It’s time to say ‘no’ to foreign aid: Shahbaz Sharif

Chief Minister Punjab says country should focus on trade rather than foreign aid.

Express May 17, 2011


Terming foreign aid a root cause of all the issues the country is facing, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday said that Pakistan needs to stop relying on aid.

“It is time to break the begging bowl and achieve self-reliance in the interest of complete independence,” he said while addressing a press conference after a meeting of the provincial cabinet. Shahbaz said that the Punjab cabinet has decided to ‘give shape’ to this proposal and has also recommended that the resolve to end dependence on foreign aid be forwarded to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif so that his party could give an approval to the decision after thorough reflection.

The chief minister said that refusing foreign aid is not easy but this is what every Pakistani wants. He said that he was confident that the decision taken by the most populated province of Pakistan would prove to be a starting point of a national movement for economic independence, national sovereignty and security of the country.

“But the decision to give up foreign aid does not mean that relations with other countries should be impaired. This decision is aimed at the promotion of trade instead of aid,” Shahbaz said. He said Pakistan is fighting for its existence therefore the entire nation, especially the elite, would have to make sacrifices, adding that problems as a result of disregarding foreign aid would only be transitory.

If the nation wants to live with honour and dignity it would have to revisit its priorities, the chief minister said. He added that whether it was the Raymond Davis issue, drone attacks or the Abbottabad operation, the nation has solutions to all such problems.

Shahbaz said that Pakistan was subjected to drone attacks due to the aid it is getting. He said that such incidents could not be stopped through protest resolutions, condemnatory statements or rallies taken out in luxurious cars. “If the nation decides to depend on its own resources and works with sincerity and commitment, Pakistan could also achieve self-reliance like China, Japan or Germany,” he said.

He said that the centre and provinces are not apart so the decision of the Punjab cabinet is the voice of the entire nation. Earlier, the cabinet gave approval to three amendment bills of the Board of Revenue with regard to devolution of powers under the 18th amendment and the amendments in Provincial Assembly Punjab Privilege Act 1972.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.


Sarfraz Hussain | 10 years ago | Reply The government of Punjab, which had recently secured front page coverage by its proclamation about shunning all funding by foreign donors, demanded from Islamabad to increase its borrowing limits and ensure release of development funds to avoid delays in the execution of projects in the next budget, it is learnt. Contrary to its public position against accepting any new foreign loans, the Punjab government on Saturday pushed the National Economic Council to approve new international borrowing ceilings and complained about delays in the approval of development projects that are funded by international lenders. These two demon brothers are true hypocrites who have been fooling gullible people of Pakistan as the only sympathetic and true well wishers of Pakistan. But in fact these two Baldos are much more dangerous to Pakistan because of their uncanny ability to go to any length to further their political career which includes shaking hands with devil masters.
Hameed Khan | 10 years ago | Reply The Khadim-e-aala (the high servant), janab wazeer-e-aaala (respected chief minister), Mian Shahbaz Sharif made some quick headlines by saying no to ‘foreign aid in Punjab’. After the Abbottabad operation, our honour, which was in deep slumber, has suddenly woken up. The honourable chief minister sahib did touch on a couple of items, like creating jobs and investment. Sounds good and promising, but how do you attract long-term business and investment from all over the world? Even a novice like me knows that you want the domestic and foreign investments to increase exponentially to get the desired returns. It boils down to a conducive economic environment. How do you create that in the presence of political instability and terrorism, which is preventing people from the outside to increase their stakes in our motherland? Mian Sahib Junior is an astute politician and a seasoned businessman himself. He knows that in order to boost economic activity, these impediments have to be tackled head on.
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