PML-N leader calls for national dialogue among stakeholders

Ahsan Iqbal wants participants to chalk out roadmap for national development

By: News Desk
Published: 02:01 PM, 25 Jan, 2020
Ahsan Iqbal talks to media
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Enlisting the multiple problems facing Pakistan, PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal has called for urgent institutional reforms and a national dialogue among people from various walks of life to chalk out a roadmap for national transformation and development.

“Time has come for us as a nation to look beyond narrow group interests, break the silos and throw away our prejudices. Politicians, civil servants, military, judiciary, media, private sector need to sit together as "Team Pakistan” and chalk out a roadmap for national transformation and development”, he said in an article.

The five-time MNA from Narowal has come up the idea at a time when his party leaders are meeting in London to discuss the political situation in the country and decide on the PML-N’s future role.

There are reports that the party may play a role in ousting Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to bring in a new man in cooperation with the PML-Q, which has strained relations with the PTI leadership.

However, the PML-Q has denied that it is touch with the PML-N.

Ahsan Iqbal said: “Our Constitution is a socio-economic manifesto, whose principles, which relate to citizens, have been ignored. There is complete consensus in the country on one thing and that is our constitution, among all parties, whether conservative or secular, nationalist or national; and therefore, it has to be cornerstone of this effort.”

The former minister for interior and planning and development  proposed that Chairman, Senate and Speaker, National Assembly should co-host a National Dialogue of all national stakeholders, which has been proposed by Shehbaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Asif Ali Zardari and other politicians. participated by Leaders of House and Opposition in both Houses and Provinces along with heads of Parliamentary Parties, Service Chiefs and DG ISI, Chief Justice of Supreme and High Courts, Pakistan Bar Council, FPCCI, PEC, PMDC, HEC representatives of civil servants and media. This Grand National Dialogue with frank and open discussion should formulate a ten year (2020 – 2030) National Charter for Implementation of Constitution (NCIC), in the same manner as both civil and military leadership agreed on National Action Plan to defeat terrorism. NCIC should comprise of five components focusing on a reforms agenda: National Charter on Economy & Innovation; National Charter on Democratic Governance;  National Charter on Justice and Rule of Law; National Charter on Zero Poverty and achieving Sustained Development Goals; and “ National Charter on National Security including foreign policy.”

The former minister said: “In order to move forward, we need to make a new beginning with a fair and free election in 2020, as present experiment has failed miserably and produced worst polarization in the country, with complete transparency so that we start afresh with a credible government structure and a declaration should be made that next elections will be in 2025 and 2030 to provide long term confidence to investors. A ten year policy framework agreed under the above charters should be locked and whoever comes in government should be held collectively accountable by the citizens for progress on the agreed reform goals. This I believe can be a breakthrough path for us as a nation.”

He said: “If we are able to implement it, history will never forget us; if we fail it shall never forgive us. This is the only way we can realize Jinnah's Doctrine, turn Pakistan into a success story of this decade and our generation can redeem its past mistakes.