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the PML-N leader said there were doubts and worries pertaining to the conditions of the deal and that the government should make the details public.
Abbasi said an upwards bump of 1.5 percent in the interest rate would create more problems for the people. Responding a question he said the government was already at new lows, which is why the aim was not to topple the rulers but to resolve the people’s issues.
He elaborated, “our goal is not to break up the government or popularity; our goal is to solve the public’s concerns. The All Parties Conference [APC], therefore, would decide whether to initiate protests on the roads.”
The formation was APC was decided by the opposition parties in a formal iftar-dinner hosted by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday.
Abbasi said, if the solution to the people’s problems was in toppling the government, then a decision in that regard would be made by the APC. If the solution was in elections, then demand in that regard would be made by the APC.
Criticising the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Abbasi said a denial should have been issued in the aftermath of an interview given by the accountability watchdog’s chairperson, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, to a newspaper.
Abbasi said, “the statements made in the interview are not categorised in the jurisdiction of the NAB chair.”
“That interview was not of the NAB but of Justice sahab and the press conference by the NAB chairperson has created more doubts.”
Abbasi said, “we will hold a press conference in two days in this regard.”
“The reality of the anti-corruption watchdog has been laid bare in front of the Pakistani people, he mentioned, adding that, today, “everyone says what the NAB is doing is not accountability but revenge”.
Abbasi further added, “we stuck by our slogan of ‘respect the vote’ in the past and we stick by it in present too; today, [former PM] Nawaz Sharif is in the jail because of his viewpoint.”
“I do not consider anyone to be corrupt. I only deem anyone to be corrupt if there is evidence against them. If there is evidence against Nawaz Sharif and [PPP Co-Chairperson] Asif Ali Zardari, then present it in the court,” he concluded.