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Shehbaz raises minimum wage, promises won’t develop Punjab at expense of Pakistan

PM Sharif announces holding in-camera briefing on ‘conspiracy letter’

In his maiden speech in the National Assembly as the prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif on Monday announced raising the minimum wage of government employees to Rs25,000, applicable from April 1, adding that he would develop the whole of Pakistan and not just Punjab.

Following the removal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan from the post of prime minister, the opposition’s candidate Shehbaz Sharif was elected as the 23rd premier of Pakistan today.

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Shehbaz bagged 174 votes opposed to PTI’s candidate Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who did not receive any votes as his party made the decision to boycott the vote. Sharif said that this was the first time in Pakistan’s history that a premier was removed via the no-confidence motion.

As part of the relief measures, PM Sharif said that cheap wheat would be made available at utility stores, laptops would be distributed among the youth, and Benazir Card would be reintroduced. He said that the economy needed to be self-sufficient if the country was to progress.

PM Sharif said that there was a need to wash out the effects of the previous government through unity.

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Sharif said the new administration would make Pakistan an “investment heaven”, noting that investors’ capital was crucial in moving the country forward.

He announced that all provinces needed to be developed equally and development of Punjab should not be at the expense of other provinces. He added that if other provinces remained behind and Punjab developed, this would equate to only Punjab’s progress and not Pakistan’s progress.

He stated that he vowed to ensure that Pakistan would develop and not just Punjab.

He added that the government would provide education, skills, laptop and technical know-how to the youth in the peripheries in particular and all across Pakistan in general.

Speaking regarding the alleged foreign threat made in a ‘letter’, he rejected the previous government’s statements and said that the opposition was already in the process of planning the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan before March 7.

Shehbaz stated that the previous government claimed that the letter was received on March 7, but the decisions regarding the no-confidence motion were made before that, adding that it [what the previous government claimed] was a lie.

Moreover, PM Sharif announced that the parliament’s security committee would be briefed in an in-camera session on the “threat letter” in presence of the armed forces personnel and bureaucrats – the director-general Inter-Services Intelligence, foreign secretary, and the ambassador who wrote it, who has now been transferred to Brussels.

The prime minister added that if there was an iota of evidence found that they [the new government] were backed by foreign conspirators, he would resign from the office of the prime minister.

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