Saturday May 14 2022

Khawaja Asif says major decisions to revamp economy in next 48 hours

Defence Minister and PML-N leader Khawaja Asif speaking to BBC Urdu during an interview in Islamabad in this undated photo. —Twitter/@FarhatJavedR/File
Defence Minister and PML-N leader Khawaja Asif speaking to BBC Urdu during an interview in Islamabad in this undated photo. —Twitter/@FarhatJavedR/File

  • Asif says PML-N to put proposal before coalition partners.
  • Defence minister says decision to be announced Monday.
  • Asif says Imran has history of not being loyal to anyone.

LONDON: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Friday the PML-N has decided to take allied parties into confidence within 48 hours before announcing major decisions related to the economy in an attempt to bring stability to the current volatile situation.

In a conversation with journalists, according to The News, the defence minister said former prime minister Imran Khan indulged in massive corruption during his four years in power and destroyed Pakistan’s economy, which needs to be repaired through a consensus.

Asif said PML-N's London huddle concluded Friday afternoon after three days of deliberations where major decisions were taken, and it was decided that the economic plan would be placed before the allies, and their approval would be sought.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and PM Shehbaz's spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan attended the third and final meeting.

Asif said the focus of the meeting was on the economy throughout as “Imran Khan has caused destruction to the economy of Pakistan under the state patronage.”

'Orgy of corruption under Imran Khan'

“We have inherited big baggage of the last four years which involved corruption of families, bureaucrats and politicians. There was an orgy of corruption under Imran Khan and the people of Pakistan are bearing the results of this corruption," Asif said.

The PML-N leader said the Pakistani people are paying a huge price for what the PTI chairman did during his tenure. He said the dollar is going up against the rupee because of the state in which Khan left the economy.

“Inflation increased manifold under Imran Khan and the people of Pakistan know that very well. What happened over 3.5 years cannot be forgotten in a month.”

Asif said that PM Shehbaz would “take all stakeholders and allies into confidence and a major decision will be announced by Monday".

The defence minister the government wanted to end the confusion to bring stability to the market to stop the destruction and toxicity created by Imran Khan — and it needs to be addressed.

"The people of Pakistan are the ultimate sovereign. We will place our case before the people of Pakistan in the next 48 hours.”

'Khan involved in incitement of hate against army'

The defence minister said ex-premier Khan was involved in incitement of hate against the Pakistan Army, which proves that he “bites the very hand that feeds him. He has no history of being loyal to anyone, he loves only himself".

"He has not been loyal to anyone; he's now attacking the same people who had patronised and helped him during his rule. Imran Khan only loves himself and he is a slave of his own whims and wishes.”

Asif ruled out the possibility of early elections and said there was no pressure on the coalition government to hold early elections.

Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique, and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also spoke to the media, where they said Imran Khan’s “foreign conspiracy” narrative was bogus and the Pakistanis knew that there was no truth in what he was saying.