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PM favouring Punjab in development: Imran

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ISLAMABAD: Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of running the country through his well-heeled family and siphoning off the development funds of other provinces to Lahore.

HunzaNews , June 9th, 2014.

“Funds that should be spent on all provinces are being spent on Punjab, especially Lahore,” Imran told a news conference. Calling Lahore the epicentre of the Sharifs, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf cautioned that such a policy would sharpen the sense of deprivation already felt by other provinces.

“There are significant opportunities to produce cheap electricity in Khyber-Pakhunkhawa (K-P), but the Sharif brothers are investing the funds in Punjab,” he added.

Imran alleged that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was running Pakistan

like a family business against the spirit of democracy.

“All major decisions are taken by PM Nawaz Sharif,  in consultation with his brother Shahbaz Sharif, nephew Hamza Sharif, daughter Mariam Nawaz, son-in-law Captain Safdar, and some relatives, including Ishaq Dar and Abid Sher Ali,” he said.

Taking about the almost shabby conditions of K-P and other provinces, Imran said tourism in Swat has been adversely affected as the main road leading to Kalam is broken for the last many years.

“Despite this, K-P Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak’s development fund has been reduced while more money is being allocated to the Lahore Railway,” he added.

Imran said Rs50 billion was allocated to the Lahore Railway although the railway in Karachi cost less money and covered a greater distance.

‘Corrupt budget’

Criticising the federal budget, Imran said the budget had benefitted only a small group of corrupt people. “Pakistan has not seen a more corrupt budget in its history,” he added.

He also claimed that Rs2.135 million was spent on the Prime Minister House while an additional Rs4.3 million was spent on the PM’s foreign trips every day. “[Then] what is the justification of asking the people of Pakistan to make sacrifices during these difficult times?” he questioned.

‘Worse than previous regime’

Speaking at the occasion, PTI leader Asad Umar reiterated the claim that the performance of Nawaz Sharif’s government was worse than that of Asif Ali Zardari.

Umar said government’s claim that the GDP was growing at 4.14% did not hold water. He cited figures by leading economist from the Policy Research Institute (PRI), Dr Hafiz Pasha, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which predicted the growth rate to be between 3.5% and 3.3%, respectively.

“Foreign investment is essential for a country’s economic growth but investment in the country was at an all-time low this year,” he said, adding that the budget deficit had increased from $1.5 billion to $2.1 billion during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure.

According to Umar, the PML-N government had not only failed to meet its own budget targets, it also performed even worse than the previous government.

Express Tribune

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