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Print Print 2023-09-27

Fixing economy top priority: PM

  • Terms Pakistan a transitional democracy and assures electoral process would be neutral, fair, and free
Published September 27, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday said his foremost priority to fix the problems of the country during his tenure in office would be to cut the government’s expenditure and increase revenue.

“The economy is extremely pressing right now and these are the problems which are hitting a common man very hard,” he told TRT World when asked about his vision during the last four months of the caretaker setup.

Kakar said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal was an opportunity for the country to focus on how the economic behaviour was influencing the life of the common man in Pakistan.

Pakistani-British businessmen: PM highlights positive economic indicators

“I am quite positive that this current stint of ours, no matter how short it is, we will try our level best to provide a blueprint for the future mandated government that can take some benefit of it, stay the course, and deliver on the economic front to the people of Pakistan,” he said.

On the transparency of the upcoming general election, he termed Pakistan a transitional democracy and assured that the electoral process would be neutral, fair, and free.

He stressed that there would not be any organisational or institutional involvement, either in favour of any one or any political group.

On protests by Imran Khan’s supporters, he said the protest, if remained peaceful, was their basic and democratic right. The government will try to protect the democratic right of any political party be it Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-N, and Pakistan Peoples Party, he said. However, he stressed that any kind of vandalism in the name of protest would not be allowed.

Asked about the alleged involvement of the United States in the ouster of Imran Khan, he called it a conspiracy theory that was used for public consumption. “At times politicians do things for populist reasons, but as far as the responsible caretaker government is concerned, we ensure that no one whether it is United States of America or any other power, meddles in our domestic affairs,” he said

Pakistan is a sovereign country that exercises things according to its own interests, he said. Kakar said the ouster of Imran Khan was lawful, as it was carried out constitutionally and without a military coup.

To a question on civil-military relations, he said to ensure functional governance, the civilian institutions had been relying on the military due to its organisational capabilities and to deal with day-to-day challenges in areas including health, education, disaster management, and tax revenue collection. He said the civil institutions needed to enhance their capability to improve service delivery.

On Pakistan’s national security, he said the country faced a perpetual challenge of attacks for 16 years and was quite successful in managing the violence to a certain level. He mentioned that the Afghan-led government had the capacity issues to respond to certain terrorist groups on their soil, which he termed as a threat to Pakistan and the world. He said Pakistan was the only nation that lost around 90,000 individuals in fighting terrorism.

To a question comparing Pakistan’s progress with India, he said there are cycles of life within the lifespan of an individual or nation with good and bad patches. “If you want to turn around your adversarial time and turn it into a fortune, you have to learn lessons and be quite optimistic and sanguine about the future,” he said.

He said though Pakistan faced difficult times in terms of economy and security, there was no reason to become paranoid and feel insecure due to India’s “apparent success”.

Kakar expressed confidence that Pakistan had a “very shining and promising future and would come out of the economic mess and security challenges”.

On Pakistan’s democratic process, he said even democracies die if political differences are turned into enmities. “If we turn our political differences into personal enmities, the kind of liberal democracy which we are hoping for would have very serious challenges and there would be forces who would jump in and rationalise the sort of a governance structure which probably would not be that great for many political players in the country,” he said.

He said Pakistan desired meaningful dialogue with all its neighbours including India. “We do want peace with India but with justice, which is linked with the resolution of the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the United Nations Security Council to hold a plebiscite in the valley.

He said India was pursuing a skewed political view by changing the religious and social background of Jammu and Kashmir with the introduction of Hindu population, terming it an “ambitious and dangerous” step having implications on Muslim, Christian and Sikh minorities.

Asked about the status of minorities in Pakistan, he said the government fully supported their religious faith and rights. “The difference between the religious freedom of Pakistan and India is that Pakistan’s State and the government always stands with the oppressed, not with the oppressor,” he said.

Kakar mentioned that after an incident of ill-treatment to Christian community in Jaranwala, the top officials including the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the army chief were firm with their public position to sympathize and empathize with the affected minorities.

The attacked church was renovated within 24 hours, he said. “Our minorities include Sikhs, Hindu and Christian minority and it is the moral, constitutional and religious duty of all the Pakistanis to protect our vulnerable groups,” he said.

Asked about any change in blasphemy law, he said it was out of the legislative domain of the caretaker government, but the parliament was empowered to bring any change in it. “We have to wait for a parliament and there are multiple political parties including PTI, PML-N, PPP, and others who should actually debate and have a public discourse on such issues and bring it on the floor of the parliament. If they feel that there is a need to change the law,” he said.


Comments are closed.

Mohammad Anwar Sep 27, 2023 07:23am
Exemption granted from audit to tax amnesty benfecries is unjustified and with drawn immediately.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Fatima Sep 27, 2023 07:29am
I thought his top priority was to go to Disneyland Paris on state aircraft ? Mission 1 completed
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WarrenDesiBuffet Sep 27, 2023 07:30am
Kakar does not sound like he can tie his shoelaces on his own.
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Arif Sep 27, 2023 08:07am
No ! first priority is foreign holidays and shopping on tax payers money .
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Tulukan Mairandi Sep 27, 2023 09:24am
I hope he is getting guidance from the maverick Ishaq Dar
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Shahid Khan Sep 27, 2023 09:54am
Lol your priority should be elections. Alas, we can only cry over what's happening in our country. We don't know why they are doing this to our country
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Ahmad Din Sep 27, 2023 10:44am
Economic reform should start from privatization of lose making organization like Zari Tarqiati bank, WAPDA, Railway and PIA. Secondly there should be institutional reforms and especially bureaucratic establishment which is creating hurdles in the process of good governance should be abolished. The money saved should be diverted towards developmental activities which are generating value in the economy.
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Arshad Sep 27, 2023 10:46am
My Priorty is to travel in a private jet with free stays in 7 Star Hotels funded by the Bankrupt nation.
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KU Sep 27, 2023 11:07am
Star Trek Pakistan: The final frontier for opportunists. These are the voyages of politicians, criminals, and servants, and their starship ‘’Greed’’. Its never-ending mission: To explore strange new ways to steal and make wealth, to seek out new ways of fooling the people and feed them new lies, to boldly conduct heists and hide the wealth where no one can find it anymore.
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Taimoor Ashraf Sep 27, 2023 03:29pm
His one and only job is to hold free and fair elections on time. Even elected governments have had a very hard time fixing the economy.
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