Cure for country’s ills lies in constitution: Khaqan Abbasi 

Says we have to see whether the constitution has failed us or we have failed it: Believes we are all responsible for current political situation: Stresses new social contract will emerge from the political system: Calls upon judiciary to right the wrongs done to Nawaz Sharif: Miftah hails govt decision to accept IMF demands: Lashkari Raisani calls for initiating dialogue on Balochistan problems

By: News Desk
Published: 04:51 PM, 22 Jan, 2023
Cure for country’s ills lies in constitution: Khaqan Abbasi 
Caption: TV grab.
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Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has emphasized that the panacea for all the ills the country is facing today lies in the constitution, adding that even if we need a new social contract, it will emerge from the political system, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

He said, “We have to see whether the constitution has failed us or we have failed it. Anyways, we are all responsible for the current political situation of the country. Today, the country is self-sufficient in political parties and media channels. All we need to do is to change the direction of political setup and bring it to problems being faced by public.”

Abbasi was addressing the journalists at Quetta Press Club on Sunday. He was flanked by former finance minister Miftah Ismail and Balochistan National Party leader and Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani. 

The former premier and PML-N leader Abbasi has urged the need of political stability to put the country on the path of progress and prosperity.

 “Lawmakers in the National Assembly and the Senate have to go for an open debate on serious issues confronting Pakistan today,” he said. 

He called for an end to the politics of maligning each other and urged all political forces to put their heads together to bring the country out of the prevailing economic crisis.

“When politics turns into enmity, people’s problems remain. It is unfortunate that the economic crisis and failure of politics has reached its peak,” Abbasi said.

He also lamented that there was no forum where issues could be discussed openly, adding that Pakistan’s “extraordinary” situation must be meted with “extraordinary action”. He also stressed the need for governments to actually perform.

"Political stability in the country is now inevitable and difficult decisions will have to be made to stabilize the country. It s time to shun politics of hatred, accusations and backbiting," he said.

"The time has come to give the people of Pakistan their due rights,”  he added. 

The PML-N stalwart further said the country s problems must be discussed at a non-partisan forum. The main reason for the problems of Balochistan are unrepresented people.

He said despite having the most resources, Balochistan was the poorest of all provinces.

He touched upon various issues, including the issue of missing persons.

“Solution to all the problems of Balochistan from utilities, to Gawadar, is in the constitution,” the former premier said, “however, as long as senators come to power by paying crores of rupees, nothing will change.”

He also added that all stakeholders in the country had contributed to creating the chaos that pervaded and that all must now turn from the blame game and work together to resolve the country’s many crises. “There is a need to discuss the new social contract,” he urged.

Abbasi also called upon the judiciary to review its past decisions, urging it to “rectify the injustices” done to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Responding to a reporter’s question during a joint press conference today, Abbasi said: “The injustices done to Mian Nawaz Sharif sahab — we talk about Mian Nawaz Sharif returning to the country but we should also rectify those injustices and those injustices are evident.”

He said: “I always say that it is the judiciary’s job to review the decisions that have had [adverse] effects on Pakistan — immense ones.

“I do not want to talk about those issues […] Whatever effect the judiciary’s decisions and actions have had in running this country, they have played a major role in the matters that plague the country today.”

At another point during the talk, he said that the speakers had not criticised anyone but themselves, adding: “We all are responsible [for the current situation], including politicians, military officials, judges [and] the media. […] We are not here to blame anyone.”

Responding to another question, he asserted: “There have been martial laws for a long time in our country. There has also been the military’s interference in politics [and] has been present — even currently.”

He went on to say: “There is a need to end it (military’s interference) and bring it within Constitutional boundaries. This in particular will give you the solution to the issues. Is it possible within a day? Only time will tell.”

Miftah hails govt decision to accept IMF demands 

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail welcomed the government’s decision to accept all the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive the loan programme.

Responding to a reporter’s question, he said: “I think that the decisions not made by the government in the past four months have caused damage to the economy. However, I am now quite glad that the government has made the decision to sit and talk to the IMF.

“I welcome this decision of the government, though they incurred a loss of four months [and] of money. However, it is a good thing — better late than never.

“I hope that they will move towards finding a solution to the country’s financial issues,” the former finance minister added.

He further said when the government reinstated the IMF programme, it had “settled the economy” and terminated the country’s risk of economic default.

Ismail portrayed a bleak picture of the country’s financial conditions. “The country is under huge debt and the common man is paying a heavy price every day,” Ismail lamented, adding that stunting affected over 40 per cent of children in Pakistan because of malnutrition.

Miftah Ismail said it was crucial for Pakistan to "stand on its feet" if it wishes to become a respectful nation.

"And if we want Pakistan to become self-sufficient, then every Pakistani's role is important. In this regard, it is vital to send every child to school," the two-time finance minister said.

Ismail said that the country should spend more than Rs2 billion on education, while also ensuring that it improves the schooling system.

The former finance czar, while lamenting over the situation of women in Pakistan, said that 40% of females between the ages of 15-50 have iron deficiency.

Ismail stressed the need to provide employment to every Pakistani and noted that unemployment was not an issue restricted to Balochistan, rather it was a countrywide phenomenon.

"More than 80 million people in Pakistan are living below the poverty line. As many as 60% of Pakistanis earn below Rs35,000," the PML-N leader said.

Ismail added that every citizen's income should increase. He also stressed the need to promote harmony and love in the country.

He said Pakistan had been facing increase in debt for the last 20 years or so and that ongoing political instability and culture of abuse couldn t give the people of Pakistan of their due rights.

He said the country s economic situation had been worsened up to the extent that the national debt had touched Rs51,000 billion, adding money was being spent on debt repayment instead of providing basic facilities to the nation. "Inflation and unemployment are increasing due to mounting debt."

Ismail said the country had to pay $21 billion dollars under debts and loans, adding no government could present the solution to the circular debt [in energey setcor]. 

Lashkari Raisani calls for initiating dialogue on Balochistan problems

Baloch leader Lashkari Raisani said the country’s crisis had reached its peak and that an atmosphere must be created to discuss Balochistan.

He underlined the need to initiate a dialogue to discuss the burning issues of Balochistan. Raisani said the people of Gawdar were protesting for their rights, saying that the residents of the port city demanded their basic rights but the “state put them into jails instead of providing them basic rights”.

He went on to demand, “Today through this forum, we demand that the people who the state has imprisoned during the Gwadar protests […] all of their cases are taken back, they are released [and] the state fulfils all of their demands.”

The former Balochistan chief minister added that Hidayatur Rehman and Hussain Wadela — main leaders of the Haq Do Tehreek — were released two-three days ago only.

Categories : Pakistan