We need to stand on our own feet: PM Shehbaz

Shehbaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that despite unprecedented challenges, floods and financial turmoil, the coalition government navigated Pakistan through all crises.

In his farewell address to the federal cabinet, the prime minister said that on April 11, 2022, “our national assembly bestowed its trust upon us, and a coalition government came into existence.”

He said that during this government’s tenure, which was the shortest in the nation’s history, we had to face the challenge of floods upon. The floods caused unprecedented devastation across the country, the premier said.

He said that during the flood crisis, both the federal government and the provincial governments worked tirelessly day and night. Through the Ehsaas Income Support Programme, Rs72 billion were distributed among the flood-affected individuals, maintaining a balanced approach in its distribution.

“I believe that everyone united to overcome this challenge together, akin to navigating a ship through troubled waters. I extend my gratitude to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto for his relentless efforts and tireless hard work in various capacities,” he said.

“Our cabinet, composed of ministers from various grades, all contributed through their hard work and dedication. God gave us the courage to work as a team and leverage sportsmanship to handle the situation.”

The premier said: “When we took over the government, the country was grappling with an inflation storm. The previous government’s policies had left the country in dire straits, not only domestically but also internationally.”

He said that Pakistan has rarely seen a scenario where leaders from all four provinces are united within the government. The cabinet made tough decisions without dwelling much on political considerations.

Shehbaz said that the cabinet focused on the country’s treasury and financial matters. “I extend my thanks to all those who supported the government’s efforts during this time.”

“All the members of the cabinet provided guidance, positive criticism, and support, for which I am thankful. It’s through their collective hard work that we have reached the final day of our tenure.”

He said that after the caretaker government, whichever elected government comes next should play a role in the country’s progress. The IMF programme faced numerous challenges, and a lot of hard work was put into it, he said.

“I also express gratitude to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his team. Additionally, I thank Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto for improving foreign relations. I’m thankful to my entire team for their assistance and unwavering spirit. We need to know which friendly countries extended their support to us,” the premier said.

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He said that bridging the distance between provinces and the federal government is necessary. Political leaders have shown maturity and come together for the country’s sake, he said.

Nawaz Sharif and all political leaders showed patience and wisdom in their actions. “One person once said he thought this coalition would last for only two weeks, but it went on for 15 months.”

“I don’t want to comment on what has been achieved in the last 75 years. The country has gone through 33 to 34 years of martial law, and for a certain period, it remained under control.”

“What we have done in the last 75 years is a moment for reflection. If we want progress in the country, we need to stand on our own feet and relieve ourselves from the burden of debt,” he said.

“While many friendly nations supported us, how long will we keep borrowing? Many countries that took loans are now standing on their own feet.”


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