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Pakistanis to face ‘more difficult times’: PM Shehbaz Sharif

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  • PM Shehbaz Sharif says “companions” suggested making election reforms and announcing elections but govt plans to complete constitutional term.
  • Terms with the IMF have been finalised and the deal will close soon: PM
  • Says PTI “saw their defeat” in March, “arbitrarily” lowered fuel prices.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the country may witness more difficult times as it struggles to steer itself out of the ongoing economic crisis.

The coalition government has recently taken some “tough” decisions, including a massive increase on petroleum prices.

PM Shehbaz Sharif, while addressing PML-N senators, said that some of his “companions” suggested making election reforms and announcing elections but the government plans to complete its constitutional term.

“We faced many challenges when I took oath as the prime minister,” the premier said.

He said that the former government had struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pass on the international prices of oil and gas.

PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the terms with the IMF have been finalised and the deal with the Fund will close soon, barring any other conditions set by the global lender.

Criticising the PTI government further, he said that the previous government “never felt strongly about doing anything for widows and the poor”.

“They saw their defeat in March and so they lowered fuel prices,” the prime minister said, adding that they just arbitrarily made the decision.

The previous government signed a petroleum levy of Rs30 with the IMF, he said.

Speaking of lost opportunities, the premier said that “billions and trillions of treasures” are buried in Reko Diq “but we could not dig them out”.

“This is the fault of the leadership which dealt with the matter in the wrong way,” he said.

The premier said that the PTI is facing scandals of gas and wheat exports. “They gave billions in subsidies, emptied the coffers, and the cartels had a field day,” he said.

He went on to say that “it will no do good to look back and cry”.

PM Shehbaz, referring to the recently inked $2.3bn loan agreement with a Chinese consortium of banks, said: “How long will China help us?”

“China and Saudi Arabia must be wondering when Pakistan will stand on its own feet,” he remarked.

The prime minister said it was the need of the hour to set aside politics and put the state above everything else.

“If the state survives, so will our politics.”

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Promoting Mother Languages: Int’l Mother Language Day Being Observed Today

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All around the world, including Pakistan, today is International Mother Language Day. “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning” is this year’s topic for the day.

Numerous events have been planned to honor the day and emphasize the value of Pakistan’s regional languages.

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Foreign Nationals’ Repatriation: Thus Far, 493,648 Afghans Have Left Pakistan

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Afghans and other undocumented foreign people are still being returned to their country of origin in a courteous and secure way.

493,648 Afghan people who entered the country illegally have returned home so far.

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The government “extends” the three-month deployment of Rangers in Mianwali.

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The Interior Ministry brief was accepted by the federal cabinet, according to sources, and was distributed.

According to sources, the Punjabi government requested that Ranger’s deployment be prolonged in order to preserve the status of peace and order in Mianwali.

Additionally, sources revealed that the deployment extension will take effect from February 22, 2024, to May 19, 2024.

The district administration of Islamabad made the decision to prolong the deployment in the federal capital for a period of six months last year.

According to specifics, the local government asked the interior ministry for 300 more Rangers to form a Quick Response Force (QRF).

The stringent security measures in Islamabad led to the decision to prolong the deployment. The district administration requested the extension in writing from the interior ministry.

The federal cabinet gave its approval in May 2023 for the deployment of Pakistan Army soldiers in Balochistan and Rangers in Punjab.

A circular summary was used to sanction the deployment of Rangers and Pakistan Army soldiers in the provinces of Punjab and Balochistan. The deployment of the Rangers was authorized by 7 ATA.

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