ISLAMABAD: Showing his discontent over criticism hurled at his government by the media, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that good intentions of the government should not be ‘unjustly’ criticised.
“When prices of tomatoes and onions were increased a huge hue and cry was raised but when it was brought down to Rs40 a kilo no one mentioned it on TV,” he said while addressing an inaugural ceremony of the Prime Minister's Youth Business Loans Programme.
The premier said those who had played havoc with the country's economy in the last ten years should be asked as to why they had not taken steps to end power loadshedding and improve Karachi’s law and order situation.
“The country during the last decade had earned name in corruption only……but with our transparent policies, you have also read in newspapers, the country's image has improved a lot,” he added.
Regretting the dismal economic growth and faulty policies of the previous governments, PM Sharif said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government wanted to take the country on the path to rapid progress.
The prime minister also blamed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s nationalization policy for current economic woes of Pakistan.
He said his government wanted to end the financial degradation which had roots in the nationalization policies of Bhutto's regime during 1970s.
Sharif said during his first term in power, he tried to reverse the negative trend by privatizing the banks and other state run industrial units, adding that it was because of these steps that the banks today were doing good business and making huge profits. The prime minister said that he did not want to mention those people who made Pakistan a scapegoat for their vested interests.
Lauding the youth uplift package, he said the government has opened new avenues for the youth to stand on firm footings.
“In the past, no one was willing to extend loans to about 110 million youth of Pakistan, while on the other hand, the big groups and companies were making most out of these facilities.”
“The youth wants to do something for the country. But such sorry state of affairs with deprivation in store for the youth, remained a contradictory aspect of the past,” he lamented.
The prime minister, referring to youth's role in the economies of Japan, Germany, South Korea, Malaysia and US, said that their major GDP, economic, SMEs and industrial growth were mainly dependent upon this segment of society.
“If they are the backbone of their economies, then this segment of society can also take Pakistan to acme of progress and prosperity,” he added.
The premier, recollecting his election campaign, said that it had pained him greatly when he witnessed educated unemployed youth who were neglected and never cared about.
Highlighting the priorities of his government to strengthen the economy, he said that in the past six months, they had taken major steps to continue privatization of those government entities, including the PIA.
“It is not the job of the government to run factories or hotels rather government wants to eradicate terrorism, improve law and order situation, end sectarianism and take steps with prudence in the right direction,” he noted.
He said without maturity in politics, they could not steer the country out of such challenges and expressed hope that due to their drastic measures, the respect of the green passport would be restored soon.