Shehbaz Sharif says real freedom comes with economic independence

Pakistan Prime Minister addresses the Nation on the eve of 76th Independence Day

We will depend on our own resources: Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (Facebook)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 14, 2022

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked his fellow Pakistanis to keep the Nation ahead of all things and work towards the uplift of the economy and promote social cohesion and education and employment opportunities.

Addressing the Nation on the eve of his country’s 75th Anniversary of Independence, he said that it was equally important to preserve freedom and sovereignty.

“It is the need of time that we as a nation continue our course in the right direction and don’t allow national interest to be sacrificed at the altar of personal ego and stubbornness,” he said.

Mr Sharif assured his people that his government has committed itself to taking the country on the path of economic independence, which will spell ‘true freedom.’

Austerity and prudent spending

Defending the economic measures implemented by his government since taking office on April 11, 2022, he said that policies such as restricting unnecessary imports and increasing productivity will help the Pakistani Rupee to firm up against the US Dollar.

Education is the single most important challenge of the government (World Bank Photo)

“By adopting austerity, we will depend on our own resources like self-independent nations. The government is working hard, day and night to take the country out of the current economic crisis in a short time, because of which the country was saved from financial default,” he said.

Mr Sharif blamed the policies of the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Imran Khan for much of the woes of the country. He said that the faulty and floppy policies had led the country to face the biggest trade deficit in its history.

Pakistan has had to take loans from allied countries and international financial institutions to manage the debt, he said.

“Is this real freedom?” he asked.

Mr Sharif accursed the Khan government for creating the financial crisis.

“They have made the situation more critical. It is almost as if financial destituteness has become our national character which our elders would never even have envisioned,” he said.

Karachi is the Commercial Capital of Pakistan

Seeds of hate

Mr Sharif paid tributes to the leaders and people who sacrificed their lives for securing Pakistan’s independence on August 14, 1947.

He said that the reality was that people have been celebrating the country’s Independence only in name for the last 75 years, instead of adopting its real aims.

“That is why my heart is distressed. We must openly admit that we could not give our children that of which they were rightfully deserving,” he said.

Mr Sharif questioned why the nation was still in search of a destination and subject to various crises, foremost being the economic crisis.

He said that the country also faced a crisis of sentiments, explaining that “seeds of hate” were being sown and the nation was being divided. Despite that, the country’s past was filled with examples of pulling through with hard work and passion, such as the establishment of Pakistan or the completion of the nation’s nuclear programme.

He said that the recent success of Pakistani athletes in the Commonwealth Games for raising the country’s banner high on the international stage. He said hope and optimism were the only options to follow, adding that there were opportunities in every crisis.

Mr Sharif said that real political leadership thought of the future of coming generations, not politics and reserved special praises for Finance Minister Miftah Ismail for his efforts in reviving the loan facility with the International Monetary Fund.

“I hope that the current deal will be the last,” he said.

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