ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday stressed upon formulation of long term policies to address the deep-rooted economic challenges faced by the country.
The prime minister said that economic continuity, privatization, external debts, agriculture, services delivery, production of goods, tax net and private businesses, were some of the key issues upon which the upcoming elected government should focus.
During an interview with the anchorpersons and Vloggers telecast by PTV News, the prime minister said that the caretaker government during its short period, would set priorities and would do ‘what is doable’ while for the long term policies, would be leaving behind drafts for the succeeding elected government.
He said contrary to the history of Pakistan, the US governments also took debts to the tune of billions of dollars but they had utilized them for boosting its economy and now they had an economic cycle in which their different sectors were thriving.
The caretaker prime minister said that he himself would vote for that party in the general elections that would have an economic revival plan.
To a question about Palestine issue, he reiterated that Pakistan had a consistent policy under which they always expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The two-nation state plan was regarded as solution to the issue but still Israel was denying it, he added.
The caretaker prime minister stressed for the solution of Palestine and Kashmir issues.
The prime minister further elaborated that the interim set up in the shortest period, would be demonstrating how to perform and give a model to the upcoming government, adding so far about Rs18 billion recovery was made in the power sector.
He said additional cost of the power production was diverted to those consumers who were already paying bills and due to the poor administration, the lower segments always borne the brunt.
The prime minister said that they made certain administrative interventions to stop the mess in different sectors and cited recent steps taken against smuggling of different kinds of items in the country.
The prime minister rebuffed that the caretaker government had raised false expectations among the masses with regard to soaring costs of energy.
He said that they held meetings on energy issues and considered different factors including conditionalities of the IMF, circular debt, IPPs’ role, investment, agreements, costly generation of power and power theft issues.
The prime minister said that he also faced severe criticism for his views and even misleading news were disseminated about a civil war in the country due to inflated power bills.
Responding to a query, he maintained that he was apolitical, however, after completion of his tenure as the caretaker prime minister and in the post-caretaker scenario, he would like to play a political role in future to shape the public opinion which was the main responsibility of a politician.
He said that he did not see any legal or constitutional impediment in the way of his political participation in future.
To another question regarding holding of elections in the country, he maintained that Maulana Fazlu Rehman did not represent the caretaker government.
In this regard, the government would take measures in consultation with Election Commission of Pakistan that was mandated to announce a date for the general polls, adding the interim set up would assist the ECP under its constitutional mandate.
Prime Minister Kakar said that two provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan had been affected with terrorism due to spillover from Afghanistan.
He said despite different challenges, Pakistan had been a success story and it was neither a failed state or dysfunctional one.
Not a single union council territory was under the control of terrorists, he said, adding that their counter-terrorism policy yielded results.
The prime minister also expressed the determination that there was no soft corner for the terrorist elements and they would not spare anyone to carry out terrorist activities against the country and its people.
With regard to a question about the civilian supremacy, the prime minister opined that an elected government should exhibit its conduct, vision, integrity and service delivery which were vital for ‘civilian supremacy’.
Expressing his opinion, he stressed that the civil institutions should be strengthened.
The caretaker prime minister said democracy was a process, and in Pakistan, they had a transitional democracy. “Pakistan is not a finished product but an evolving one,” he said, adding all the stakeholders would have to contribute towards its completion.
To a query, he replied that the government was trying to increase tax net as only 10 to 11 per cent of the people were contributing.
When the tax collection would be increased, the economic health of the country would also surge and for this purpose, they should have to adopt self accountability and public vigilance, he added.
About the deportation of illegal foreigners, he said they were taking actions against all those illegal aliens who had neither legal documents nor part of the data system.
About the return and possible arrest of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, he said that he would not go with the speculative theories.
The prime minister clarified that during his participation in the UNGA, his aircraft enroute landed for the refuelling purpose and regretted that false news were spread on social media platforms.