Saturday March 02, 2024

Shahid Khaqan sees unprecedented challenges in country

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the country was facing unprecedented challenges and the political parties should join hands to have them resolved to the benefit of people

January 29, 2023
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The News/File
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The News/File

PESHAWAR: A senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday the country was facing unprecedented challenges and the political parties should join hands to have them resolved to the benefit of people.

“The political leaders should set aside differences and focus on bringing the country back on track as no political party could cope with these issues single-handedly,” he said while taking to the media at the Peshawar Press Club. Other politicians Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, Lashkari Raisani and others flanked him as he interacted with the reporters.

Abbasi said the system had failed to deal with the problems being faced by the country.

“The failure of the political system is manifested in the form of economic crisis, poor governance and weakening health and education sectors,” he said while elaborating his statement.

The senior PMLN leader was not happy with the country’s leadership and felt that there was a struggle for power and that the public issues had ceased to be a priority. “It is the responsibility of the politicians to discuss the political problems. The political system’s failure is no more a secret. The Constitution has a solution to all the problems,” he insisted.

Abbasi said achieving a political consensus was not something impossible. All political parties took a united stand against terrorism after the December 16, 2014 tragedy in this city. “Now is the time for all leaders to unite by leaving behind political rifts for the sake of country,” he said as he referred to the massacre carried out by militants at the Army Public School in Peshawar which had claimed 147 lives, of whom 132 were schoolchildren.

The PMLN leader said the problems of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) had not been resolved even after five years of their merger with the KP. “The people in the tribal belt are still facing multifarious problems which warrant a solution through actions taken unitedly by the political leadership,” he lamented. Abbasi deplored that both the present and previous governments had failed to produce tribal Member National Assembly Ali Wazir in parliament. The lawmaker from the Waziristan district of KP has been in jail for over two years on the charges of making a speech allegedly against the state institutions in the Charssada district.

When questioned, the PMLN leader dispelled the impression that he along with other politicians was going to launch a new political party. “We are just highlighting the masses’ problems to the leadership of the major parties to help them take decisive steps. A non-partisan forum for discussion among the political leaders is the need of the hour and that is why we have started this series of seminars,” he explained. He hoped the political leaders’ discussion on political, economic and constitutional problems would lead to actions to address them. “All political leaders are responsible for the current situation in the country. Everyone should realise that steering the country out of the current crisis is everyone’s responsibility,” he argued.

The veteran politician said the parliament had been left paralysed as the legislature was empty.

“The leadership in the country is busy in political point-scoring. That is why we are making efforts for putting in place a system that can lead to solutions to the crises,” he added. Abbasi said every problem in the country could be solved by following the Constitution but that needed a commitment by all stakeholders. “These problems would remain there if the political leaders don’t sit together. Even if there is a lacking in the Constitution that should be discussed as the status quo would not offer any solution,” concluded the senior PMLN leader who later spoke at a seminar as well at the Nishtar Hall.