KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been dragging the country deeper into debt over the past three years, Chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the party.
According to him, the PML-N government had burdened the nation with an additional Rs8 trillion in foreign and domestic debts.
“The amount is more than one-thirds of total national debt accrued during the past 66 years since the country’s independence,” he said.
Citing a document (National Data Summary) issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that it painted a horrific picture so far as domestic debt was concerned.
“Our people are being pushed under a pile of debt,” he said.
“Nawaz Sharif is systematically stifling the country’s dreams for economic prosperity while evading democratic accountability of economic injustices,” the PPP chairman said.
He said that staggering sums had been added to national debts over just three years by the PML-N government provided fresh impetus to the people’s desire for quickly finishing the Panamagate probe.
“The prime minister and his team were trying to block the adoption of PPP’s bill on Panama Papers from Parliament. The SBP reported that domestic debt and liabilities increased to Rs5.26 trillion while external debt rose by more than Rs2.5 trillion to Rs22 trillion.
The report pointed out that the figure for domestic debt and liabilities in June 2013 was Rs14.32 trillion.
Bilawal pledged that his party would not keep quiet over such massively suicidal economic policies and urged all political parties in parliament to join hands with the PPP to save the national economy.
Meanwhile, speaking with reporters, at the residence of veteran PPP leader Ashraf Bhatti, he reiterated the demands for accountability on Panama Leaks, he said that there was a need for outlining a coherent foreign policy and accelerating counterterrorism efforts under the National Action Plan.
Accusing the interior minister of having failed to ensure proper implementation of the NAP, he said that the PPP only wanted to focus on democratic accountability and democratic economic justice and other major projects.
Bilawal said that former president Asif Ali Zardari had decided to return to Pakistan, but the date of his return would be determined by the party. “I am checking whether or not Lahore’s weather would be suitable or Karachi or Islamabad’s for (Zardari’s) homecoming,” he maintained.
The PPP chairperson said that he would avoid commenting on ‘chacha’, the chairman of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, because journalists were trying to spring a trap in this regard.
When asked to comment on the matter of the appointment of the new army chief, Bilawal said that the prime minister would appoint new army chief after detailed deliberations.
He also attended Hazrat Imam Hussain’s Chehlum congregation at an Imambargah in Bhutta Chowk.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2016.