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We are exiled for developing Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif

We are exiled for developing Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan

Says everything is ruined from rupee to system, who can do business when policy rate is 22pc

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LAHORE (Dunya News/Web Desk) – Nawaz Sharif – who has served as prime minister thrice – on Thursday said Pakistan would have progressed and much better placed at a rapid speed, if the policies initiated by his government in 1990s were implemented without any interruption. 

Addressing a gathering at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he recalled that India had copied the policies introduced in 1990s – the first of his three tenures – and attained economic growth.

The then PML-N government helped businesses get rid of the vicious bureaucratic circles, Nawaz said about the trade liberalisation he had brought in Pakistan, which, he added, boosted the country’s national exchequer.

Other countries of the world too passed through the same phases, he noted with reference to the transition from a planned government-controlled economy to free market where the people have freedom to invest according to the needs and profitability while generating competition.

“We understand the economic hardships being faced by Pakistan,” he said, adding that rescuing the people from the current record-breaking inflation and poverty was their responsibility. 

“It is their right if the people demand development, [if they] demand education and health. The government is responsible for providing these services,” the three-time prime minister stressed.

EXILED OVER DEVELOPMENT 

Nawaz recalled that the PML-N was not ready to form a government in 2022, but saving Pakistan from default became a priority.

The resignation speech by Shehbaz Sharif, who was leading the ruling coalition, had been prepared, which checked himself, he told the audience – a development that didn’t happen but widely reported at that time.

“We develop the country, [and] then face exile and imprisonment too,” Nawaz said about his repeated experience.

He noted, “We had committed injustices against our parliament and prime minister ourselves” and “then handed over the country to someone else” – a clear reference to those who deposed him and brought the PTI chairman into power.

The rupee, the economy, the entire system had been ruined as a consequence, which resulted in a fivefold increase in prices, he mentioned. The electricity consumer receiving a Rs1,000 monthly bill during the PML-N government was currently getting Rs15,000, the PML-N supremo added.

STRONG RUPEE

Nawaz said Pakistan jumped in ranking and was placed 24th among the world’s economies during 2013-17. “We kept the dollar [exchange rate] at Rs104 for four years,” he said and added that the dollar would have been available for Rs40 or Rs50 if his government policies were not interrupted.

About the nuclear tests conducted in 1998, he said the Muslim nations had started trusting Pakistan as their custodian after he resisted the pressure and decided to go ahead the move, but the things went wrong since then and the country was begging for $1 billion. 

The current state of affairs was a product of “the poor decisions that we took ourselves”, as “we shot ourselves in the foot”, he remarked.

Nawaz also mentioned that the policy [interest] rate during his government was 6 per cent only, which had reached 22pc. “Who can do business with such a high policy [interest rate]?” he questioned. 

 




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