Tariq Butt / Staff Reporter
Pakistan Premier Minister Imran Khan on Saturday took a strong stance against the opposition parties for calling him a "selected prime minister” saying people who themselves were manufactured in the nursery of military dictatorship are calling him selected.
No opposition lawmaker was present in the House when he addressed the National Assembly, and said his government inherited economic challenges and a fiscal deficit worth $19 billion.
"The opposition is misleading public on the devaluation of the rupee. (Leader of the opposition) Shahbaz Sharif delivered a charged address in which he blamed us for the rupee devaluation and economic situation. He did not say why we are here: this government had the largest fiscal deficit. Imports were high, exports very low.”
Imran termed money laundering as the basic cause of dollar shortage in the country. "One of the main reasons is money laundering. The ruling elite siphoned off dollars from Pakistan. When rulers do that, then no one can be stopped. We have found out that there are $10 billion of Pakistanis abroad. Sharif’s family was responsible for this mess — how can they accuse us? In western democracies, the parliament protects public interest. Here, people who faced massive corruption charges are in the parliament lecturing us.”
The premier said Shahbaz, who was accused of corruption worth billions was made the head of the Public Accounts Committee. "How can we ever justify that? We have tainted the sanctity of our parliament through such actions. This parliament passed a law allowing a convicted person to head a political party. As [federal minister] Murad Saeed said ‘former US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice mentioned in her biography that the US wanted these people in power because they protected Washington’s interests.”
The premier congratulated members of his government and allied parties for their participation in the budget session and "for delivering quality speeches."
The government has directed all federal ministries and institutions and the governments of four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to submit by Sept.1 the declarations of assets held and acquired by their employees during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.
In separate office memorandums, the government also notified 15 per cent ad hoc relief allowance (ARA) to the officers in management grades, besides extending the benefit of 5-10pc ARA to selective corporations and autonomous bodies.
The Prime Minister's Office said that Imran Khan has directed all ministries and divisions to submit their one-year performance report. He has instructed the ministries and divisions to highlight five big achievements during the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government's first year in power by Aug.9
The premier said every month 80,000 people will be given loans and 50,000 students from the downtrodden section of society will be awarded scholarships every year.
More than 5,600 people nationwide have been arrested over the past week for such offences as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew, according to a count by the media.
The judging panel will encourage the new generation of design engineers to invent solutions that resolve key issues.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a congratulatory message to President Sergio Mattarella of Italy on the occasion of his country's Republic Day, marked annually on 2nd June.