PM Imran Khan targets Nawaz Sharif in speech at Tiger Force convention

Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing the issues facing the country, including inflation and the current political situation — at the Tiger Force Convention in Islamabad.

The address comes a day after the Opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) held its first power show in Gujranwala.

He started off his address by welcoming the Tiger Force volunteers and thanked them for their enthusiasm. He was interrupted at multiple times by the crowd, which continued loudly shouting its support for the prime minister. 

“You have to be quiet. You have to listen to me quietly,” he asked multiple times. “It is important that I say what I need to say.” 

He then thanked the Tiger Force for its activities since it was formed on March 28. 

“I would like to thank you on behalf of the nation,” he said, before he was interrupted and had to ask for some quiet again. 

“You will enjoy what I have to say if you are quiet. Because there was a circus last night and I want to talk about it as well.” 

Addressing the Tiger Force, which is largely comprised of youth volunteers, he said that it is important for them to understand their position and the importance of their work. 

“The volunteer force has a high stature in society, because you have to protect the rights of our citizens. This is a big role in a democracy: Tigers, you have a big role. Pakistanis are a nation who stand for their country,” he said. 

“I cannot speak to you everyday, so listen to me: We are a nation of people who have a big heart. 

“There was a shortfall in wheat in Pakistan because in the last two years it rained at the wrong time due to climate change,” he said. 

“I have called you today because there is inflation in our country and there are many reasons for it. The rupee has fallen against the dollar because when we got the government, we had the largest trade deficit.” 

“There was a $40 billion trade deficit. When the rupee falls, whatever we buy from outside, the price of it increases — such as gas, petrol and electricity — all of this increases. I’m not referring to diesel on purpose,” he said. 

Referring again to irregular rainfall, which he had blamed for the wheat shortage, PM Imran Khan said, “It rained when the wheat was supposed to be thrashed. That decreased the supply of wheat, and we saw a deficit. We needed 7.2 million tonnes of wheat. When there was a deficit, the price of wheat increased.” 

“We found out about the shortage late, because the systems we had were not right. We have countered that deficit by importing [wheat].” 

“I need your help to counter hoarding. What you have to do is that you will not intervene yourself. You all have a mobile phone: you have to take picture and put it it up on the portal that we have launched.” 

“It is the job of the administration to take action, the responsibility of [finding who is] hoarding is on you,” he said. 

“You will help the administration. You will not to interfere — because [you have to realise] that people will [pose as] Tigers to blackmail shopkeepers, which is why [I am asking] you that do not interfere,” he warned. 

“The sugar mill producers are few in number, and most of them are very powerful. The Sharif family and the Zardari family both have sugar mills. For the first time, a detailed inquiry was held regarding sugar. I am telling the nation today that under the plan we are introducing, you will not get overpriced sugar,” he said. 

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