'Unmitigated disaster': PML-N, PPP criticise PTI govt's two-year performance

Published August 18, 2020
Shehbaz said "Imran Khan's mismanagement of national affairs has increased the woes of the masses manifold" while Bilawal said corruption had increased. — AFP/DawnNewsTV/File
Shehbaz said "Imran Khan's mismanagement of national affairs has increased the woes of the masses manifold" while Bilawal said corruption had increased. — AFP/DawnNewsTV/File

The PML-N and PPP on Tuesday criticised the PTI government's performance in its two years of power, with the former terming it an "unmitigated disaster".

PML-N chief and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that "Imran Khan's mismanagement of national affairs has increased the woes of the masses manifold".

"People continue to pay heavy price for this failed experiment in political engineering," he added.

He also criticised the PTI government for a "massive decline" in GDP and a steep decrease in per capita income.

"In two years of PTI government: GDP growth rate registered a massive decline from +5.8pc in 2018 to -0.45pc in 2020, rendering millions of people jobless and pushing many more below the poverty line [...] Per capita income went down steeply."

Highlighting the government's foreign policy "failures", Shehbaz said they could not be "starker" and pointed to India's annexation of occupied Kashmir and strained relations with Saudi Arabia as examples.

"[The] government has yet to surpass the tax and export targets achieved by the PML-N during its tenure. PTI has taken more loans in just two years than taken by PML-N during its full tenure," he added.

See: PTI's 'Naya Pakistan' tracker

Shortly afterwards, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari took to Twitter to lambast Imran Khan's performance as well.

"[Two] years in power and Imran Khan has given us the worst economy in our country’s history, foreign policy failures from Kashmir to Saudi, democracy and human rights suffering, unemployment at an all time, transparency international has said corruPTIon is higher than before," he tweeted.

Talking to the media later in the day, PPP Information Secretary Nafisa Shah criticised the PTI government for increasing inflation and national debt. "I challenge PTI to tell the people how much was one child indebted [to the IMF] when it came into power and how much is one child indebted now."

She added that the PTI government had dropped a "bomb of inflation" on the people. "There has been a 102 per cent increase in wheat prices from when we were in government and 70-80pc increase in sugar prices. The price of oil in our government was 40pc less than it is today.

"The tsunami of inflation has broken the [people's] backs," she said.

She criticised the government for "giving in" to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), saying that after the "PTI-IMF government, now the PTI-IMF-FATF government would rule [over people]". She added that they would enact laws which would force businesses to shut down.

She also lashed out at the government for what she termed the "destruction of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)".

"The damage they have caused to PIA, we repeatedly say it counts as treason. They have caused Rs90-100bn loss to PIA so far and it was [because of] one statement that the minister made in the Assembly. We have not been told till date who these pilots were," she added.

In a separate press conference, PML-N leader and spokeswoman Marriyum Aurangzeb blasted the PTI ministers and SAPMs for "lying".

"The point of economic disaster, poverty and hunger this government has brought the people to in the last two years does not have an example in history. The way [the ministers and SAPMs] blatantly lied this morning [about the government's performance] has no past example as well," she said.

"They started with a 90-day plan then a 100-day plan, then a year and now two years have been completed and not even one promise or commitment has been fulfilled. The present government is still lying about each promise and taking U-turns on each commitment.

"This government has faced the worst failure in the shortest time. It is the story of remarkable failure of an unremarkable prime minister [...] There is no sector in which they have not lied or stolen or not done corruption," she claimed.

PTI ministers, SAPMs defend govt performance

Meanwhile, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that neutral international observers have acknowledged economic progress made by Pakistan despite the novel coronavirus crisis.

He was speaking at a press conference alongside federal ministers and SAPMs where a progress report of the achievements of the PTI government in its second year was unveiled.

Due to the government's policies, economic observers and organisations like Moody's, Fitch and Bloomberg had improved Pakistan's rating, he said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shone a light on the initiatives taken up by the government on an international stage. He said that Pakistan's foreign policy achievements should be seen in the context of the objectives of Pakistan's "eternal enemy" India and the objectives set by the PTI government.

Nawaz believes time has come to give tough time to govt

Earlier in the week, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif directed the party leadership to take other opposition parties on board on doing “aggressive” politics after Muharram.

A close aide to Sharif said he wants convening of a multi-party conference (MPC) of the opposition at the earliest for this purpose.

“Sharif thinks that the time has come to take on the PTI government more aggressively. For this purpose, the PML-N leadership will have to charge up workers to play its part in any joint opposition move in coming days,” he added.

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