With the cabinet re-shuffles, economic pitfalls and havoc in public institutions like PIA and PTV, there is a need for the leading government figures to clarify the situation and provide a concise explanation for why the government seemed unprepared for its task. This need has been addressed somewhat by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, who, in a wide-ranging interview on Thursday night, said that the country’s economic situation is difficult but will improve as his party brings long-term reforms.

Tareen made some remarks which are telling- on cabinet reshuffle, he stated that the Prime Minister had changed positions on the basis of performance, and echoed the sentiment that if someone wasn’t performing their duty capably, they would face the wrath of adjustment. He reassured that economic reforms would be in place soon, adding that positive steps have been taken for the sugarcane and wheat industry. Tareen also addressed the second criticism that PTI has received- about being disorganised and divided- by talking about reported tensions between him and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He admitted that the party should be united and there were efforts to resolve the internal conflicts within PTI.

Tareen’s statements are meant to quell worries that the ruling party does not have issues in charge, prompted by the continuous cabinet adjustments, and that it is divided within itself, leading to further chaos. Yet we wonder if this interview by Tareen might accomplish the opposite. It is debatable how hard the message that of “non-performers will be dealt with” will hit when the messenger himself has been disqualified by the Supreme Court over accountability, a concept that PTI likes to take up the mantle on. Though Tareen during the interview stated that he is speaking as a political worker of PTI, the optics of him talking about accountability and performance will not do much to reassure the masses at home. Also if Tareen’s intention was to subdue the notion that there was a divide within the party, his speaking publicly in an interview and talking about policy was not the best way to achieve it. Many prominent PTI leaders have been vocal against Tareen being an active influence on the government, thus Tareen speaking about government policy shows clearly that there are tensions, and he appears to be the winner.

All in all, though Tareen reiterated Khan’s message of “ghabrana nahi”, it sounds like we indeed, and perhaps PTI the most has much to worry about.