Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President and former chief minister of Punjab province Shehbaz Sharif has expressed lament over the poor state of his country’s economy and appealed to all sections of society to evolve a new social contract to meet the challenges being faced by the country.
Taking to Twitter, Sharif referred to the robust performance of the Indian economy, particularly in exports and information technology, besides other sectors, and said Pakistan has been surpassed by its immediate neighbour in these key sectors and needs to urgently overcome this critical phase.
“We are passing through a critical phase. Look at India in our neighbourhood. It has surpassed us in exports, IT and other sectors. Its IT related exports r $60 billion whereas ours are only $1 billion or so. It is in the realm of economy that we have to compete with India. #SSonGeo”
He also criticised the timing of the holding of the general elections, saying it was being held in an environment that did not enjoy the confidence of the people.
“There are other people who (have) indulged in rampant corruption during last ten years but no visible action is seen against them,” ARY TV quoted him, as saying in an interview.
Underlining the need for national dialogue, Sharif said, “I am ready to open this dialogue for a new social contract. Our country needs such a dialogue. Let us forget and forgive, and move forward failing which coming generation will not forgive us.”
“If this country has to move forward, it can only be through a consultation process and not through confrontation. Confrontation is not an option as it will further indulge us in internal issues. We are facing numerous challenges that need collective approach,” he added.
Pakistan, he said, has several issues to deal with, including its differences with India and Afghanistan, challenges in its economy, how to service its debts and how to make the most out of its energy sector.
He said that if Pakistan has to prosper, then there is a need for all stakeholders to engage in broader consultation and through their collective wisdom arrive at a consensus on how to move forward for the benefit of all.