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
Naeem ul Haque, special assistant to the Pakistan Prime Minister, on Saturday posted a picture of the Master Blaster and captioned it: "PM Imran Khan 1969".
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government vowed to collect more taxes and make cuts in spending in a closely watched budget presented to parliament Tuesday, weeks after reaching a deal with the IMF for a $6 billion bailout.
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Qatar was represented at the Gulf summit by the country’s prime minister