- Politics can’t help Pakistan solve issues, PML-N leader says.
- Former premier insists on giving Balochistan its resources.
- Miftah says Pakistan not made for people to live in poverty.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said that the judiciary should review the decisions that have impacted the country.
Speaking during a press conference in Quetta flanked by former finance minister Miftah Ismail, Abbasi said that a non-partisan forum was held in Quetta where the issues faced by the country were discussed.
The former premier, focusing on the current economic and political situations in the country, said that some “difficult decisions need to be taken to stabilise” the country.
Khaqan further said that politics couldn’t help Pakistan with its issues, adding that the dialogue — held in Quetta — “is the solution” to the country’s problems.
The dialogue, he said, discussed the issues in Balochistan including the political and economic situation in Pakistan. He added that the basic issues couldn’t be solved within eight months, however, something should be done to eradicate them.
Talking about the forum, Khaqan said that it was provided by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Lashkari Raisani.
“We cannot solve the issues if we do not recognise the Constitution. We need to follow the Constitution and we need a new social contract,” he added.
Speaking about PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Khaqan urged that the injustice against the former prime minister should be redressed.
He deemed unrepresentative people as the cause of Balochistan’s problems. “Today, it should be seen if the MNAs, MPAs, and senators of Balochistan are actually representing the people there. This is the situation of the entire country.”
The PML-N senior vice-president said that while the results of foundational problems can’t be resolved in eight months, the incumbent government should initiate its resolution at the least.
The provinces would have to be given their resources, he added. “Balochistan should be given its gas and electricity.”
The senior politician emphasised on turning to the Constitution as a permanent solution to resolving issues. “If a new social contract is needed, it will also come from the political system. What needs to be seen is whether the constitution has failed or we have failed it ourselves.”
Khaqan added that the direction of the political set-up will have to be changed to bring it towards resolving public issues.
Former finance minister Miftah Ismail, who was also present at the occasion, said that the country’s “debt is increasing in the last 20 years and has reached up to Rs51 trillion”.
“Instead of focusing on education and health, the government will be paying debt instalments. The country has to return $21 billion. There is no room for people to further pay for these instalments. Unemployment and inflation have increased,” the ex-financial czar said.
He insisted on the provision of rights to the people. “Pakistan was not made for people to live in poverty. Eighty per cent children in the country suffer from malnutrition,” he added.
The former federal minister stressed increasing exports and improving agriculture. “The government did not make decisions for four months, which damaged the economy.”
The PML-N leader welcomed the government’s talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — the global lender.
PPP leader Raisani suggested dialogue for the resolution of issues and asked for problems of Gwadar to be dealt with through talks.
“Demands of Gwadar’s people should be fulfilled. An atmosphere of trust should be established before initiating dialogue,” Raisani insisted, adding that since “governments are paralysed. The state must begin a dialogue.”