Pak govt’s U-turn on salary hike

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In his maiden address as Prime Minister on the floor of the National Assembly, Sharif had announced an increase in salaries, pensions and minimum wage for labourers.

In an apparent ‘U-turn’ from Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s announcement of an increase in salaries of government employees, former Finance Minister and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Miftah Ismail, said on Wednesday that since the salaries were raised a couple of months ago, the government is not raising them again, media reports said.

In his maiden address as Prime Minister on the floor of the National Assembly, Sharif had announced an increase in salaries, pensions and minimum wage for labourers, Express Tribune reported.

He said the PTI-led government left the country’s economy in tatters with the current account deficit and other economic indicators “worsening”.

Sharif announced raising the minimum wage to Rs 25,000 and a 10 per cent hike in pensions of retired government employees. Government employees earning less than Rs 1,00,000 were also promised a 10 per cent raise.

“Since the federal government employees’ salaries were raised a couple of months ago, we are not raising them again,” Miftah wrote on his official Twitter handle, stating that it was not a “U-turn”.

Miftah, however, said that the salary issue will be considered in the next budget.

“Meanwhile, we raised pensions of retired government employees. I hope this clarifies any confusion,” he added, the report said.

Sharif also announced to hold an in-camera session of the parliament on national security, to discuss and get briefed about the ‘threat’ letter, the cable that started Khan’s claim of having foreign hands behind the opposition parties’ no-confidence motion against him.

The recent days have been historical as Imran Khan’s designation changed from being a sitting PM of Pakistan to a former PM, forced to succumb to the majority opposition against him, adamant to remove him from power through a first successful no-confidence vote in the country’s decades long history.

Imran Khan claims that his government was ousted through an international conspiracy, and the opposition parties had sold their souls, integrity, dignity and country’s sovereignty, only to take him off power.

Khan slammed the United States, the western countries and his opposition parties for conspiring against him only because he was desirous of not being a slave to the western powers and wanted to form an independent foreign policy for Pakistan.

India-US 2+2 summit Pic credits Twitter

‘Unwarranted reference’ in Indo-US statement

Pakistan on Wednesday categorically rejected what it called an “unwarranted reference” in the statement issued after the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue where they asked Islamabad to take “irreversible actions” against terror outfits, media reports said.

“The gratuitous reference in the statement alluding to some non-existent and dismantled entities betrays misplaced counter-terrorism focus of both countries,” said the Foreign Office in a statement, Express Tribune reported.

It said it was unfortunate that a bilateral cooperation mechanism was being used to target a third country for political expediency and to mislead public opinion away from real and emerging terrorism threats.

“The assertions made against Pakistan in the statement are malicious and lack any credibility,” it added.

It noted that Pakistan had remained a major, proactive, reliable and willing partner of the international community in the global fight against terrorism over the last two decades.

“Pakistan’s successes and sacrifices in countering terrorism are unparalleled and widely acknowledged by the international community, including the United States. No country in the region has sacrificed more for peace than Pakistan.

“Our concerns and rejection of the unwarranted reference to Pakistan in the US-India Statement have been conveyed to the US side through diplomatic channels,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said.

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