A test of prime minister’s nerves

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 03:51 PM, 12 Apr, 2021
A test of prime minister’s nerves

By ordering the relevant authorities to look into the matters of sugar mills belonging to various influential families, including those owned by some ruling PTI adherents, the prime minister has done a commendable job.

Now it’s the test of his nerves to take the investigations to their logical conclusion, whatever the price. Superfluous to point out the prime minister’s order amounts to batting the hornets’ nest and now he should be prepared to face any retaliatory steps to be taken by the cartel.

While the investigators accuse the sugar mills of having skimmed billions of rupees through corrupt practices, they should be directed to come up with undeniable proofs to substantiate their allegations. In case they failed, the government would have to face humiliation among the masses and pay a very heavy price in the elections.

Patriotism demands that the opposition parties, especially those who claim to be honest and sympathetic to people, should also stand by the government for the completion of this noble mission and play a role in frustrating all pressure tactics used, or to be used, by those netted by the investigators. It is their moral obligation to support an initiative whose real objective is to give relief to people and prevent the sugar mills from pocketing unjustifiable profits.

The premier deserves appreciation for starting investigations from the very people who have been very close to him.  

It is deplorable that after accusations of his sugar mills’ involvement in corrupt practices Mr Jahangir Khan Tareen, the former secretary general of the ruling party, has started gathering politicians and legislators to show his power and mount pressure on the premier to not proceed against the sugar baron. He is hosting dinners for office-bearers and parliamentarians of the party to send a message to the relevant quarters.

In fact Mr JKT would be appreciated if he supports the government’s initiative and thus blunts the opposition’s allegations of victimization. His support to the investigations would disarm the opponents.  And since Mr Tareen claims to be a man of clean hands he has nothing to worry at all. In case he is victimized, Allah will protect him and his industrial units from the wrath of the perpetrators.  

It is tragic that political parties that claim to be working for a just order in the country are either keeping silent on the investigations against sugar mills or are watching the unfolding situation.  

Everyone agrees that prices of sugar, cooking oil, fruits, vegetables and other eatables are much higher than what they should be in an agricultural country. Pakistan is importing what it should have been exporting because of its potential. As a result, foreign exchange reserves are being used to foot the import bills.

And the prices of imported things are certainly much higher- in fact beyond the reach of the common man.

In such a situation leaders and legislators belonging to all parties should shelve their own or parties’ interests and play a role in solving the problems of the common man. They should give the government ideas to bring down the prices, deal with the menace of unemployment, growing foreign loans and put the country on path to progress and prosperity. And the government should implement the ideas coming without any reservations.

No party can single-handedly grapple with the menace of corruption or solve other problems.  This approach has been experimented by almost all governments in the past but it failed to bring the desired results. This approach of singling out the opponents gave the latter an opportunity to allege victimization. This needs to be replaced without delay. Cleansing the Augean stables is in the country’s interest and no party or individual should resist the campaign against the corrupt.

Categories : Opinion