ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed authorities concerned to introduce reforms to the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on a priority basis and vowed to ensure that the caretaker government would “continue with our policies” to achieve “consistent progress”.

The prime minister made these comments during a meeting to review the reforms in the loss-making SOEs. The prime minister directed transparency in the process of outsourcing services as well as public-private partnership projects.

“The government would ensure that the caretaker government carried forward the policies of the national interest to achieve consistent progress,” said PM Shehbaz. “I will ensure that the caretakers will continue our policies,” he added.

Separately, in the backdrop of reservations expressed by the MQM-P on a plan to hold elections as per the 2017 census, PM Shehbaz also met the party’s leadership and formed a committee to address their grievances.

PM Shehbaz meets MQM delegation, forms ministerial body to allay their concerns

The ministerial committee includes Ishaq Dar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Khawaja Saad Rafiq.

The prime minister also assured the MQM that the party will be taken on board over all important decisions regarding the caretaker setup.

A PM Office statement said the delegation, led by Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, called on the PM and discussed the formation of caretaker governments and the current political situation in detail.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the MQM-P claimed that PM Shehbaz had assured them in so many words that no decision had been taken on the issue of holding upcoming general elections as per the 2017 census. The statement also said the PM had ordered the removal of irregularities from the voting lists of Sindh’s urban centres.

In a separate statement on Twitter, the PM reiterated that without the just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, South Asia would never be able to attain durable peace and unlock its true development potential.

He said the government and the people expressed their unflinching support and solidarity with the Kashmiris on the ‘Day of Accession to Pakistan’. The day marked the adoption of a resolution by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at a convention in Srinagar in 1947 that called for merging Kashmir with Pakistan, he added.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2023

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