Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrives for a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2022. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has accused former premier Imran Khan of being the biggest liar on the face of the earth, alleging that the PTI chief has ruined the country’s economy.
In an interview with the UK newspaper The Guardian, which was cited by Dawn, Shehbaz Sharif spoke about the “damage” that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman had done to Pakistan’s domestic and foreign affairs. Addressing Imran Khan’s recent alleged cypher audio leaks, the Prime Minister said that they were “an irrefutable endorsement that he (Imran) is the biggest liar on the face of the earth”.
The cypher is an alleged secret diplomatic cable which fuelled conspiracy theories that the US administration wanted to topple Imran Khan’s government and facilitate regime change in the country.
The cypher is based on then-envoy Asad Majeed’s meeting with US State Department official Donald Lu, who has been at the centre of PTI’s claim that the US conspired to dislodge Imran from office in April.
“I’m not saying this with a sense of glee but a sense of embarrassment and concern. My country’s image has been damaged hugely by these lies told out of mean personal interest,” Sharif added in the interview to the British newspaper, Dawn reported.
He accused Imran Khan of “injecting poison into society to dangerously polarise the electorate’” since his ouster through a successful no-confidence vote in April.
In his first interview with the outlet since he became the Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif termed the PTI chief as a “liar and a cheat”, alleging that his policies had left the economy in “ruins”.
Pakistan’s economy is forecast to slow to 3.5 per cent in the financial year 2022-23 due to reasons like devastating floods and policy tightening, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said in its latest report.
According to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 Update, GDP growth in Pakistan in the financial year 2021-2022 was propelled by higher private consumption and an expansion in agriculture, services and industry–particularly large-scale manufacturing.
But in the financial year, 2022-23–as well as climate headwinds and Pakistan’s critical policy efforts–ADB’s lower growth projection also reflects double-digit inflation.