Nawaz addresses Pakistani community in New York

A screengrab of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the Pakistani community in New York

A screengrab of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the Pakistani community in New York

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, NEW YORK, 28th SEPTEMBER 2013: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday that the loans taken by the government in the last five years are more than the loans from the 40 to 50 years before then.

Former governments should be questioned about why they did not pay enough attention to the enormous loans that the country has accumulated, said Nawaz while speaking in to the Pakistani community in New York.

He said that these problems were “inherited by (former president Asif Ali) Zardari’s government from (former president Pervez) Musharraf’s government.”

Nawaz added that the government is facing tough decisions of whether to increase funding of education, dams and other areas of development or to pay back loans.

He said that the repayment of around Rs500 billion of dues to the independent power producers (IPPs) had put a major dent in their plans to develop the country.

Nawaz praised democracy saying that “no other form of leadership has achieved as much success as a democratic government.”

He added that it was under a democratic government that Pakistan achieved nuclear status.

The government has an agenda to solve the country’s problems but we do not have the resources, said Nawaz, adding that it will take time and a lot of effort to improve the situation.

He said that Bhasha dam and the Bunji power project which will provide thousands of megawatts of energy upon completion. Nawaz added that these projects would take years to complete, but the country needs electricity now and this is the crux of the problem.

Nawaz spoke highly of the Chinese leaders saying that they had met him with love and affection, he added that “China seems truly passionate about helping Pakistan.”

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