ISLAMABAD - PPP leader Nafisa Shah Thursday called the 50-day performance of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led government a repetition of U-turns.

Speaking at a news conference here, Shah said the PTI had lived up to its reputation of taking U-turns at every step and reneged on their promises. “They have been equally efficient on the U-turn whether it is economic pledges, political positions, governance reforms, or foreign policy commitments. We feel the country is being run by a trainee pilot who is making the poor people of this country go through political summersaults,” the PPP lawmaker said. The trial and error method of the governance, she stressed, must stop. “One Minister gives one statement, another takes a U-turn on that statement.

Minister Information who has virtually become Minister for abuses and apologies, says one thing, one day, only to be contradicted by his own cabinet colleague the next day,” she maintained.

Shah said the minister of planning says one thing, minister for parliamentary affairs says yet another. “Minister of Petroleum says one thing on one day and another on the next. This government is truly a comedy of errors. In the first fifty days of the government the only direction we see is the ubiquitous U-turn,” she contended. In fact, Shah said: “We propose that the PTI government should set up a Ministry of U-turns.”

The lawmaker said despite the fuss three months back, save a little tinkering in the Finance Bill, Finance Minister Asad Umar passed the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)’s budget once again. “The taxation structure of PML-N of indirect taxes in the form of withholding taxes remains,” she added. On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, she said: “We still do not have a detailed briefing on the Prime Minister’s maiden visit to Saudi Arabia.

The only information we have is a U-turn. Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s statement of Saudi Arabia being the third partner in CPEC was contradicted by their Planning and Development Minister.” Shah said petroleum minister also went back on his own words first saying “we will get oil on deferred payments, then retracting on his statement and saying we will not get oil on deferred payments.”

The balance of payments crisis had not yet been responded with a policy statement, she said adding the government’s position on the International Monetary Fund like, “no, yes, perhaps…the government has not given us a clear picture on whether it intends to enter into an agreement with IMF. But we can safely predict that there will be a U-turn here.”

The Adviser for Commerce, she said, warned that CPEC projects would be halted but then there was a U-turn. The government retracted and claimed they were committed to CPEC. “There were reports of increase in gas tariffs, denied by Minister for Information and then they were increased. One day they are raised, the second they are reduced. But we predict a U turn here as well,” she said.Shah said the PTI-led government announced to lease the Radio Pakistan building one day, and on the next day they retracted.

“They were closing Utility Stories on one day and the next day they changed their mind. Fifty days of the government are going to be over tomorrow (October 5) and we have only seen U-turns,” she quipped.

Shah said increase and expand global relevance was the main objective of the PTI plan. “But the PM missed the opportunity to address the United Nations General Assembly and went on a begging bowl mission to Saudi Arabia.

Besides we don’t want to repeat the disastrous phone calls and letters to various countries which caused us unnecessary embarrassment,” the PPP leader said. Meanwhile, PPP leader Farhatullah Babar showed concern over forced disappearances of the people.

Speaking at a seminar on missing persons at the Islamabad High Court Bar, he lauded the IHC verdict of March this year authored by Justice Athar Minallah in which the court ordered financial compensation to the victim family and imposed fines on state functionaries including a former Lieutenant General and a former Inspector General police. Babar said instead of acting upon this landmark verdict the government decided to go in appeal against it and that also within a month of the Minister for Human Rights promising amendments in the law to make enforced disappearance a criminal offense.

He paid rich tributes to the IHC Judge Athar Minallah, the petitioner Mahira Sajid and the young lawyers who pleaded the case in the court. Babar also called for signing the Convention on Enforced Disappearances and a peep into the Abu Ghuraib prisons in Pakistan called internment centres.

He also demanded to make public the 2010 report of the first Commission on Enforced Disappearances as well as of the UN Working Group that visited Pakistan in 2012.

The seminar was also addressed by President of Islamabad High Court Bar Association Javed Akbar Shah and chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Amina Masood Janjua.