PM Shehbaz announces to raise minimum wage of a laborer to Rs25,000 from April 1 Announces to convene in-camera session of National Security Committee on 'threat letter'

PM Shehbaz announces to raise minimum wage of a laborer to Rs25,000 from April 1

Also announces 10% increase in salaries of govt employees who are drawing upto 10,000 rupees; announced 10% raise in pensions

Announces to convene in-camera session of Parliamentary Committee on National Security on ‘threat letter’

Prime Minister Elect Mian Shehbaz Sharif addressing the National Assembly in Islamabad on 11th April, 2022.

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and elected prime minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has announced to arrange at the earliest an in-camera briefing for Parliamentary Committee on National Security on the matter of a letter received by the last government from a Pakistani ambassador about an alleged foreign conspiracy for regime change.

In his maiden speech after being elected as Leader of the House on Monday, he said the services chiefs, DG ISI, the Foreign Secretary and the Ambassador concerned will be invited to the briefing.

Shehbaz Sharif said the PML-N led coalition government would work hard with unity to resolve issues prevailing in the country.

He said people have been suffering a lot due to high inflation and unemployment. Shehbaz Sharif announced to raised the minimum wage of a laborer to Rs25,000 which is applicable from April 1.He announced 10 percent increase in salaries of government employees who are drawing upto 10,000 rupees. He also announced 10 percent raise in pensions.

Shehbaz Sharif expressed confidence that the situation will improve in days to come through hard-work of the new government. He said as servant of Pakistan, he would do his best to bring the country out of crises.

Earlier Shehbaz Sharif was elected as the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan after 174 lawmakers voted in his favour after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNAs boycotted the election.

Earlier, PTI MNAs had walked out of the halls, with Shah Mahmood Qureshi — who was the party’s candidate for the top slot — announcing that they would be resigning en masse from the NA.

PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq presided over the session after Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri said his conscience did not allow him to conduct the session.

After his election, the prime minister thanked his brother and ex-premier Nawaz Sharif for his support, while also lauding social media activists, press clubs, media houses, and lawyers for backing the Opposition’s struggle for democracy.

Shehbaz Shairf announced several policy measures he intended to take, with a particular focus on the economy and foreign relations.

Announcing the results, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq reminisced that he had also chaired a session during which PML-N supremo and Shehbaz’s elder brother was elected as the premier.

“And today, I have the honour of chairing the session for Shehbaz Sharif’s election,” he said.

“Mian Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has secured 174 votes,” he announced. “Mian Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has been … elected as the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

As soon as Sadiq announced the result and, lawmakers began shouting slogans in favour of Shehbaz and Nawaz.

The speaker then asked Shehbaz to move to the seat of the prime minister in the NA, following which he shifted to the treasury benches amid cheers, with other members of the former joint opposition following suit.

In his maiden address to the house as the prime minister, Shehbaz thanked Allah for “saving Pakistan”. He said it was the first time in Pakistan’s history that a no-confidence motion against a prime minister had been successful. “And good has prevailed over evil.”

Shehbaz said today was a “big day” for the entire nation when a “selected” prime minister was sent packing in a legal and constitutional manner. He added that the US dollar’s value declining by Rs8 signified the “happiness of the people”.

The newly elected prime minister also thanked the Supreme Court (SC) for burying the doctrine of necessity forever. “In the future, no one will be able to rely on it,” he said.

He said the day when the SC ruled against the dismissal of the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri should be remembered as one when supremacy of the Constitution and parliament was established.

Shehbaz said a “drama” had been going on over the past few weeks and the lies being told about a “letter”, which was said to contain evidence of a foreign conspiracy to topple the PTI government.

He said the deputy speaker had waved the cable yesterday in the assembly as well and requested that it be shown to him (Shehbaz), who was the leader of the opposition at the time.

“But neither did I see it nor anyone showed it to me,” he said. It was a “lie, drama and fraud” he added, as he went on to clarify that there was no conspiracy linked to the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan.

He said the PTI had been alleging that they had received the cable on March 7, a day before the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan was filed. “But I have been meeting Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on this (the vote of no-confidence) since the initial days of March.”

On March 3, Shehbaz continued, Nawaz held a meeting of the PML-N’s central executive committee and PPP held a separate meeting of its own. “And we decided that we would bring a vote of no-confidence against the most corrupt, incompetent and laid back government in history”.

