ISLAMABAD: Criticising the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government over what he called its failure to have an effective foreign policy, economic plan and understanding to maintain law and order, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to come to the parliament to disclose the conditions his government had accepted to receive bailout packages from Saudi Arabia and China.
“The prime minister had promised that he would come to the parliament every Wednesday to answer questions of parliamentarians, but it has not happened so far,” he said while lashing out at the PTI-led government’s policies in a press talk outside the Parliament House.
“We want to know the conditions the prime minister has promised to Saudi Arabia and China for seeking monetary assistance,” the PPP chairman said, adding that the nation had not been informed what they would have to bear for getting the ‘bailout packages’. “We have to know what terms and conditions are taking place with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Saudi Arabia and with China,” he said.
Offers support to govt on southern Punjab province proposal, reforms in accountability bureau
The opposition party leader said Mr Khan’s party manifesto said he would never hold the begging bowl to borrow money from any country, “but he went to Saudi Arabia and China for begging. This shows that how effective the foreign policy of the PTI government is”.
About the PM’s meeting with the Yemeni envoy on Wednesday, the PPP chairman said the nation should also be informed by Mr Khan what kind of mediation between Saudi Arabia and Yemen he had promised to the Saudi rulers. “All these facts should be brought before parliament,” he said.
The government, he said, had no effective foreign policy, no economic plan and no understanding so as how to tackle law and order. “The government has no policy except U-turns,” said Mr Bilawal.
If the government had been appropriately dealing with the financial crisis, why it failed to announce a concrete, stable economic policy, he asked.
The prime minister did not even take the recent law and order situation seriously, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said, adding that when public and private property was being damaged and major cities were besieged during Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protests, Mr Khan went to China while the government signed a deal with the group.
Mr Khan hurried to China a day before his scheduled official visit, he added.
The PPP chairman said even the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on currency swap with China that the PTI government was boasting about was the brainchild of former president Asif Ali Zardari.
NAB reforms, new province
About the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the PPP chief said the bureau was being used for arm twisting of political opponents. “We have offered the government that joint efforts of the government and the opposition can make NAB a “real anti-graft watchdog” but the government did not respond to this,” he said.
The opposition party leader also criticised the PTI government for what he called “slashing the budget of Gilgit-Baltistan and snatching the facilities given by the PPP government to the people of GB”.
Referring to the proposal about southern Punjab province called Saraiki suba, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said his party could assist the government on the matter as a bill of the PPP on the new province in Punjab had been lying in the National Assembly.
When asked about the ruling party’s performance in the first 100 days, the PPP chairman said only 10 days were left in the deadline that the PTI had set for itself while making tall claims of change. He said he would address another press conference to tell the nation about government performance after the deadline.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018