Friday Jan 14, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has said that the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif is "more corrupt than his brother Nawaz Sharif."
The statement came during a press conference in Islamabad as the interior minister took a jibe at the Opposition for criticising the government's economic policies and its decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Rasheed said it was "alright for the former governments to seek foreign assistance but an issue is being created when Prime Minister Imran Khan made a similar move."
"It is halal if the Opposition reaches out to the IMF but haram if Imran Khan does this," Rasheed said.
"These people [former rulers] have reached out to the IMF 23 times in the past," he added.
Speaking about the IMF's conditions, which were necessary to ensure the clearance of Pakistan’s sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFE) by the Fund's Executive Board, scheduled to meet later this month to decide the disbursement of the $1-billion tranche, Rasheed said that the conditions were tough but the government had to accept them for the betterment of Pakistan's economic situation.
The National Assembly on Thursday passed the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021 and supplementary finance bill — termed by the Opposition as a "mini-budget" — with a majority vote giving effect to new tax measures in an ambitious bid to achieve a tax target of Rs5.8 trillion as per the requirement of the IMF.
The minister further stated that the Opposition is going to organise two separate long marches and the government will give them the passage for it.
However, he warned the Opposition of keeping the honour of Pakistan Day of March 23 in view during the long marches when the guests of the Organisation of Islamic Countries session will be visiting Pakistan or else India would again create an issue out of it.