ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Friday issued a white paper on the government’s 100-day performance, which stated that “all economic and social indicators are showing downward trend during the first three months of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led administration”.
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi challenged Finance Minister Asad Umar to sit with him for a public debate to compare the performance of the previous PML-N and present governments.
Speaking at a joint press conference with PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Rana Sanaullah, the ex-PM claimed that the first 100-day performance of the government had revealed that the rulers had no “vision” and “capability” to take care of the country.
Document says socio-economic indicators show declining trends
The leader of the main opposition party also criticised the government for “spending millions of rupees on advertisements in newspapers on its 100-day programme. “The PTI had accused former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and his Sindh counterpart Murad Ali Shah of giving ads in such newspapers, but has itself done the same thing,” Mr Abbasi said.
Referring to the sharp rise in the value of the US dollar against rupee, he said the dollar had reached the highest mark due to “irresponsible” speech Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered on Thursday to unveil first 100-day performance of his government.
“It ill behoves a prime minister to talk about eggs, chicken and calves at the national level,” he said.
On the claim made by Mr Khan that the government had received information from 26 countries that Pakistanis had stashed over $11 billion in foreign countries, Mr Abbasi demanded that the name of all these Pakistanis be made public so that the nation could not know who these people were.
“But before exposing their names, the prime minister should check whether the names of his relatives, friends and allies are not on the list,” he added.
Talking about the prime minister’s remarks that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was an independent institution and the government has no control over it, Mr Abbasi asked: “If the prime minister has no control over NAB, who will ensure fair and across-the-board accountability?”
The ex-prime minister said the tax amnesty scheme launched by his government was the only way to expand the tax net and lure more foreign investment, urging the PTI government to continue the policy.
“Aleema Khan, the sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan, also got benefit under the same scheme last year,” he added.
He said the PML-N government had made plans for enhancing the scope of the Benazir Income Support Programme and allocated Rs10 billion and address the issue of children’s stunted growth, but the incumbent government had withdrawn the allocation.
Mr Abbasi said the (PTI) government had presented a very ambitious plan of creating 10 million jobs and constructing five million houses, adding that only for housing scheme the cash- starved government required Rs5 trillion.
Ahsan Iqbal said the prime minister had talked about eggs, chicken and fish without realising that these were provincial subjects and the centre had nothing to do with them.
He said the PTI government, which was claiming to be conducting across-the-board accountability, had closed down the accountability department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the annual growth rate had reached over 6.5 per cent during the time of the previous government, but now it had declined to 4.5pc.
The PML-N leader also claimed that the previous government had injected 1,2000MW electricity in the national grid and asked whether the present government would add to it.
Mr Iqbal said the government had stopped work on all under-construction development projects being executed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
“They [the rulers] are not opening already completed projects like Multan-Lahore motorway because if they open it people will again remember the previous PML-N government,” he added.
Rana Sanaullah said either Imran Khan had some “problem” or he was “scared of something” that was why he always “forgot he was prime minister”.
“I appeal to the chief justice to order a medical check-up and blood test of Mr Khan and all parliamentarians including us [PML-N lawmakers],” he added.
Asked why the PML-N leaders had obtained Iqama (resident permit) of Dubai, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there was no law in the country which prohibited anyone from getting Iqama.
Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018