London: Pakistan’s self-exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has lamented that his country is begging money from the world while its neighbour India has reached the moon and successfully hosted the G20 Summit, blaming the country’s former generals and judges for its economic woes. Nawaz Sharif also blamed former Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former spymaster Faiz Hameed for the turmoil the nation finds itself in.

“Today Pakistan’s prime minister goes country to country to beg for funds while India has reached the moon and is holding G20 meetings. Why Pakistan couldn’t achieve the feats India did. Who is responsible for this here?” Sharif asked while addressing a party meeting in Lahore from London via video link on Monday evening.

Pakistan’s economy has been in a free fall mode for the last many years, bringing untold pressure on the poor masses in the form of unchecked double-digit inflation. Sharif lauded India’s economic growth and compared it to Pakistan and pointed out that former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had to go to Beijing and the capitals of Arab nations with a begging bowl asking for funds. He said it is regrettable that Pakistan is on the brink of defaulting on its debts.

The 73-year-old supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party further said that India had followed the economic reforms initiated by his government in 1990.

It should be noted that former Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former spymaster and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG-ISI) Faiz Hameed were favoured by the former prime minister Imran Khan.

While Bajwa had his tenure extended during Khan’s reign and is accused of rigging the elections to engineer the former cricketer’s victory in the 2018 elections, Hameed was appointed as DG-ISI during the Imran Khan regime.

Nawaz Sharif, meanwhile, seeks to return to Pakistan as poll bells toll there. The elections in Pakistan have become a contentious issue as the judiciary, legislature and the executive are involved in a tug-of-war over the dates of the election.

Earlier in August, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said that the elections could be held in January 2024 but Pakistan President Arif Alvi, who is from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, said elections will be held in November, as per the constitutional mandate.

Since the dissolution of the National Assembly was premature, the elections must be held within 90 days, according to the Constitution of Pakistan. In normal cases, when the assembly completes its tenure elections are held in 60 days.

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif remains in self-imposed exile in London since November 2019 due to health reasons. He was disqualified by the Pakistan Supreme Court and barred from holding any public office in 2017 and was again barred from holding public office for life in 2018 after a probe ordered by the Supreme Court on the Panama Papers revelations which found him guilty of not disclosing funds earned from his son Hussain Nawaz’s Dubai-based firm.

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