ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman yesterday said the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government had brought the country to the point of ruin.

Commenting on the PTI-led government’s two-year performance, Sherry Rehman said people wonder how to bring the country back from such devastation.

“What happened to the false promises of providing 10 million jobs and five million houses for the poor? Instead, millions have lost their jobs and houses because of the disastrous PTI rule. In June, 9,350 employees of Pakistan Steel Mill have been fired and now 450 employees of PTDC have been let go. The government is just busy in the loot sale of state assets both at home and abroad,” she said in a statement.

Sherry Rehman said “federalism and constitution are under attack. Parliament has been treated less as a place to engage in healthy debate and enact laws and more as a forum to run down opponents with choice abuse and wild accusations. The ordinances promulgated by the government have outnumbered the laws as they only depended on it. This has exposed the abysmal performance of the government. The Prime Minister has also been missing and only attended 9 sittings during the second year. The inefficient and incompetent cabinet is made up of friends who benefit and misuse their authority”. 

“There is disunity amongst the ruling party which is becoming obvious. Clearly, there is policy confusion in the frontline ranks at the Foreign Office and cabinet. PTI ranks have now become fault lines that are having an impact on the clarity and strategic force of our policy. How can a government with no cohesion inside its own cabinet instill confidence in Pakistan’s policies abroad?” she questioned.

There is disunity amongst the ruling party which is becoming obvious

The Senator said, “Even before the pandemic hit us, Pakistan’s circular debt was surging, currency was devaluing and public debt was rising at an alarming rate. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) based monthly inflation increased to 9.3% on a Year-on-Year (YoY) basis in July 2020, from 8.6% during June 2020. The circular debt in the power sector currently standing at Rs 2,219 billion is to swell up to Rs4,000 billion in 2025 that will have a catastrophic impact on the economy.”

She added: “Marred by poor governance, the PTI government has missed its original tax collection target by a record Rs1.58 trillion as it could pool nearly Rs3.981 trillion by end of fiscal year 2019-20. The prevailing energy crisis in Pakistan is taking away 2% (or Rs 380 billion) of the economy. Despite a historical dip in international oil prices, the domestic oil prices stand at around Rs 104.47/litre. The PTI government must not solely blame the COVID-19 crisis for the current economic turmoil. Let’s not forget that the federal budget 2020 has failed on multiple levels”.

The Auditor General of Pakistan, she said, in a recent report had revealed that corruption and irregularities worth Rs 270 billion have been found in the PTI tenure of govt transactions. That’s a huge number. “Where is NAB action on this? Or is it busy with its opposition witch hunt and media targets?” she asked.

Discussing the curb on media freedoms, she said a free media was fundamental to functional democracy. “Transparency is crucial in times of crisis. Freedom of expression is not negotiable, just like coercion of media or its censorship is unacceptable. The incumbent government has imposed ban on the media freedom through various ways,” she added.

Sherry Rehman concluded by saying: “The National airline is made to crash, rupee is depreciating, petrol prices are on a rise, load shedding has returned, health sector is collapsing but instead of working on these issues and coming up with action plans, the government is busy in covering up their corruption scandals”