Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen has said the PTI will bring long-term reforms to improve the economic situation of the country and the prime minister’s new finance team is the face of ‘tabdeeli’.
In an interview with senior anchorperson Kamran Khan, the PTI leader said the economy was not where the government wanted it to be, but a new team would help things get better.
“Abdul Hafeez Sheikh is an experienced man,” he said while talking to about the new adviser on finance. Speaking about the appointments the heads of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue, Tareen termed these decisions as “out-of-the-box solutions”.
The prime minister had appointed an ex-International Monetary Fund (IMF) man Reza Baqir at the helm of the central bank while a private tax expert was chosen to head the FBR, much to the chagrin of the opposition.
“This is a team that will together deliver,” he said, adding the “new team will bring us out of the confusion”.
When asked why the PTI was ill-prepared to tackle the economic challenges faced by the country, he said the economic challenges and confusion in the last 10 months have overshadowed the positive changes the government has made.
The government took steps to improve the energy sector, including a drive against theft and non-payment.
Former Board of Investment chairman Haroon Sharif’s resignation was also discussed. Tareen said Sharif didn’t meet Razzaq Dawood and Imran Khan’s expectations, so he had to go.
“People who don’t perform can’t bring that change. We have limited time, we can’t afford for this not to happen,” he said.
On the cabinet reshuffle that had seen many PTI leaders lost their portfolios, the PTI stalwart praised Imran, saying: “He has changed players who weren’t working. This isn’t a team that can’t change. Those who perform stay those who don’t fall behind.”
He said that the prime minister is “hands on” and that whenever there are mistakes, others will be brought in.
Tareen said he will continue to support Imran Khan in spite of his disqualification, which he thinks is “unjust”. “It was done for balance, not justice.”
He added: “There is no legal barrier to me working with the government. I am a political worker. I can work in politics, I can become a member of a committee, but I can’t hold a post. If I can contribute to my country, I will.”
He also discussed his relations with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He said there had been efforts to iron out the strife, however. He also said that it is the prime minister’s decision who he invites to a cabinet meeting, alluding to Qureshi’s criticism on his presence at the cabinet meetings.
When asked about the ongoing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases against members from opposition parties, Tareen said: “We cannot abandon accountability.
When asked about the allegations surfacing about Minister Faisal Vawda, who is being accused of corruption, Tareen said he has not discussed the matter with the prime minister or Vawda.
Faisal Vawda is a part of the PTI, but If there is something, Imran Khan will decide how he sees “fit”.