ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said former prime minister Imran Khan cannot hide the truth by hurling threats as people are aware of those responsible for the economic crisis.

In a statement issued here on Monday, she criticised the previous PTI government, saying that its wrong policies had caused price hike and increased unemployment in the country.

She claimed that there was substantial reduction in corruption and inflation in the country during the era of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

She said the decision regarding the timing of the next general elections would be taken after consultation with all political parties.

Says Imran cannot hide truth by hurling threats

The minister alleged that the PTI leadership wanted to create anarchy in the country. The PTI is seeking the rule of a single party, she said, adding that it is fascism.

She claimed that the value of US dollar against Pakistani rupee remained stable during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. But, she added, the local currency lost ground against the greenback during the PTI government.

She said that the PTI regime was marred by low economic growth, highest ever inflation, extreme rise in unemployment, poverty, debt and corruption, decline in tax collection and surge in trade and fiscal deficits.

Ms Aurangzeb released a chart comparing the overall performance of the last PML-N government with that of the PTI.

The statistical chart draws a comparative analysis of both the parties, summing up the tenure of the PML-N as a period of high economic growth, low inflation and unemployment rates, reduction in poverty, corruption and debts, increase in tax collection, and drop in trade and fiscal deficits.

At the end of the PML-N tenure in 2018, she said, the GDP growth rate was at 6.1 per cent. But, she added, the PTI government brought it into negative which was now expected at four per cent.

The chart showed the inflation rate in 2018 was only 3.4pc which climbed to 13pc by the end of the PTI rule. Likewise, food inflation, which was only 2.3pc in 2018, rose to 15pc by the end of the PTI tenure.

She claimed that prices of edible items and fuel were significantly lower at the end of the PML-N government. There were 3.5 million unemployed persons in Pakistan when the PML-N government ended in 2018, but in April this year there were 9.5m unemployed persons, which meant an increase of 6m unemployed people during the PTI government.

She said Pakistan’s rating in the Transparency International Index of corruption climbed by 23 points during the PTI rule. It was at 117 in 2018 and reached 140 by the time the PTI government was removed.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022

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