ISLAMABAD: In a speech that addressed the ongoing political crisis in the currently, the prime minister on Monday asked who is behind the calls for revolutions and marches in the country.
“I can’t help but laugh at the agendas of these long marches,” Nawaz Sharif said, indirectly referring to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
“It hurts and confuses me – who has given them these agendas?”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was speaking at an event organised for the launch of his economic ‘Vision 2025’, which became an opportunity for the government to discuss the ongoing political crisis.
The government has accused "Musharraf’s friends" of being behind the political chaos in the country, with PTI and PAT leaders Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri calling for the prime minister to step down with a march on August 14.
In a veiled reference to former military ruler General (retired) Musharraf, Nawaz asked why those who invited the war on terror into Pakistan were not held accountable.
“Have we not learned lessons from what this country has suffered? The constitution has been uprooted, rule of law has been flouted…we suffered billion of dollars in losses [as a result of Pakistan’s involvement]. Who sowed the seeds of terrorism?” he asked.
“Who is going to hold them accountable?”
He said countries have suffered under dictatorships and that the future of Pakistan lies in democracy.
Nawaz dismisses Qadri's revolution
Hitting out at PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, Nawaz dismissed his political power and ability to start a revolution.
“If you get 40 to 500 votes in an election, it will not bring a revolution,” the prime minister said.
He said that the elected members of the National Assembly have been given a mandate by the citizens of the country and that they are united in their focus on a prosperous and safe Pakistan where the rule of law is upheld.
Nawaz said there is definite improvement on the economic front, and that this success of his government in one year is no small feat.
“This is not a small thing in a country where a man from Canada is calling for a revolution; where the economy is in tatters and there is terrorism,” he said.
Nawaz asked what his government is being blamed for and said those calling for a revloution should be clear about their objectives.
"We already have that revolution of the people...democracy is that revolution."
Earlier, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said that the government aims to launch the 'Vision 2025' to give an priority to education, human resource and energy sectors.
“It is the top priority of the government to strengthen the economy of the country,” he said.
The Minister said that the UNDP and the government are introducing reforms in the public sector to make it performance-driven through a $14 million fund.
He said that the government has provided sufficient funds in the fiscal budget for each sector to implement 'Vision 2025'.
The minister also said the government will invite the top 100 expatriate Pakistanis to come back and serve the nation. He added that the government will spend Rs12.5 billion on the social development sector.
Iqbal said that the government will achieve its target of exports worth $150 billion by 2025.
Also present at the event were Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Ayaz Sadiq, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal among others.