Tuesday Oct 27, 2020
KARACHI: PPP Senator Sherry Rehman on Tuesday lambasted the "incompetent" PTI-led government for "failing miserably everywhere", including at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
"Whether it is the FATF or the IMF, this incompetent government is failing everywhere," Rehman said. "Pakistan is still on the grey list. Over what are they [the government] tooting their own horns?"
The PPP leader said people wished for the country to be removed from the notorious grey list, formally known as the "increased monitoring list" and on which Pakistan was to remain as announced by FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer last week.
"This is a divisive government, an incompetent government, an unaware government. This 'notice' government just keeps taking notice but nothing happens after that."
Lashing out at the government, she reminded it of the PTI's rallies, saying: "You yourself have held a sit-in in the federal capital and today you are telling the Opposition they cannot hold a rally?
"We are democratic people. We had thought we would let the government complete its tenure but it looks like it will end soon.
"You were supposed to protest over the Kashmir issue every Friday; whatever happened to that? You did not even convene a meeting on the Kashmir issue.
"In our time, the Parliament made decisions. In our time, even the NATO's cargo was stopped because the Parliament was in session.
"It was expected that a special session of Parliament would be held today after India's aggressive move but that did not happen. The Kashmiri [people] are the only victims of Indian state terrorism.
"A strong message should have come from Pakistan," the senator said. "If we were in the government, we would have convened a joint meeting today as we did in the past.
"Pakistan's common position would have been strengthened and all leadership united on national security issues," she said.
Rehman lamented how the Parliament was "being disrespected and bulldozed" and the problems of the people not being allowed to be highlighted.
"If there can be a joint meeting pertaining to the FATF, why not one for the Kashmir issue," she asked, adding that the PPP had supported the FATF legislation for the country.
She underlined how Pakistan had been instructed to take steps and do more from the start of 2018. "Look at the situation from 2018 till now... How many bills and ordinances popped up overnight!
"We demand that the ministers who made statements regarding the FATF Bills clarify themselves. Nowhere was this 'incompetent' government able to protect Pakistan's interests," she said, adding that the leadership "has us all entangled in a war of words".
The senator mentioned that issues such as the FATF, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the coronavirus situation gave politicians a chance to take a united stand but the "Prime Minister's circus party created hurdles in the way of a possible consensus".
"It is the agenda of this government to divide the Parliament and the Opposition. This disastrous government has done nothing but wreak havoc," she said.
Referring to lawmaking, she advised the government not to create more challenges for the country by setting up wrong laws and suggested they "at least come to the House" when facing problems in legislation.
"I fail to understand how the inflation would be controlled given how so many loans have been obtained" by Pakistan, she added, noting that prices were rising continuously due to unplanned loans.
"1% is what this incompetent and unaware government has given," she said.
Taking yet another aim at the government, she said the PTI regime failed to explain why flour was being sold at Rs80 a kilo. Criticising the ruling party's ministers, she said the mills currently stockpiling were "their friends' mills".
She said a severe wheat crisis was looming over the country by the end of December 2019. "Portfolios of those named [in the wheat and sugar scandals] were changed and they then went abroad without a worry.
"The sugar thieves go out, the BRT buses burn but the NAB is only for the Opposition," she observed.
Read more: Here's why Peshawar's BRT buses caught fire
Speaking of the change in weather, she said: "Winter has come, where is the gas, what is the plan for gas? The government has no plan of action for gas.
Rehman warned that the Prime Minister's Tiger Force would not be able to work because "this country will not be run through threats and bullying".
"Polio was about to be brought to an end but it returned. Those who believe in not taking loans have broken the records [of taking loans]," she stated.
The unaware government has very little time left, she warned further.
The senator also spoke of how terrorism was "on the rise once again" and how Pakistan had made great sacrifices in the war on terror.
"The government that sold off Kashmir cannot is unable to comprehend anything itself," she said. "What is this incompetent and unknown government doing? I do not know!"