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May 20, 2013

Nawaz working on crash plan to check power outages

Peshawar

May 20, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N chief, Nawaz Sharif, who is all set to occupy what is termed by many as the hot-seat of prime minister facing multiple challenges, will unveil a strategy possibly in his maiden speech as the next PM to immediately address the most haunting issue of loadshedding.
According to an informed source, Nawaz Sharif has engaged a team of experts to prepare a comprehensive plan, including a sort-term strategy, to drastically reduce the severity of loadshedding within the first 30 days of his regime. The source said multiple measures would be taken by his government to give considerable relief in power shortage to the people, who in the middle of extremely hot summer are facing prolonged loadshedding of up to 18 hours a day.
The source said the PML-N think tank on energy crisis has recommended to Nawaz Sharif that he should start by getting the issue of circular debt resolved by clearing it and then taking steps like checking power theft, converting the fuel power production into imported coal, improving gas supply to power houses, encouraging the import of hybrid cars by drastically reducing duties to reduce load on CNG, offering government package to turn CNG stations into LPG stations and petrol pumps.
Nawaz Sharif, who will be facing multiple challenges of serious nature, is however lucky to start his third stint as the prime minister with certain pluses that he may get deprived of if he loses his focus from the problems being faced by the people, and the challenges confronted by the country.
It is agreed even by the PML-N itself that his government would be in a hot soup sooner than later if he does not learn from his past mistakes and repeats what this country has gone through in the last five years.
He has been given the desired simple majority by the people of Pakistan to rule the country for the next five years without depending on others. He is also lucky to have got an honest opposition in the shape of Imran Khan and his PTI.

Nawaz Sharif is also blessed to have supportive establishment and the kind of independent judiciary that will help him ensure the rule of law, upholding merit and checking corruption. The Pakistani media in general is also giving him the required positive start and has attached high expectations from him.
After winning the May 11 elections, Nawaz Sharif has maturely behaved so far but most of his critics are eager to see how he would behave in the initial few weeks and months of his third tenure as the country’s chief executive. The selection of his cabinet members and key bureaucratic aides and the first 100-day targets set by his government would show Nawaz Sharif’s mood and whether he is keen to deliver or would do what the rulers have been doing in the past.
According to a source, Nawaz Sharif has been advised to rationalise the role of the PM Secretariat, which during the last few decades has become a parallel secretariat against the all important top federal policymaking body — the federal secretariat. Nawaz is told to abolish the post of principal secretary and rename it as secretary to the prime minister in order to do away with the impression as if the principal secretary is some supra bureaucrat.
In the political circles, Nawaz is appreciated for his political moves to thaw his tense relations with the PTI. He was appreciated for visiting the Shaukat Khanum Hospital to inquire about the health of Imran Khan. He was also praised for acknowledging the PTI’s right to form its government in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The civilian bureaucracy is anxious to see if he would be a different prime minister, who would not treat the bureaucrats as personal servants, and instead would deal with them professionally, on merit. For the last few decades, the successive governments in Pakistan have badly distorted the civilian bureaucracy by getting them politicised.
At present there is no concept of bureaucrats’ career planning as the officers are posted and transferred on the whims and wishes of the rulers, politicians and other influentials. Generally the bureaucracy expect from Nawaz Sharif to get the institution depoliticised by promoting merit, protecting civil servants from external influences, respecting their tenure and ensuring the appointment of right person for the right job on the basis of institutional input.