LAHORE: Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz warned that if anything happened to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, entire responsibility would fall on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, he said the PML-N was ready to extend unconditional support to PM Imran Khan Niazi vis-à-vis creation of South Punjab and Bahawalpur provinces. He said he would not step back from his demand of a judicial commission on the Sahiwal incident and would not sit in peace unless the family of the late Khalil got justice. Coming hard on the PTI government for its policies, he said the country’s economy was already on ventilator while it was being further pushed towards destruction through borrowed dollars.
Hamza Shahbaz said when the PML-N had left the Punjab government, the development budget was Rs 650 billion while the “fake” government of the PTI imposed a cut of Rs 450 billion in the budget. “We had increased the South Punjab budget from 16 percent to 36 percent by allocating Rs 228 billion while today the budget of the entire Punjab province is Rs 235 billion in the PTI government,” he added.
He said the CPEC-related Abdul Hakeem Motorway project worth Rs 148 billion was a gift to people of South Punjab by the PML-N. Similarly, he said 90 percent work on 393KM Multan-Sukkur Motorway was complete while there was no progress on the remaining work.
Hamza said the PML-N government had increased South Punjab’s job quota from 8 to 28 percent through the PPSC exam but there was no implementation of it in the current government.
He said PM Imran Khan Niazi who used to be critical of Metro Bus Service by terming it Jangla Bus tried replicating the same in Peshawar after five years. “Its cost has increased over Rs 100 billion but still there are ruins in Peshawar,” he claimed. He added the Senior Minister had termed the Orange Line as a “white elephant” but the very next day the Supreme Court termed it a gift for the people of Lahore. He further said on the first day Shahbaz Sharif had offered unconditional support to the PTI government for a better economy of the country but in return “we received abuses and titles of thieves and dacoits.”
He said according to Moody’s Pakistan’s economic crisis would deepen in days to come and the country would have to accept strict conditions of the IMF.
Hamza said he had promised to the nation to do constructive opposition and added they didn’t want to oust the PTI government. “The PTI government will itself fall because of its lies and we will not let them become political martyrs,” he added. He went on to say he would keep reminding PM Imran Khan Niazi of his promises including one related to South Punjab which he used to make on containers. He also criticized the government for increase in the Hajj package.
To a question, Hamza said the PML-N was part of the joint opposition and any decision on Long March and other affairs would be taken only after consultation with Maulana Fazal ur Rehman and other allies.