KARACHI - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has dragged the country into a quagmire of debt in the last three years.

In a statement issues here on Monday, Bilawal said the PML-N government had burdened the nation with an extra Rs 8 trillion foreign and domestic debt, more than 1/3rd of the total debt Pakistan had accrued since its inception in 1947. “Nawaz Sharif is systematically strangling our dreams of economic prosperity and evading democratic accountability to thwart our nation’s goals,” the PPP chairman said.

He said that addition of this staggering amount to the national debt within a short period of three years by the PML-N government had given an impetus to the demand for an investigation into the Panama leaks. He said the prime minister and his team were adamant that they would stop PPP’s Panama Bill from making its way through the parliament.

It may be mentioned here that the State Bank of Pakistan said in a recent report that the domestic debt and liabilities showed an increase of Rs5.26 trillion, while external debt showed an increase of more than Rs2.5 trillion. It increased from Rs14.32 trillion in June 2013 to Rs22 trillion in 2016. The domestic debt and liabilities stood at Rs9.52 trillion and external debt and liabilities were recorded at Rs4.8 trillion.

Bilawal said that his party would not remain silent on such suicidal economic policies and asked all political parties in the parliament to raise their voice together with the PPP to save Pakistan from taking an economic nosedive due to PML-N government’s policies.  Separately, Bilawal paid glowing tributes to Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the late senior vice chairman of the PPP, on his first death anniversary, which was observed with simplicity on Monday due to the Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).

“Makhdoom Amin Fahim showed commitment and loyalty to the party and its leadership and passed on the same from his last generation to the next generation gracefully,” the PPP chairman said. He said that Fahim had left behind a legacy of political loyalty and struggle for democracy and rights of the downtrodden people of the country.

Bilawal said that untimely death of Fahim left behind a huge vacuum, which could hardly be filled in near future. He said that Fahim would remain in our memories and those of our party leaders and workers as well as the people of Pakistan.