PM’s 24-hour ultimatum for KP CM on atta price

Published May 30, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing a public gathering in Mansehra on Sunday.—APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing a public gathering in Mansehra on Sunday.—APP

• Terms Imran’s ‘Haqiqi Azadi March’ a failed stunt
• Maryam claims Imran is hiding in Peshawar to escape arrest

MANSEHRA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has warned the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to bring down the price of 10kg wheat flour bag to Rs400 within the next 24 hours or else he would himself do so.

“I reiterate my words, I would sell my outfits and provide the cheapest wheat flour to people,” the premier remarked while addressing a public meeting at Thakara stadium on Sunday.

PM Sharif described Imran Khan’s ‘Haqiqi Azadi March’ as a failed stunt to grab people’s sympathy and said it was the former prime minister who had announced providing five million houses and 10m jobs but instead gifted the country with the highest-ever inflation and unemployment. “I solemnly declare in front of you that I would lay down my life but put this country on the path to prosperity and development,” he said.

The premier claimed that the people of Balochistan reposed their confidence in his government and came out in large numbers to vote in the local government polls. “This has been happening rarely, people of Balochistan thronged the polling stations and as I expected the voters’ turn out remains between 30 and 35 per cent which is a confidence of people in democracy and improvement in law and order,”

The prime minister said he had increased the prices of petroleum products with a heavy heart, but added that he had also announced a subsidy package of Rs28 billion for the poor who would be provided Rs2,000 monthly.

“Imran Khan, who disgraces everyone in public, had reduced petroleum products’ prices at a time when the rates were increasing all over the world after realising that he will be thrown out of power through a no-confidence motion,” he said.

The prime minister, who travelled via road to reach Mansehra after weather went inclement and his chopper couldn’t fly, said people were enjoying benefits of the mega development schemes launched by his elder brother and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif not only in Hazara but also across the country.

“I have backache but even then I travelled to meet you and enjoyed the motorway ride on all the way as I remembered Nawaz Sharif for his love for people and this country,” Mr Sharif said.

He sought a pledge from the crowd, saying if they extend their support he would make Peshawar like Lahore and KP like Punjab under the leadership of his elder brother Nawaz Sharif.

“I would shortly announce a laptop scheme for the students of your province, if you discourage the Kalashnikov culture for youngsters in your province,” Mr Sharif said.

The prime minister also inaugurated Mansehra-Muzaffarabad Motorway and announced revival of Mansehra airport scrapped by the last PTI government, a medical college, women university, natural gas supply to Balakot and other parts of district and electricity and road schemes.

He also announced the establishment of Hazara Electricity Company and an amount of Rs1 billion for resolving civic issues faced by the people of the town.

In her address to the public meeting, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz said “big liar” Imran Khan, who used to say that a superpower was afraid of him, was hiding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Infect this coward is hiding in Peshawar to escape his arrest; he was ousted from the Prime Minister House but he fled Bani Gala [Imran’s residence] too.”

Ms Sharif, who denounced Imran Khan for his national and international policies and lauded her father Nawaz Sharif for his patriotism, alleged that the former was using KP government’s helicopter and other resources to destabilise a democratic government through Haqiqi Azadi March.

“The financial and other resources of your government are being spent on such a failed march…revolution couldn’t be triggered through such safe rides,” she said.

The PML-N vice president claimed that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had rejected Imran Khan’s call to take part in his march. “Thanks to the people of KP who said ‘absolutely not’ to Imran Khan’s call.”

Ms Sharif said Imran Khan had sought an NRO [deal] first calling Asif Ali Zardari and then to Nawaz Sharif and the Supreme Court through middlemen.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2022

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