IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

“Pakistan is begging, and India went to the moon”, laments former Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif

Arafat Rahman

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Ever since the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3’s lander Vikram on the Moon’s Kumeru on August 23, Pakistanis have congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on social media. Along with the success of India, the poor financial situation of that country has come up in various news and discussions of Pakistani media. This time former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader Nawaz Sharif has joined that stream.

Sharif, who is in self-imposed exile in London, said in a virtual speech at a party meeting held in Lahore on Tuesday, “India has reached the moon, and my country is going around the world with a begging bag!” Sharif blamed Pakistan army officers and a section of the judiciary for the price hike and financial collapse. He said, “During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, India’s foreign exchange reserves were $1 billion (about Tk 8,327 crore). Today it has reached about 6 billion dollars (about 50 thousand crores). And we are still begging.”

Nawaz was deposed on July 28, 2017 on the order of the Supreme Court due to his involvement in the Panama Papers case. The Supreme Court of Pakistan said that he cannot hold any position in the party for life. He was accused of concealing huge amount of salary out of income. Nawaz went to London for medical reasons after being punished for some days in this case. He is still in voluntary exile there. However, PMLN has recently said that Nawaz may return to the country on October 21 to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Apart from that, Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi signed the ‘Supreme Court Review of Judgments and Orders Act 2023’ bill a few days ago. The new law is believed to have paved the way for Nawaz’s return home. Because in this law, Nawaz can apply for reconsideration of the judgment of the Supreme Court. In this situation, this comment of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan is considered significant by some of the political analysts of that country.

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