Incompetent people made ministers in current cabinet: Abbasi

Published April 30, 2023
This file photo shows former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during an interview with Christiane Amanpour. — Courtesy: CNN/File
This file photo shows former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during an interview with Christiane Amanpour. — Courtesy: CNN/File

LAHORE: Former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says all the political parties in the current government have failed to give a better and competent cabinet.

“We could not form a 10-member competent people’s cabinet to run the affairs of the country smoothly,” he lamented and added that the people who did not have any ability were made ministers in the cabinet.

Abbasi said the institutions were not working within their constitutional limits and all the systems of the country had failed due to failure of the leadership. He bemoaned the lack of vision in the leadership to bring about changes to the system to solve problems of the country facing existential crisis.

The former prime minister was addressing a seminar on ‘Reimagining Pakistan’ at the Government College University (GCU) on Saturday. The seminar was a part of ‘The Great Debate 2023’ to discuss the problems of the country and their solutions.

Former federal finance minister and PML-N leader Miftah Ismail was the other speaker who predicted that the country, facing economic problems, would take years to address its issues.

Terms leadership’s failure cause of failed system; Miftah predicts more tough years ahead

Mr Abbasi lamented that the political differences in the country were becoming personal differences. He said no better decision was coming to bring about betterment in Pakistan and the country could not move forward without mutual cooperation of the institutions.

“I have seen 24 chief justices and nine army chiefs and all were gone but there are still the same problems,” he said.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said a secretary (bureaucrat) could not run the affairs without political vision and political leadership did not have any vision to lead the country. He termed those involved in making and destabilising the governments responsible for the current situation.

“There is a need to bring about reforms in bureaucracy for better working. No federal government employee wants to work in the federal government and they all prefer to work with the provincial government,” he painted a dark picture.

The former prime minister suggested changes to the rules of business of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as no secretary was ready to prepare a summary for the prime minister because he feared being arrested later on.

“Rs20bn were looted during the free floor distribution programme,” he said.

He said the judiciary would have to earn back its respect.

Speaking on the occasion, Miftah Ismail said the country would have to pay Rs20bn to 25bn in debt every year and the world was not in favour of giving debt to Pakistan, which could not stop its growing population. He lamented that no foreigner wanted to invest in Pakistan.

Mr Ismail said the successive governments had failed to provide the people with basic health and education. He said the circular debt increased every year even after better management by the PTI and PML-N governments. The PIA would have to face a Rs90bn deficit during the current year.

The former finance minister said only 30,000 traders out of 2.2m were paying tax. “I had to face the wrath of traders for imposing tax on them during our government,” he recalled.

Retired justice Nasira Javed said that there would be a lawless situation without true implementation of the Constitution. She said: “there should be a solution to the confrontation between parliament and the judiciary”.

She urged the political leaders to find a solution to avoid confrontation between the parliament and the judiciary.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2023

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