We still have hard times ahead, warns Prime Minister Shahbaz as the country struggles with the economic crisis

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addresses PML-N senators. Photo: Geo News / screengrap

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday that the country may have to go through harder times as it faces an economic crisis.

Addressing PML-N senators in Islamabad, Prime Minister Shahbaz said some of his “companions” had proposed implementing electoral reforms and calling elections, but the government plans to complete its constitutional mandate.

“We faced many challenges when I was sworn in as prime minister,” the prime minister said.

He said the PTI-led government had reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pass on the impact of international oil and gas prices to the masses.

Prime Minister Shahbaz said the terms with the IMF have been finalized and a deal with the Fund will be concluded soon, except for any other terms set by the global lender.

Further criticizing the PTI government, he said the previous government “never had strong intentions to do anything for widows and the poor”.

“They saw their defeat in March and that is why they lowered oil prices,” the prime minister said, adding that they made the decision only arbitrarily.

The previous government signed a 30-rs oil levy with the IMF, he said.

Speaking about the lost opportunities, the prime minister said that “billions and trillions of treasures” were buried in Reko Diqu, “but we could not dig them out”.

“It’s the fault of the leadership that handled the issue in the wrong way,” he said.

The prime minister said PTI was facing scandals over gas and wheat exports. “They gave billions in subsidies, emptied the coffers, and the cartels had a field day,” he said.

He further said that “it will not be good to look back and cry”.

Speaking about the recently signed $ 2.3 billion loan agreement with a Chinese consortium of banks, Prime Minister Shahbaz said: “How long will China help us?”

“China and Saudi Arabia are certainly wondering when Pakistan will get back on its feet,” he noted.

The prime minister said it takes time to put politics aside and put the state above all else. “If the state survives, so does our policy,” he added.

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