PML-N senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says the country would have been facing a situation like Sri Lanka and subsequently defaulted, if Imran Khan remained in power today but that they [the coalition government] had taken a tough decision to come into power in a bid to steer the country out of an economic crisis.
Shahid Khaqan said Imran Khan had not only ruined the economy of the country but had provided everything to destroy it.
“Those decisions were meant to destroy the country taken by Imran Khan in February and March but now we are trying to stabilise the economy,” he added.
In February, then prime minister Imran Khan had announced slashing the petrol and diesel price by Rs10 per litre.
The former prime minister also criticised the PTI-led government for economic turmoil and leaving behind a record deficit which led the country towards a tough budget.
“The market must gain confidence but in this time of crisis it’s a very appropriate budget, however, the last year was concluded with a record deficit of around Rs5500 billion, therefore incumbent government has taken a tough measure in budget for fiscal year 2022-23 which will stabilize the market,” he said.
Speaking about the deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF), Shahid Khaqan said,
it is not about pleasing the IMF, but repairing the damaged economy.
“[The] previous government had already made an agreement with the IMF and we have to follow it,” he added.
Shahid Khaqan further stated, “Today, it is about our country, we will have to give importance to the country’s interest over personal [interests].”
On a question regarding the declining popularity in the next general elections due to tough decisions, the PML-N leader went on to say that the people of Pakistan understand the current situation and they also know the person who had put the country in this crisis, but “I am hopeful that we will succeed after taking difficult decisions.”
The former prime minister also dispelled rumours that Imran Khan was ousted in connection with the apprehensions related to the appointment of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in November.
“We have nothing to do with the appointment of a new army chief in November, but I think the appointment of new COAS should be a normal process and the country will move towards prosperity when such appointments will become a normal and routine procedure,” he said.