He said a matter was then discussed with the Pakistan Democratic Movement and the motion was eventually filed on March 8.

“They say they received the cable on March 7, but we have been holding meetings way before that,” Shehbaz said.

Stressing that the nation should be made aware of the truth, he announced that he intended to hold an in-camera briefing of the parliamentary committee on security, where the military leadership, Inter-Services Intelligence director general, foreign secretary and the ambassador who sent the letter should be present.

“The nation should know whether they have been lied to,” he said, adding that even if an iota of evidence of a foreign conspiracy was found, “I will go home”.

“This debate should be laid to rest and I will make arrangements for the in-camera session at the earliest,” Shehbaz said.

Turning his attention to the economy, Shehbaz remarked, “I have said it many times that a life of debt is no life.” Highlighting the importance of hard work and financial independence, he said, “If we have to survive, we have to do it like an honourable and self-relying nation. Else, we cannot regain our lost status.”

“And if we have to take the country’s economy forward, we will have to opt for dialogue over deadlock … and rapprochement over disagreements,” he underlined.

Taking a jibe at the PTI over its slogan of “tabdeeli” (change), he said, “Change doesn’t come simply by talking.”

Over the past four years, he added, “our society was poisoned and it will take years to clean this poisoned water. And this will only be possible if we stay united.” “Otherwise, difficulties and disappointment will be our destiny.”

Shehbaz termed the country’s economic situation “very serious” and emphasised the need for hard work to improve the economy.

Addressing the leaders of other parties, he said, “If we have to save the sinking boat, then we have to stay united and work hard.” “The situation is very bad but, God willing, it will change if we work hard.”

He lamented that the previous government had rejected his proposal of introducing a “charter of economy” to improve the economic situation. “Had they not rejected it in a humiliating manner, the economy would not have been in such a bad state today,” Shehbaz added.

Shehbaz went on paint a bleak picture of the country’s economy and assailed the previous government for its economic policies.

He then expressed the resolve to rebuild Pakistan, announcing that his government would increase the minimum wage to Rs25,000 from April 1. Necessary legal procedures would be undertaken regarding this with the help of the provinces, he added.

Shehbaz further committed to making Pakistan a “paradise for investments” and appealed to investors to increase the salaries of their employees who monthly income was Rs100,000 or less.

He also announced a 10 per cent increase in the pension of civil and military pensioners. This, too, would be implemented from April 1, he said.

Moreover, Shehbaz said atta (wheat flour) would be made available at cheaper rates under a Ramazan package.

Further, he said, “we will also address the high prices of electricity” and take measures for the progress of smaller provinces. “Punjab is the elder brother but not the entire Pakistan. We will take smaller provinces along ourselves and move forward,” he commented. “We will give the youth of Balochistan, erstwhile Fata and other provinces technical education and skills instead of weapons.”

Shehbaz further announced that “Benazir card” would be reintroduced, which was renamed in the previous government’s tenure. He said the programme would be expanded to cover education.

Criticising the PTI government over its foreign policy, he lamented that Pakistan’s strategic partners and friends had left it while it remained silent on the Kashmir issue.

Underlining the importance of having good ties with China, he alleged that the previous government had attempted to weaken the friendship between Pakistan and China.

“But this friendship is for forever and … I assure that we will make progress on the CPEC,” he added, thanking Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He further underlined the significance of having good ties with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, European Union nations, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and Iran. He also said ties needed to be strengthened with US on the basis of equality and “we need to raise our voice for Afghanistan” where the situation was dire. “We want peace in Afghanistan.” Shehbaz also stressed the need to get the EU GSP Plus Status.

With regards to India, Shehbaz said while they wanted good relations with the neighbouring, it was conditional on the resolution of Kashmir issue.

“We will raise our voice for Kashmiri brother on every forum. We will give them diplomatic and moral support,” he said, adding that his advice to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to realise that there “is poverty, unemployment and diseases on both sides of the border”.

“Why do we want our coming generations to suffer. Come, let’s resolve the Kashmir issue in line with United Nation resolutions and Kashmiris’ expectations, so that we are able to end poverty on both sides of the border.” Shehbaz also expressed the resolve to raise voice for Palestinians.

Decrying “injustices” in “naya” Pakistan, he said: “No one is a traitor before and no one is a traitor now”. Concluding his speech, he emphasised national unity, saying that a “nation is built through consensus”.