Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday marked the beginning of the new year by extending a proverbial hand of friendship to the opposition as he acknowledged the need to "reduce bitterness" in the country's politics.
Chaudhry, one of the more outspoken federal ministers, is often found trading barbs with members of the opposition parties. The political climate in the country has once become rough around the government's tabling of the controversial 'mini-budget' and it's expected to get worse with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — a multi-party opposition alliance — set to hold an "anti-inflation march" in Islamabad in March.
The information minister, in a bid to smooth relations with political rivals, tweeted today: "At the beginning of the new year 2022, I think we need to reduce bitterness. The government and the opposition should talk on elections, economy, political and judicial reforms.
"Pakistan is a great country. We need to understand our responsibilities. It diminishes the prestige of politicians. Ruckus in the parliament lowers the repute of politicians in the eyes of the common man."
The government and the opposition's latest bout is over the Finance Supplementary Bill 2021 and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill 2021. If passed, the former will bring a new wave of inflationary pressure and the latter would grant complete autonomy to the central bank and place a complete restriction on the government's borrowing from the SBP — something which the opposition believes is akin to "surrendering the country’s financial sovereignty".
Read more: 'Mini-budget': What will get costlier?