As the government struggles to arrest the worsening economic crisis, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday sought to allay concerns by invoking divine favour, saying that Pakistan was the only country founded in the name of Islam “and Allah Almighty is responsible for its development and prosperity”.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Green Line Train in Islamabad, the finance minister said that he had full faith that Pakistan would progress because it was created in the name of Islam.
وفاقی وزیر خزانہ اسحاق ڈار اہم گفتگو کر رہے ہیں https://t.co/Equjvvrkf0— PML(N) (@pmln_org) January 27, 2023
He said If Allah can create Pakistan, then He can also protect, develop, and make it prosper, adding that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the government was trying its best to lift the country out of the quagmire.
Dar added that the government inherited several problems from the previous government, adding, the government was working day and night. "The team is trying to improve the situation ahead of the elections."
The finance minister further said that the economy of Pakistan was destroyed in five years, but the government of the coalition parties wants to improve it till the next elections.
He said the country is still suffering due to the "drama" that started five years ago and insisted that the economy was strengthening during Nawaz's tenure from 2013-2017.
The finance minister added that Pakistan Stock Exchange was the best-performing capital market in South Asia and ranked fifth in the world during Nawaz's era and the sights of the world institutions were set on it.
However, he regretted that the country was today paying the price for the "Panama drama", the ouster of the PML-N government, and other issues it faced over the last five years. "Pakistan was on the growth track during Nawaz's tenure, but it was derailed," he added.
"People can see the destruction the country suffered in the last five years, and they know who has delivered in the past," he added.
Imran challenged for live debate
Finance Minister Dar also challenged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to a live debate on the economy and castigated him for “misleading the nation by stating incorrect facts” regarding the previous government’s performance.
Read more: Imran accuses Zardari of hatching new plot to assassinate him
During the video address, he said that Imran should assemble all his platoons and negotiate.
He said that all words that Imran utters are based on “lies”, and he is responsible for taking the country to the brink of destruction. “We are fixing Niazi's destroyed economy,” he said.
Dar alleged that Imran released the wrong economic data and lied about GDP. He accused him of sabotaging the state for his political agenda.
Addressing Imran, he said that the government is fixing his “disaster”. “You brought the country here, you accepted it; who brought you from a stolen election, you named him yourself,” he added.
"Pakistan would not be where it is today if Imran Khan had not done political enmity,” he further said.
The finance minister said that if the PTI chief had worked on the economy and not engaged in political enmity, then Pakistan would not have been in the position it is today.
“People lined up for Nawaz Sharif when there was a no-confidence vote, and we decided to save the state and sacrifice politics,” he claimed.
He claimed that the ruling coalition took the government by deciding to save the state and not politics.
He alleged that Imran sunk the raft of Pakistani Rupee for a loan of Rs10,000 billion, and defamed Pakistan in Saudi Arabia, UAE and China.
He said that the country's debt was Rs25,000 billion, which Imran said was Rs30,000 billion.
Dar said that when everyone in Pakistan was called corrupt at the global forum, then the investors stopped coming.
“Imran Khan should apologise to the nation for destroying the country,” he remarked.
He also said that such actions fall under the category of rebellion, and Imran himself broke the agreement made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after seeing the government go.
“When Imran Khan got the country, we were in 24th position in the global ranking and when the PTI government ended, our economy was in 47th position,” he added.
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