It’s time for Pakistan to shun US aid politely: Shehbaz

LAHORE (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that it is high time for Pakistan to
politely and gratefully close the chapter of US assistance, so that the bilateral relationship can be freed from the shadow of continuously repeated contemptuous taunts.

In a statement issued here on Friday, he said that strong and vibrant societies tend to evolve and produce solutions to the problems they face organically and indigenously. “An effort at imposing external solutions has often come
to naught. Free and proud people need not be told by others what challenges they are facing and what course they need to adopt to move on,” he added.

He said that they both have the ability and intellectual clarity to identify the challenges and tackle them successfully.
The chief minister urged his fellow Pakistanis to view the overall geopolitical and security challenges facing Pakistan
as an unprecedented opportunity to begin to define a truly sovereign and independent vision of its future in line with
the ideals of its founding fathers – one that allows Pakistan to fulfil its destiny as a tolerant, moderate and welfare
Islamic society and be a harbinger of peace, hope, development and pluralism in the world.

The CM said that the constant allusions to American assistance in larger conversations about regional peace and
security rub the salt into the wounds of millions of Pakistanis who have endured the burdens of terrorism, poverty and poor governance.

He said that Pakistanis have already rendered enough sacrifices in men and material for achievement of shared objectives of a terror-free and peaceful world.

The CM added that he believed that the Pakistani people crave for the opportunity to be treated fairly, honourably
and justly and remain committed to contributing to the world peace and prosperity. “Pakistan has never shied away from advancing our shared objectives as a member of international comity.

However, the job of providing for and leading the people of Pakistan out of different challenges falls on the Pakistani leaders,” he added. Other countries could help Pakistan by having a fair appraisal of regional and global affairs and trying to understand Pakistan’s legitimate concerns, he said.

The chief minister said that over the years, many countries, including the United States, have helped the country improve health, education and other service delivery areas for Pakistanis – and this vital support continues to be welcomed.

He, however, added in the same breath that no country should see their generosity as a justification to make unfair
accusations and demands of the Pakistani people. The CM pledged to continue to work tirelessly to serve the people of Pakistan, and to try to help bridge the gap between the current scenario and the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam’s

“It has been my firm belief and an article of faith that we can only rise from poverty and indignity through tireless
efforts and by getting rid of aid, which injures our self-respect. We have to learn to rely on ourselves and the ability
of our people to change their fate,” he concluded.