ISLAMABAD: In his final days as the caretaker prime minister, Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Thursday lauded the bureaucracy’s services, claiming that the seven-month-long interim setup has not only improved the country’s economy but also left a plan for the new regime for the betterment of the people.

“We are leaving behind an action plan for the elected government which will definitely prove to be useful for the people and national interest,” PM Kakar said that while presiding over a meeting of the federal cabinet.

“The country’s economy is in a better situation than before as the cabinet showed excellent performance during this short time,” he added.

The incumbent caretaker government was formed in August 2023 for a three-month period to hold polls. However, their term extended to seven months due to some delay in the 2024 general elections. The term of the interim government will end at the beginning of the next month when the new prime minister will take the oath of his office.

Supports bureaucracy against social media trolling; praises Punjab CM for progress in health, education

Interestingly, PM Kakar had said a couple of months ago about consistency of policies that every democratic and elected government made its own policies.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the prime minister stated that the country’s interest was always given top priority in all decisions and policy-making of the caretaker government. “We have to work together for the development and stability of Pakistan,” he added.

Expressing gratitude to the cabinet members, officers, and staff at the PMO for their significant contributions that played a pivotal role in the successful operations of the government setup, he said the collective efforts and teamwork had propelled the administration towards achieving its goals and ensuring effective governance.

He mentioned that the cabinet members’ genuine and positive contributions had steered the country in the right direction, and without their help, this goal could not have been realised.

The PM also praised the services of the principal secretary and military secretary along with their staff for their efficiency and balanced approach despite administrative challenges related to the PM office and other matters.

On Wednesday, the PM voiced support for the bureaucracy amidst their trolling by some elements on social media. He said he considered himself fortunate to have served as the caretaker prime minister.

The prime minister expressed his deep affection for Pakistan. “For me, Pakistan is the first and last, standing as an emblem of my faith. It is home to me, and together, let us make this home stable, prosperous, and developed.”

He emphasised that the country had tremendous potential in natural resources and was a unique territory with a people rich in history.

The PMO’s press release stated that the cabinet expressed satisfaction with the caretaker government’s efforts in restructuring different departments, promoting foreign investment, and facilitating ease of doing business.

The cabinet accorded approval for the receipt of Turkish Armed Forces Legion of Merit Award by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Syed Asim Munir in recognition of his efforts for promoting Pak-Turkish cooperation in defence sector.

The meeting also approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of National Food Security and the UAE-based company Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agriculture Innovation. Under the MOU, the first Pakistan Date Palm Festival will be held in September this year with the aim of bolstering date production.

The cabinet approved the decisions taken in the meetings of the Economic Coordination Committee held on Feb 13 and Feb 14. The cabinet also approved the decisions made in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on State-Owned Enterprises held on Feb 16.

The federal cabinet ratified the decisions taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases held on Feb 16.

PM meets CM Punjab

Later, PM Kakar held a farewell meeting with caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi and discussed matters of mutual interest.

During the meeting, the chief minister praised the prime minister for the steps taken by the government under his leadership to ensure economic stability in the country.

The PM appreciated the chief minister for the measures taken for progress in different sectors in Punjab, particularly health, education and communications infrastructure.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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