ISLAMABAD: Amidst reports of possible ‘technocrat setup’ in view of present uncertain political situation, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has ruled out any technocratic setup in the country, terming any such arrangement an ‘unconstitutional act’.
“There is no provision of a technocratic setup in the Constitution. Those waiting with ‘Sherwanis’ would be disappointed. There have been many technocrats in the past but all failed to deliver. Technocrats ruled Pakistan from 2002- 2008 but their contributions have been zero. Their performance has been a black spot. Only a public representative can perform better,” said the prime minister in an interview with Pakistan Today Editor and senior TV anchorperson Arif Nizami. Commenting on the alliance between various opposition parties, the premier said it was ironical that two major opposition parties have accepted the leadership of a ‘political non-entity’ just for petty political mileage.
The prime minister stated that the narrative of opposition parties about mass resignations or dissolving assembles was beyond comprehension as the general elections were already around the corner. Despite threats, the government would complete its stipulated term, Abbasi said. “Let me make it clear, the [PML-N] government will complete its term and the Senate and general elections will be held on time. Senate elections will be held in March while general elections will be held in July this year. I have no doubt about these facts,” the PM said in equivocal terms. Responding to a question about snap polls, the premier said there was no possibility of an early election as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) already had little time to prepare for the elections.
“You know, there have to be delimitations (of constituencies) per the new census. The voters’ lists have to be updated. The entire process for election preparation takes time,” he added. Asked whether there was any justification for a chief minister to dissolve a provincial assembly, the prime minister admitted that a chief minister has constitutional right to dissolve his respective provincial assembly. “However, since elections are only months’ away, whosoever would dissolve assembly, it would seal his political career as people would not accept these tactics anymore.”
The prime minister further stated that even if the possibility of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh chief ministers dissolving their assemblies was considered, the Senate elections would still be held on time. “The Punjab Assembly and the National Assembly would elect their senators even if the three assemblies are dissolved. Yes, it would be some crisis but such assembles may go for Senate polls after elections are held,” he asserted. On civil-military relations, Abbasi said that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had been appointed army chief by Nawaz Sharif and that he has proven his worth by performing well.