'Who is running the country?': Sherry Rehman berates PTI govt over 'failures'

Published October 27, 2020
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman speaks at a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman speaks at a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

The PPP's senior leadership on Tuesday blasted the government over what it termed its "failures" in various areas, including getting Pakistan removed from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) 'grey list', controlling inflation and pursuing the Kashmir issue with the force it deserved.

Senator Sherry Rehman listed the PTI government's alleged failings at a press conference in Islamabad, asking: "Who is running Pakistan?"

She said the government had drafted flawed bills concerning FATF's action plan "in haste" and tried to get them passed through the parliament in a rush. It was the opposition that worked "day and night" to improve the legislation through the help of experts, she added.

Rehman, who was accompanied by other PPP leaders, said the government was "celebrating" having met 21 targets of the FATF's 27-point action plan, but asked: "The country is still in the grey list, and you are celebrating this and fooling Pakistan's people and parliament?"

Read: FATF consensus decision without voting 'diplomatic victory' for Pakistan: minister

"We demand explanations from ministers who used FATF's laws to say that Pakistan was exposed only due to the opposition," she said, asking the government to also explain whether Pakistan was still subject to "enhanced monitoring" by the global anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing watchdog.

The senator accused the government of having used the FATF legislation for the "witch-hunt" of opposition members and not using the opposition's cooperation as an opportunity to create consensus.

She said although the opposition was currently supporting the government for the sake of people's issues, the government was "dividing the parliament and the country" and clashing with the opposition.

"The tabahi sarkaar (destruction regime) has only caused destruction," Rehman said.

Citing increases in prices of food items, she said although inflation was the country's real issue at the moment, no one was talking about it because the government had entangled everyone in a "war of narratives".

"Who is running Pakistan?" she questioned, noting that polio had seen a resurgence during the current government's tenure and the government had taken international loans "without restraint".

Terming the government "na-maloon sarkaar (unindentified regime)", Rehman said the government needed to be asked how it will bring the country out of the economic crisis and repay the loans.

"Tiger Force will not be able to do it. What is their mandate? Will you unleash them onto the public?" she said, adding that the country could not be run through "force and threats".

Rehman also berated the government for allegedly failing to take action against the persons responsible for the wheat and sugar crises and allowing them to go abroad. "NAB (National Accountability Bureau) is for us only, of course," she added sarcastically.

She said the government was sowing confusion regarding the availability of wheat in the country even though mills run by persons close to the government were allegedly involved in hoarding.

The government has been increasing prices of medicines to fulfil demands of multinational companies, while the power sector's circular debt is sky-rocketing, Rehman added.

She also said the government had not done enough to highlight the annexation of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

"What became of the protest you were going to hold every Friday?" she asked, adding that not even a parliament session was called to mark Kashmir's occupation by India on October 27.

"An attempt is being made to make the parliament completely irrelevant [and] the President has become an ordinance factory," the PPP leader said. She also said journalists were being harassed every other day and the government feigned ignorance on the issue.

"The government has very little time left, but if it is to complete its term, it can't take Pakistan to the point of no return."



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