- PTI’s actions are somehow automatically kosher
A little over two months are left for Prime Minister Imran Khan to complete a full one year in office. From an economic point of view his performance has been thoroughly unimpressive with record high inflation that will continue well into the first half of this government’s tenure. What has been particularly disheartening for the PTI voters is that in response to the worsening economic condition of the country Mr Khan has made by and large the same moves his predecessors had made, moves that he severely criticised and rejected completely in the past. There is the IMF programme, in which Pakistan clearly got the short end of the stick, while another amnesty scheme has been rolled out that is similar to the PML-N’s, and last but not least replacing Asad Umar with Hafeez Sheikh, who served as Finance Minister in the PPP government.
With the appointment of Ali Jehangir Siddiqui as ‘ambassador-at-large’ for investment in an “honorary capacity”, it seems the PTI’s hypocrisy extends to Foreign Office appointments as well. Mr Siddiqui was made ambassador to the USA while the PML-N was in power and the PTI through its various members in Parliament, including Shafqat Mehmood and Murad Saeed (both cabinet members now), and letters to then interim PM Nasirul Mulk, were vehemently opposed to the appointment. Apart from lack of expertise, the contention was that Siddiqui had business relations with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who had approved his ambassadorship as PM during the end of the PML-N’s tenure. An additional objection by the PTI was that there were “mega-corruption” cases against Siddiqui. It is quite difficult to reconcile the PTI’s rejection and endorsement of the same person in such a short period of time. It suggests that the government is unable to find suitable people from within its party, therefore it is turning to appointees of previous governments, or such decisions are being taken unilaterally someplace else. Either way, it is not defendable, but when has that ever stopped the PTI from trying to justify such actions regardless?