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‘Holding fair elections a challenge for interim govt’


May 17, 2018

LAHORE: The caretaker set-up going to be put in place in the coming days should take measures to benefit the country especially to resolve the water shortage issue, in addition to conducting timely and fair elections.

These views were expressed by the experts in Jang Economic Session held on "What would be challenges for the next caretaker set-up’. The panelists were Zeshan Khalil, Javeed Kiyani, Rabia Sultan, Khalid Ahmed Malik, Dr Yasir Mehmood and Shah Zaid Khan. The event was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.

Zeshan Khalil said that controlling devaluation of currency, implementation on the budget and transparent elections would be the major challenges for the caretaker government. He said the people in the caretaker set-up should be professionals and non-political. He said change in policies in two months was impossible so the policies favourable to the country should be continued. He suggested steps to conserve water and store rain and flood water.

Javeed Kiyani said the caretaker government should first focus the discipline to improve the system, besides transparent and unbiased mechanism to strengthen the national institutions. He called for discouraging the negative trend of changing the political parties along with equal accountability for everyone.

Rabia Sultan said the top most responsibility of the caretaker set-up was to conduct transparent elections so that election rigging issue was not raised in the next five years. She said managing the circular debt and making other economic decisions would also be the responsibilities of the government.

She said cotton, sugarcane and mango crops were affected due to water shortage. She said water theft accusations on Punjab by Sindh were wrong while the caretaker set-up should make concrete steps for Kalabagh Dam.

Khalid Ahmed Malik said that due to the globalisation the economic position of the countries was changing so the caretaker set-up’s economic decisions would be crucial. He said Pakistan was facing numerous economic and geographical issues, therefore, a policy in national interest with checks and balances should be made. He said the caretaker set-up should stabilise the currency. Dr Yasir Mehmood said the external and internal pressures, economic challenges and bilateral relations with the neighbouring countries were the big issues for the caretaker set-up as compared to the past two caretaker governments so the role of finance minister would be more crucial than that of prime minister. He said timely and transparent elections would be the biggest challenge for the caretaker set-up besides stabilising the currency value. He called for improving credibility of the government institutions.

Shah Zaid Khan said the caretaker set-up should take practical steps focusing the agriculture industry and all other sectors to resolve the issues. He said steps should be taken to fulfil the basic needs of the public and resolve the issues amicably.

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