Country needs political stability
When the Prime Minister was out of the country, rift in the rank and file of ruling PTI emerged in Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa; its allied parties’ leadership in the center and Punjab intensified pressure tactics for demanding personal political gains; and internal bickering appeared in Baluchistan Awami Party which had formed government in the province with the support PTI. It reflects political myopia and an attitude of giving precedence to vested interest over national one. In these provinces the disgruntled law makers of ruling parties wanted to change the incumbent Chief Ministers.
The Prime Minister had to throw his weight behind UsmanBuzdar Chief Minister Punjab and Mahmood Khan Chief Minister KhyuberPukhtunkhwa to save the country from plunging into political instability. In Punjab he told the members of Provincial Assembly that UsmanBuzdar will stay as Chief Executive of the Province and in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa three ministers were sacked to relieve pressure on Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
In Punjab, in addition to the estranged PTI law makers PML-Q leadership was also interested in ousting the Chief Minister who was elected leader of the house by a majority of single vote. In his interaction with PTI members of Punjab Assembly, Prime Minster expressed displeasure over the move against Chief Minister and described it to be the work of certain forces that are bent upon hindering the process of positive administrative change. He asked the Punjab government to evolve a mechanism of closer liaison among the elected representatives and civil bureaucracy.
The division in the rank and file of PTI will strengthen the hands of those political forces which do not want this government to compete its five year term. The Central Amir of JUI (F) MaulanaFazaluRehman has already done one sit-in in Islamabad and has hinted at another protest at the opportune time. The opposition political parties have not yet taken off the table the option of in house change at the center and Punjab. The tension on the Line of Control with India is not deescalating. The Afghan peace process is moving forward. The government is performing a facilitating role in this process. The signs of political instability will weaken this role.
Political instability will harm the economy. In his meeting with the parliamentarians in Lahore, the Prime Minister reminded them of the achievement made so far on the economic front and told them that Pakistan is now being seen as an attractive destination for fixed investment. The world’s largest investment companies’ representatives at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos have appreciated the numerous opportunities of productive investment that are opening up in Pakistan by virtue of the ongoing stabalisationprogramme. However, existence of an attractive economic environment is equally important for encouraging foreign fixed investment in the country. The withdrawal of committed electricity tariff subsidy of 7.5 cents per unit and addition of all surcharges and taxes from back dates and reversal of tax credit that had been offered earlier for fresh investment in plants and machinery with retrospective effect have shattered the confidence of local investors in the continuity of economic policies of the government. It does not augur well for bringing for direct investment by foreign investors in productive activities in the long term. Lack of consistency in policies will make difficult implementation of programmes of increasing output and employment.