Following the decision to increase the prices of petroleum products by Rs30, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that the government will initiate a Rs28 billion package to provide relief to the masses.
Addressing the nation, the prime minister said taking up the challenge of coming into power was not easy as the country's situation was gloomy, and the nation was plagued with hatred during the previous government's tenure.
"I would like to thank my leader Nawaz Sharif and the leaders of our allied parties for trusting me with this office," he said.
Criticising the former, PTI-led government and ex-prime minister Imran Khan, PM Shehbaz said that "it was the demand of the people of Pakistan to rid them of the previous incompetent and corrupt government."
PM Shehbaz said a diplomatic cable was used for political means and the nation was fed with lies despite the National Security Committee (NSC) and the ambassador to the United States both rubbishing the "foreign conspiracy" claims touted by ex-premier Imran Khan.
PM Shehbaz said if Khan thinks his "ego" is bigger than the state, then it is his misconception as Pakistan will function in line with the Constitution and not upon following the direction of one person.
Ex-prime minister Imran Khan has repeatedly blamed the US for backing the no-confidence motion — that lead to his ouster — and has refused to accept the newly-elected government.
He claimed that US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu had threatened Pakistan's ambassador for removing his government.
"This person, when Pakistan was progressing under prime minister Nawaz Sharif, staged dharnas. At that time, Chinese President Xi Jinping had to come to Pakistan, but due to his arrogance, the agreement that was scheduled to take place was delayed."
The premier stressed that the incumbent government was responsible for the nation's safety and security and would not compromise in this regard at any cost.
Reminding the PTI government of its tenure, PM Shehbaz said it was Khan that struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), not the current government.
"We did not agree to the strict conditions laid forth by the IMF; you burdened the masses with heavy inflation, not us; you buried the country under heavy debts, not us; international institutions said that corruption increased during your tenure, not ours; electricity load shedding was brought back during your tenure and you are responsible for the economy's suffering," he said.
He said that over the last four years, Pakistan incurred more than $20,000 billion worth of debt.