Sun, 03 Jul 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 15 (ANI): Attacking the new Pakistan Prime Minister, former federal minister and PTI leader Asad Umar on Sunday said Shehbaz Sharif returned "empty-handed" from trips seeking to secure financial support to prop up the country's failing economy.

This comment comes in the backdrop of Shehbaz's first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia since coming to power, after ousting Imran Khan from power.

During his three-day visit, he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials.

"No countries including China, Saudi Arabia, UAE -- even the International Monetary Fund -- are giving money to Pakistan," Asad Umar said at a press conference in Islamabad, as quoted by the Dawn newspaper.

According to Umar, the situation in Pakistan was bleak and it was just "weeks away from a Sri Lanka-like situation".

The former federal minister from Imran Khan's party said Shehbaz Sharif was "clueless" and did not have the courage to take decisions.

"Finance Minister Miftah Ismail is looking at Shehbaz, who is looking at Ishaq Dar, who is reliant on Nawaz Sharif, while the convicted former PM, in turn, is hopelessly looking at Zardari... and the cycle goes on."Umar even claimed Zardari was "enjoying" the current situation the most in which PM Shehbaz is completely "helpless".

A day earlier, the former minister had said Pakistan's growth forecast for this year had been above 5 per cent, indicating that the Imran Khan government performed well on the economic front.

"Great crops numbers coming in particularly sugar cane, maize, rice and potato. Plus the double-digit growth of large scale manufacturing recently released means growth for this year should be even higher than the 5.6% last year," Umar said in a tweet.

In a sharp response to the PTI leader, the Pakistan finance minister Miftah Ismail said when his party's government was in power in 2018, they were exporting wheat and sugar.

"You ended up importing sugarwheat, produced the lowest cotton since 1983/84, took 80% of all debt taken in the previous 71 years. Had the highest imports. But Allah ki shaan you are talking about the economy," he said. (ANI)

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