Wednesday May 18, 2022

KP LG results: Blunders caused backlash, says PM

The prime minister vowed to personally oversee the local government election strategy of the ruling PTI in the second phase of electoral exercise in the province as well as across Pakistan.

December 22, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday blamed the selection of wrong candidates as the major cause of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s poor performance in the local bodies election in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The prime minister vowed to personally oversee the local government election strategy of the ruling PTI in the second phase of electoral exercise in the province as well as across Pakistan. Premier Imran tweeted to show his reaction to the defeat of PTI in key districts and said, "PTI made mistakes in 1st phase of KP LG elections & paid the price. Wrong candidate selection was a major cause."

"From now on, I will personally be overseeing PTI's LG election strategy in 2nd phase of KP LG elections & LG elections across Pak. InshaAllah PTI will come out stronger,” he maintained.

Prime Minister Imran, who is the Chairman of PTI, came up with an entirely different reason for his party’s electoral loss in the LG polls, whereas members of his own federal cabinet and those in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had other reasons also for the setback.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said, “In local bodies election, in every tehsil election there are two, three MNAs and three MPAs, unless they come together, the (PTI) vote bank cannot come together, it is difficult for them to come together in the system of local bodies election”.

While emphasizing that a look at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa LG elections and other election results, the vote bank of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is no different: "The popularity of Imran Khan and PTI is still there…that four people from PTI had participated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections as independent candidates in many places. However, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local bodies election has proved that there is a vote bank of other regional parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa besides PPP and PML-N.

“PTI is competing with one party while in Sindh it is competing with another party and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it is competing with a third party. If the distribution of tickets in PTI is corrected and a candidate contests the election of PTI, then the vote bank will get the correct assessment that none of can compete with us...,” he said.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz cited the current wave of inflation, which he called a global phenomenon, and said that PTI candidates in most of constituencies contested aspirants of PTI tickets. He said the PTI has learnt a lot from this local bodies election and that the party will prepare well for the next election.

PTI KP Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai singled out price hike of commodities as one single major reason for poor performance of the party in the election. He was confident that inflation in country will be curtailed, as Prime Minister has realisation about the issue of price hike.

However, Yousafzai termed the conduct of polling an achievement of PTI government, saying grassroot-level elections are unprecedented in the history of Pakistan which have been fully participated by the people of the province. Two other members of KP government, Atif Khan and Shahram Tarakai, also mainly blamed the price hike as the major factor for PTI not performing so well.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday regretted the decision on Pakistan's participation in the US-led 20-year-long 'war on terrorism' in Afghanistan and said it was made not in the public interest but for dollars.

Speaking to officers at the Foreign Office here, PM Imran recalled to have been close to decision-makers at that time when it had to be decided whether Pakistan should join the war on terror. He said he was well aware of what considerations there were behind the decision. "Unfortunately, the people of Pakistan were not a consideration. The considerations, instead, were the same as in the 1980s, when we had participated in the Afghan jihad," he said referring to the Soviet-Afghan war.

He termed the war a self-inflicted wound for Pakistan and said, "However, we cannot blame anyone else for this outcome. We ourselves are responsible ... as we let others use us, sacrificed the reputation of our country for aid and made a foreign policy that went against the public interest and for money."

Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "We are responsible for the trouble in our country, we misrepresented Pakistan for aid. We have seen the image of Pakistan in our lives. When the prime minister of Pakistan visited the United States, the president of the United States would greet him at the airport.

"Human life does not run on a straight line, and up and down come. We are responsible for the troubles in our country. No one else should be held responsible. We allowed ourselves to be used and sacrificed national reputation, made foreign policy against public interest only for money,” he regretted.

He was speaking to the officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after it organised the 17th extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers on Sunday to address a likely humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Premier Imran congratulated and appreciated the Foreign Office for hosting the OIC session on Afghanistan last week in an admirable manner, and said that the response to the summit showed that Pakistan's image had improved globally. He acknowledged the fact that the FO had organised a summit of such a scale after a long time and noted that it was the result of teamwork with a significant contribution from law enforcement agencies. Envoys from 57 Islamic nations as well as observer delegations had participated in the summit.

The prime minister pointed out that the attendance at the summit and the appreciation of Pakistan's stance reflected that the country's image had improved and remarked, "We have achieved the objective behind hosting the conference."

Prime Minister Imran said Muslim countries' stance on the Afghan situation was the universal stance now and said that statements by Europeans showed, they were standing with us and the UN, too, has a clear stance. He also credited his government for an improvement in Pakistan's image.

He reiterated that the government faced the biggest financial crunch in Pakistan's history and that he did not think any other government was handed down such wide fiscal and current account deficits and then there was also the corona. "Yet, if you compare where Pakistan stands today to where it stood three years ago, if you conduct a survey, you will see that the country's image has improved,” he emphasised.

Speaking on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, he said it was a big atrocity on the human level that a man-made crisis was being created in the war-torn country even when it was known that unfreezing Afghanistan's accounts and infusing liquidity into the country's banking system will avert the crisis.

He again said that addressing the situation in Afghanistan was important not just because it was Pakistan's neighbour, but above all the country was facing a humanitarian crisis. "We have been saying this from day one, from August 15 that whether you like the Taliban government on not, the lives of 40 million people are on the brink of destruction. Pakistan would continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan in these difficult times. Time is of the essence and we must provide aid to Afghanistan expeditiously. The easiest way to end the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is to restore their assets and start a flow of money into their banking system,” he said.

About the state of affairs in Pakistan, the prime minister contended that we only have to fix the system in the country and bring merit to the forefront; the most important thing is the rule of law, no nation can ever develop without the rule of law because the elites take over. If so, first of all the merit is lost, the mafias take control and the country cannot move forward.

"Our struggle is how to uplift our population, which has gone down due to the occupation of the elite. There is no shortage of talent in Pakistan, we are only facing the problem of current account deficit. As soon as we solve this problem, the country will develop rapidly,” he contended.