14 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Caretaker PM sees ‘weaknesses’ in Pakistan’s transitional democracy

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar says caretaker government stabilizes national economy with crackdown on smuggling and illegal trade of dollars

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that the caretaker government would be leaving and the new government would be formed after the general elections on February 8, putting behind all speculation and conspiracy theories of the past months.

In a TV interview, he said from day one there was no doubt that the elections would be held on time and now this would be happening after all speculations. He said that the caretaker government performed its duties according to the constitutional mandate and he would take responsibility for all decisions taken during this tenure.

“Our democracy is evolving and we are a transitional democracy with all its flaws and weaknesses,” he said while answering a question. He said the parliament would be formed after the elections and it would take up necessary constitutional and legal reforms to strengthen democracy, according to suggestions from different strata of the society.

The caretaker prime minister said terrorism was a serious issue and its surge happened due to withdrawal of the United States and NATO forces from Afghanistan, who left behind modern weapons which came in possession of terrorist groups. “We have taken up a clear position against the terrorist groups and the law enforcement agencies are steadfastly taking on the terrorists with bravery.”

During his tenure, he said that he represented Pakistan at the United Nations and interacted with the world leaders and explained Pakistan’s perspective to them. He said that he also met with the Chinese leadership, policymakers and think tanks at the Belt and Road Forum in China to exchange ideas on achieving shared prosperity for humanity.

“We signed 10 memorandums of understanding with China on increasing cooperation, especially on the projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).” He appreciated the army for the swift, appropriate and measured response in the aftermath of the attack on the Pakistani soil from Iran. He said that Pakistan de-escalated the situation with Iran, as both countries could not afford deterioration in the bilateral relations.

To a question, he said that his government increased aid to Gaza threefold and with the institutional input, advocated the cause of Palestine from the platform of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He said that the Islamic world should unite behind the people of Palestine and the Palestinians should decide for themselves their future course, he opined.

He said that Pakistan categorically told the European Union countries that the situation in the Gaza would have a long time effect in the arena of international affairs. “After I assumed charge, the biggest crises before me were economy, rising inflation, volatile exchange rate, tax collection, spending of the government and circular debt.” He said that his government stabilized the economy with the crackdown on smuggling and illegal trade of dollars.

“We kept dollar at Rs 180 and the level of inflation was kept stable and now the economic indicators are better. We took steps for simplification of tax collection system.” About 35 billion dollars worth of MOUs were signed with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, he said, adding Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) took concrete measures for attracting investment.