ISLAMABAD: The opposition Pakis­tan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday said that all economic and social indicators nosedived in the first year of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ­government.

Addressing a press conference in response to the one-year performance report released by the government, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurang­zeb announced that the party would issue a whitepaper on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s one-year rule by quoting government statistics.

Ms Aurangzeb said the PTI government’s performance was such a disaster that not a single minister, let alone the prime minister, showed up to present its report. She said it was not a surprise that the entire cabinet of the imposed regime had absconded because that was what a failed student did on the result day.

The report was launched from the world’s only ‘National University of Prime Minister House’ which has been running for a year with no students and no teachers, the PML-N spokesperson taunted.

Over 4.5 million people have been thrown below poverty line, while 1.5m lost jobs in one year

She said every single economic and social indicator was a dreadful disaster.

Quoting from the State Bank of Pakis­tan and the PTI regime’s own statistics, she said that over the past year a record Rs7,600 billion had been taken as loan and yet there was nothing to show for it.

“During the imposed regime’s one year, the economy broke past records, with the rupee plunging by 34 per cent; growth halved from 5.8pc to 3.3pc; interest rate shooting up from 5.75pc to 14pc; inflation jumping from 3pc to 14pc; stock exchange taking a nosedive and tax ­revenue collection registering a record shortfall of over Rs600bn,” she pointed out.

Ms Aurangzeb said these numbers meant that because of the “cataclysmic blunders by the selected prime minster”, over 4.5 million people had been thrown below the poverty line, while a staggering 1.5m lost their jobs.

“According to official numbers of the SBP, the so-called austerity-loving PTI spent a whopping 18pc more on themselves in the past year. The ministers, advisers, an army of rented spokespersons and other officials spent over Rs1,100bn more on themselves than any past government of Pakistan,” she said.

“PTI has done irreparable damage to the country and to distract attention away from it, it kept on levelling false charges without proof and putting ­public-serving leaders behind bars to shun criticism,” she claimed.

The PML-N spokesperson said it was strange that champions of anti-corruption did not bother to investigate corruption in Peshawar metro, the PTI project which was still incomplete.

If the fake anti-corruption regime was right in this persecution of the PML-N leadership, how much laundered money was brought back to the country, she asked.

The former information minister said not a single one of the promised five million houses for the poor had been constructed, but the illegal Banigala palace was regularised; not a single one of the 10m promised jobs had been created other than those given to “IMF ­employees” in a total surrender of the country’s economic sovereignty.

Ms Aurangzeb said that imprisoning Maryam Nawaz, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Hamza Shahbaz, Saad Rafique, Salman Rafique, Rana Sanaullah, Miftah Ismail and other PML-N leaders would not silence the criticism of the PTI regime’s atrocious and incompetent rule. The PML-N would continue being the voice of the people of Pakistan, she added.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2019