Former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan on Wednesday warned his party that it has no future in KP unless it changes the provincial leadership.
Addressing party workers and journalists in Abbottabad, he said he felt it was an “appropriate” time to air his grievances, as the country was in the midst of an economic crisis that could be blamed on all stakeholders. “It is an unfortunate that important decisions of the country are not made by public representatives, but by other forces, including the IMF. In the current situation, silence is sin,” he said, regretting that political parties were busy blaming each other for the current crisis rather than finding a solution. Sincere and dedicated workers should come forward to find an out-of-box solution, as elections could end the crisis, he added.
Urging party workers to stand up for their respect and dignity, he cautioned them against abusing or harassing their leaders. Referring to a scheduled visit by PMLN chief organizer Maryam Nawaz to Abbottabad on Thursday (today), he said that while he had not been consulted over it, participants should maintain discipline in accordance with the culture of hospitality of KP and Hazara and accord her a warm welcome. “My leader’s daughter is coming and she should not be disrespected by any means, though I was not consulted about her visit,” he added.
The former chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also criticized his party’s leadership for pursuing policies that he claimed had made the PMLN “a party of the establishment.” It is a great failure to govern the country with the help of the establishment, he added. He alleged that the people who had stabbed PMLN leader Nawaz Sharif in the back were now all sitting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to weaken the PMLN. However, he hoped, Nawaz would soon return to Pakistan and put it on the path of development.
Slamming the size of the federal cabinet—comprising over 80 ministers, state ministers, advisers and special assistants—he said it was unjustified during the prevailing economic crisis. He also criticized ministers, claiming they considered it an “insult” to sit in their office and work for the public.
Urging the IMF to check the utilization record of loans in the country over the past 30 years, he said all stakeholders—politicians, establishment, judiciary and bureaucracy—were equally responsible for the current crisis. The only solution, he claimed, was for workers of all parties to unite in steering the country out of its current crises.
Unfortunately, he said, the country’s political leadership was more focused on accumulating wealth than serving the nation. He lamented that political parties had become a matter of personal inheritance and slammed the ruling coalition for failing to deliver. The PTI too, he said, had failed to deliver.
Noting that Parliament had become inefficient because half of its members had resigned, he claimed the PTI had been ousted from government to save its diminishing popularity. Former provincial minister Muhammad Ayub Afridi, Shamoon Yar Khan, Muhammad Shafique, Muhammad Ashfaq and other party workers and local leaders were present on the occasion.