PM pledges to take country on path of prosperity if given an opportunity in upcoming elections

LAHORE (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said that if given an opportunity in the upcoming general elections, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the entire leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would change the destiny of the country by taking it on the path of progress and prosperity.
Addressing the cheques distribution ceremony under the Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme, he said they would accept the public mandate in the upcoming polls and urged the people to take their decisions after looking into certain facts and by juxtaposing the performance of the PML-N governments with that of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s four years’ saga of destruction.
The prime minister while lauding the statesmanship qualities of his elder brother, regretted that former prime minister and his leader Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power despite the fact that he had ended hours-long crippling load shedding, provided laptops and loans to youth, brought muti-billions China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) power and road infrastructure projects during 2015.
On the other hand, Imran Khan had a phobia of PML-N leadership and the opposition as day in and day out, he was bent upon putting them in jails with the framing of fake cases, he said, adding the PTI leader could not assimilate the revolutionary steps taken by the PML-N government.
All the youth programmes, he said were started during the tenure of Nawaz Sharif as alone 50,000 vehicles were provided to the people on merit across Punjab province. The success of the loan scheme could be gauged from the fact that 99 per cent of loans were returned back to banks, he added.
The prime minister maintained that Nawaz Sharif and they had experienced the worst kind of political vendetta, even they were sent into exile after outer from power, but unlike Imran Niazi, the PML-N Quaid never thought of anything against the country.
The prime minister elaborated that the person (IK) who was brought to power through a fraud election, kept on chanting the corruption charges during his four years tenure but did not prove them, adding that when he was removed from power corridors through a constitutional manner, he used dirty language and tactics against the state institutions.
The prime minister mentioned that PTI’s tenure was tainted with huge corruption scams including sugar and wheat scams, BRT Peshawar, Malam Jabba, sale of Toshakhana gifts, Rs 60 billion money embezzlement returned by the UK agency, etc, and said that no one could deny these stark facts.
The prime minister said during his tenure, about one million laptops were given to the youth and the PTI leadership blamed them for using the scheme as a bribe, adding that contrary to it, their initiative brought about an IT revolution in the country, enabling the youth to continue their studies, work as freelancers and earn a respectable livelihood for their families. A number of ministers, advisers, parliamentarians, officials and beneficiaries of the loan and families attended the ceremony.
The prime minister stressed that these laptops were given purely on merit, and if proved otherwise, he would be held accountable as these resources belonged to the country. The prime minister said that allegations, scandals, and the use of foul language were rife during the PTI’s government.
About 3 billion dollar loans were given to the powerful families during the PTI’s government, he said, and questioned why this huge amount was not spent on the future of youth. Toshakhana gifts for the country were sold in a shabby manner and efforts were made by Imran Niazi to protect his spouse from criminal cases.
“The worst kind of vengeance was unleashed against the opposition and the civil servants. What was the difference between Hitler and Imran Khan? ” he regretted.
He observed that nations were harmed by such tactics. “It was a heart-wrenching story but now it has become a part of the past,” he added.
He said that Nawaz Sharif had spent 40 years in politics and experienced ordeals for the sake of the motherland. Nawaz Sharif was accused of Panama papers and given punishment in Iqama charges, he said, adding that PML-N Quaid appeared before courts regularly but on the other hand, Imran Niazi was being granted bail.
The prime minister referring to the minister for finance’s announcement regarding the reduction in prices of petroleum products by Rs9 and Rs7.50 per liter said that it was all possible due to appreciation in the value of the rupee against the dollar which provided them an opportunity to pass on the relief to the public. The crude oil price in the international market was still high, he added. The prime minister said that it was also the IMF’s programme’s positive aspect that brought stability to the value of the rupee. If they had not reached the agreement, the prime minister observed the difference between the value of the rupee and the dollar could have increased leading to a further difficult economic situation.
“Those people who had conspired against the country, with the grace of Allah Almighty, all their machinations have been buried and their links abroad, including a recent statement by Israel against Pakistan, all these were failed,” he added. About IMF’s agreement, he said it was something of ‘sweet meat’, and alluded to the economic challenges. But with determination and commitment, they could stabilize the economy with revolutionary and bold steps, he stressed.
The prime minister said with sacrifices and hard work, and the solemn pledge by the government, the rich and those people blessed with resources, public servants, and politicians, they could change the country’s fate.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Punjab Balighur Rehman said that young segments had always been a precious asset for any country, and the provision of opportunities to them was a must.
He advised the youth to always depend upon truthfulness and facts without being beguiled by sensational and misleading statements.
He said all these youth programmes were launched in 2013 which targeted the youth and lauded the efforts of the prime minister.
‘Shehbaz’s speed’ had become an international reference for the accomplishment of public welfare schemes at rapid speed, he added.
The governor further said that numerous information and technology programmes and skills development schemes were launched by the PML-N government which bridged the digital divide and enabled the youth to earn their livelihood with the use of the laptop scheme.
Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima Khawaja informed that under the recent programme, more than 100,000 new entrepreneurs were provided with loans, adding in the last five months, more than Rs30 billion in loans had been provided to young people.
Similarly, in the agriculture sector, loans were also extended for seed, fertilizer and produce, she added.
Shaza further apprised that under a three-tier programme, interest-free loans worth Rs500,000 up to Rs7.5 million were being provided. She said the youth loan programme was first initiated by former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.