‘Can’t fix everything in 2 years’: Shibli blames opposition for rising inflation as Senate session convenes

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Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Friday hit back at the opposition for criticising the government for rising inflation, stating that they were the ones responsible for the country’s sorry state.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, he said: “[The opposition] says that inflation is rising [but] you are its root cause. It is because of your policies and the collapse of government institutions over the last 40 to 50 years [yet] you expect us to fix this in two years.

“We will fix it and will enable the country and government institutions to stand on their own two feet.” Admitting to a rise in inflation, the minister added that it was a “temporary thing” and would be resolved within the next few weeks.

“But if [the opposition] thinks that they can put us under pressure, like they did when it came to the Financial Action Task Force laws and National Accountability Bureau laws, that will not happen.”

President Dr Arif Alvi had summoned regular sessions of both houses of parliament today (Friday) — the same day the opposition-led Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) prepares for its first rally in Gujranwala.

The opposition has claimed that the rally will lay the foundation for the ouster of Imran Khan’s government.

During the Senate session, the information minister said that the opposition was staging the Gujranwala rally not in favour of “the likes of Saad Rafique” but to protect the “two royal families” who considered it their right to come into power.

“They say the elections were rigged […] gather the data and see how many election petitions you filed and how many PTI filed.” What double standards are these, he questioned, adding that the opposition was only happy when things proceeded according to their wishes.

He said that the opposition had “exposed themselves” and would not be coming back into power. “Their [days in] politics are up.”

During today’s session, the Senate passed two resolutions expressing grief and sorrow over the deaths of former senators Syed Qurban Ali Shah and Hazrat Hameeduddin Sialvi, Radio Pakistan reported. The Senate also offered prayers for the security personnel and private guards martyred in two separate terrorist attacks on Thursday.

During the question hour session, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said that the country’s economic indicators were positive with foreign remittances witnessing a 20 per cent increase as compared to previous years.

“Despite resistance from some quarters, the government has strengthened money laundering laws,” he said, adding that it has now been declared a cognizable offense. He stated that Pakistan’s progress in this regard will be noted by the FATF at the next meeting.