Roll up your sleeves, PM tells his ‘war cabinet’

Shehbaz vows to counter propaganda against his government with 'real facts'

Our Correspondent April 20, 2022


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on  Wednesday told his cabinet members to roll up their sleeves to battle the challenges of inflation, unemployment and poverty, asserting was the moment to turn "desperation into an opportunity of progress and public relief".

The meeting came over more than week into his prime ministership, a period during which he laboured to pick a cabinet from the alliance.

The prime minister, chairing the maiden meeting of his cabinet which took oath on Tuesday, believed that their dedicated and sincere efforts could turn the tide and make the country cope with the challenges successfully.

He congratulated the cabinet members coming from different political parties of the ruling coalition and said the federal cabinet comprised seasoned politicians with vast experience and competence having a huge struggles to their credit.

He expressed the hope that despite representing their own political parties, the coalition members would move on setting aside their personal biases with just one aim to serve the masses.

He also reiterated his resolve for making untiring efforts to come up to the people’s expectations.

 “I call this a war cabinet as we are fighting against inflation, unemployment and poverty which we inherited from the previous government. The previous government had badly failed,” he remarked.

In his address to the cabinet, which was aired by state media, the prime minister said although the cabinet formation faced a little delay, it had very competent and experienced members.

He said the cabinet members would be briefed about the load-shedding and the factors behind it which would follow the decision making by the cabinet.

He urged the cabinet to pay attention to the issues faced by the federating units, particularly Balochistan.

Recounting the challenges, the prime minister said the country was under an immense debt burden but it was upon the incumbent government to overcome the challenges despite having limited resources.

“Today, we have to face the challenge collectively and should not evade any sacrifice. We will have to respond to propaganda through facts, which would ultimately bury the lies,” he remarked.

Recalling the immense victimization of all opposition parties during the previous government, the prime minister said corruption was rampant during the last three and half years.

Citing the successful journey of the development of Germany and Japan, the prime minister said despite being badly hit by the second world war, both the countries bounced back and achieved excellence just on the basis of their struggle.

He said that the country was "drowning" in debt and it was the government's job to "sail this ship ashore".

He warned that there was propaganda being run against the government and vowed to counter it with "real facts".

The prime minister, moreover, stated that the government's goal was to end corruption which had peaked during the PTI government. "We need to shed our blood and save this poor nation which is entangled in debt."

He also referred to the teachings of Holy Quran, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah advising the followers to put in their best to achieve excellence and change the fate.

Prime Minister Shehbaz told the cabinet members that besides the politicians, the bureaucracy also faced huge pressure from the previous government which wanted them to act as an approver against that time opposition.

He said the government machinery including bureaucracy, doctors, engineers and others needed the backing and encouragement of the government to make them perform better.

'Cabinet briefed on economic disaster PTI govt'

Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb earlier in the day said that the federal cabinet has been briefed on the "economic disaster, unprecedented criminally irresponsible fiscal acts during past four years by Imran Khan" .

In a tweet, she said that during Imran’s rule, inflation, poverty, unemployment, debts and deficits rose

She said that Imran Khan’s term was marred by corruption and this was the reality of Naya Pakistan.

Quoting the figures, she said that in fiscal year 2017-18, GDP growth stood at 6.1 percent which fell to only 4 percent in 2021-22.

She said that in 2017-18, the CPI inflation was at 3.9 per cent which shoot up to 10.9 per cent in 2021-22 whereas the SPI inflation which was at 0.9 per cent in 2017-18 increased to 17.3 per cent. The food inflation which stood at 2.3 per cent during 2017-18 shoot up to 10.2 per cent, she maintained.





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