ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that the unconditional apology by the British publication Daily Mail was a vindication of the 220 million of Pakistan which also thwarted an anti-state conspiracy hatched by Imran Khan and his cronies.
“Finally, after three years, they (Daily Mail) tendered an apology, not from me but all of you. It was an apology from 220 million of Pakistan and from millions of those mothers and children who were benefiting from DIFD projects to support their food and health,” the prime minister said addressing a press conference here along with the cabinet members.
Apprising the media of the allegations leveled by the previous government through the Daily Mail article, the prime minister said the onslaught was only meant to defame him, Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
“He (Imran Khan) was so callous to never think that it will not only malign Nawaz Sharif or Shehbaz Sharif rather it will hurt Pakistan’s reputation,” he remarked. The newspaper also published its apology in Sunday’s print edition, he added.
He told the media that DFID project’s amount of 600 million pounds was spent transparently and the allegations were also contradicted by the DFID itself.
“Consequently, the country was mocked and a message was conveyed that Pakistan should not be given aid or grant,” he said.
He said despite the passage of three years, Shahzad Akbar failed to produce documents to substantiate his allegations which also led to his (Shehbaz Sharif) vindication by the NCA.
He said by selling a specially-designed watch containing Holy Kaaba’s model, gifted by Saudi Crown Prince, Imran Khan committed the “cheapest act.”
He emphasized the investigation as how the former prime minister destroyed the national economy, foreign relations, and strained ties with brotherly countries.
He also mentioned an article published by the Financial Times alleging Imran Khan of spending donations collected for Shaukat Khanum Hospital on his politics.
He said in his government, Imran Khan got arrested even by female politicians like Maryam Nawaz and Faryal Talpur but contrarily, gave an NRO to his own sister through FBR who had committed misdeclaration.
The prime minister told the media that the incumbent government inherited a shaken economy and that they had to beseech the IMF which was not ready to trust Pakistan after the previous government deviated from the commitments.
He said by passing the burden of the oil price surge to the masses, the incumbent government sacrificed its politics in the state’s interest as the previous government had laid a trap for their government by announcing no price hike.
Prime Minister Shehbaz said the government had disbursed Rs 70 billion among the flood-hit families through BISP and spent billions of others through NDMA to supply food packages, tents, and mosquito nets. Besides, Rs 400 million were also given in form of compensation for the life losses, he added.
“With onset of the winter season, a huge challenge is still ahead. Don’t know where the money will come from (to support the reconstruction), he added.
He said instead of spreading a rhetoric of Pakistan becoming another Sri Lanka, Imran Khan should give an account for the sugar mill and wheat scandals.
To a question, the prime minister said Ishaq Dar met President Arif Alvi with his permission.
“We will move 100 steps forward for country’s stability. But it takes two to tango. The nations face such a situation when we have to sacrifice. But what kind of talks can be held with an egoistic and liar person who even defames the army. I want to tell the nation that this person is a fraud having nothing to do with the nation’s future,” he said and called for setting aside the differences for country’s progress.
He said the previous government ridiculed his idea of the Charter of Economy and misconstrued it as a desire to seek an NRO.
To another question, the prime minister said Imran Khan also showed unthankfulness to his benefactor General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He said the new army chief was a professional soldier with a shining career and hoped that he would strengthen the institution and serve the country.