LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called for a ‘grand dialogue’ involving all stakeholders for the sake of the country’s progress by keeping sectors like education, health and industries above petty politics.
“Shouldn’t we learn a lesson even after 75 years [of winning the independence] and continue to do petty politics?” he asked, while opening the Indus Hospital, a private charity facility, here on Sunday.
He emphasised that none of the stakeholders should indulge in politicking on the development sector so that [consistent policies] might take the country forward on the road to progress.
“Politicking must not be allowed in education, health, industries and other sectors whether one comes [to] or goes [out of power].”
The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf scuttled the call by saying nothing short of a new election will be discussed with the government.
Sees education, health, industry above petty politics; PTI says no talks on any issue but fresh elections
The prime minister asked for how long a country could survive on debt. “Ego and obstinacy have to be shunned if we wish to move forward. We’ll have to set a precedent in all walks of life for strengthening the economy of Pakistan.”
He stressed that the working of good people with any people must not be politicised and all would have to go above their likes and dislikes.
Shehbaz Sharif has been consistently calling for a grand dialogue among the stakeholders for the sake of national development.
He had as the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly in May last year floated the idea of a grand dialogue among all the stakeholders for working together for the progress of the country.
PTI vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the media in Islamabad after a meeting of the party’s core committee that a dialogue could not be held with those “who have been imposed on the country”.
He said they would hold talks but only on holding [early] polls.
PTI information secretary Farrukh Habib said in a video statement that the idea of the grand dialogue has been floated by the incumbent government to hide its failures and cover up the historic inflation that hit the country in the first 50 days of its coming into power.
“How the ‘crime minister’ speaks of a ‘grand dialogue’ when he and his family are mainly responsible for the myriad problems being faced by the country, who looted the country mercilessly to build huge properties abroad,” he asked.
Bengalis were not a burden
Prime Minister Sharif said that the Bengalis were not a financial burden on Pakistan but they were deliberately presented so “to get rid” of them.
He said today exports from Bangladesh have touched the $40 billion mark while Pakistan is still able to export goods and services worth $27 billion only.
He said he had taken the decision of raising the prices of petroleum prices with a heavy heart.
About the power load-shedding, he said that he was aware of the problem but the issue was that oil and gas had to be purchased at higher rates for the existing power generation projects.
He termed the previous government’s decision of decreasing petroleum prices in the month of March as a political trick as it had not extended any kind of relief to the masses during its rule.
He said that he was ready to be held accountable for his 50-day rule but asked if the previous rulers who had ruled the country in the last three and half years would do the same.
Ikram Junaidi also contributed to this report from Islamabad
Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2022