October 4, 2022
Pakistan PM Shahbaz Sharif said, ‘Even allied countries think we have come to beg’: report

Pakistan PM Shahbaz Sharif said, ‘Even allied countries think we have come to beg’: report

Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif has said, “Even friendly countries think we have come to beg” (File)

Islamabad:

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has painted a bleak picture of the country’s declining economy, expressing regret that even friendly countries have started seeing Pakistan as a man who was always begging .

“Today when we go to a friendly country or call, they think we’ve arrived [to them] For begging for money,” Pakistan’s Dawn news quoted the Pakistani prime minister as saying while addressing a lawyers’ conference on Wednesday.

Mr Sharif said even smaller economies have left Pakistan behind, “and we have been wandering around with begging bowls for the last 75 years”.

According to Mr Sharif, Pakistan’s economy was already facing a “challenging situation” before the floods, which made it more “complicated”.

He said Pakistan was on the verge of an “economic default” when he took power in April after ousting then-prime minister Imran Khan, and that the coalition government had saved the country from default with its hard work.

He said the coalition government led by him “controlled to some extent” the economic instability in the cash-starved country.

Recognizing that inflation was “at its peak” when he took office, the prime minister indirectly blamed the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for the situation in the country.

Mr Sharif alleged that the previous rulers had violated the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), forcing the current government to agree on tougher terms.

He said the IMF had also threatened to withdraw its program if the agreed conditions were not met.

The IMF on August 29 approved a bailout package for cash-strapped Pakistan, which includes disbursements of about USD 1.18 billion.

The move comes after the IMF completed USD 4 billion in bilateral financing from four friendly countries, including China.

The Pakistani Prime Minister warned of a possible gas crisis in the coming winter, saying that he was struggling to arrange gas before the arrival of the winter season.

He said that the rains and floods have caused unprecedented devastation in the country, according to a report by Pakistan’s Dawn News, adding that such climate-induced devastation was probably not seen anywhere in the world.

The cash-strapped country is battling its worst floods in 30 years, killing more than 1,400 people and affecting 33 million people since early June.

One-third of the country is submerged and one in seven people are severely affected by floods, causing an estimated US$12 billion in damages, causing about 78,000 square kilometers (21 million acres) of crops. remained under water.

The UN said that in response to Pakistan’s urgent appeal for flood victims, USD 150 million has been promised so far, but only USD 38 million has been converted into aid.

While many countries have come forward to provide aid to Pakistan in such a crisis, Pakistan and the United Nations launched a flash appeal for USD 160 million in initial funding, of which USD 150 million was pledged. Huh.

United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator Julian Harnis said the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Singapore and others were the main donors in addition to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, which raised USD 10 million.

Meanwhile, the Nepal government on Wednesday sent humanitarian relief material to Pakistan to help the flood-affected people. Apart from household items, food items, medicines and clothes were also taken in the chartered flight of Nepal Airlines.

Canada on Wednesday announced an additional USD 2.5 million in humanitarian aid to support Pakistan in this difficult time.

An official statement said the new allocation was in addition to the USD 5 million announced last month and said Canada would continue to provide food, clean water and other essential services through trusted partners.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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