Opposition asks PM to contact directly about 'charter of economy'

Arshad Waheed Chaudhry
Nausheen Yusuf

ISLAMABAD: Members of the opposition on Saturday said Prime Minister Imran Khan should contact them directly about the committee for charter of economy.

According to sources, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Syed Khursheed Shah and Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N)Ayaz Sadiq’s met with the government’s chief whip in the National Assembly Amir Dogar and Ali Muhammad Khan during the budget meeting.

The leaders discussed the charter of economy in the meeting where the opposition said the prime minister should contact them directly regarding the charter of economy, sources said.

Sources added, Shah conveyed a messaged through Dogar and said the government considered our offer as a weakness and now he should contact us directly.

A day earlier, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said PM Imran had agreed to the constitution a special committee on charter of economy to cope with economic challenges facing the country.

In a series of tweets posted on his social media account, Qaiser said he had a meeting with the Prime Minister and they discussed different legislative, political and economic issues.

“Prime Minister agreed to constitute a special committee on charter of economy to cope with economic challenges. We will get the opposition onboard for this greater cause of our country. This special committee for economy will consider only current economic conditions and will propose solutions, Qaiser tweeted.

He added, “I hope that government and all opposition parties will contribute in their best for country’s greater cause.”

Speaking to the media in Parliament, former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said, the prime minister should clarify his position on the charter of economy. “We will speak to our own party and other opposition parties about it,” Zardari said.

Responding to a question about NRO, the PPP leader said, “If I did not ask for an NRO eight years and three months ago, why would I ask about it now?”

Senior politician Shah said, “On one side they want to speak about the economy and on the other hand they are accusing us of asking for an NRO. Now Imran Khan needs to contact us for the charter of economy.”

The PPP leader continued, “Whenever we speak to them, it seems like we are asking for an NRO. They need the NRO. 

Shah added, "The Opposition not participating in the voting would be negative. Doing so would be giving a free hand to the government.”

Former National Speaker and PML-N leader Sadiq said the government should not consider his party’s offer for charter of economy as its weakness.

He added, the Opposition was not vying for the charter of economy if the government had no interest in it.

“They should take input from the business community and other stakeholders for the proposed charter of economy so that the economic strategy could be made more effective,” he added.