ISLAMABAD: Former premier Nawaz Sharif said he failed to understand why the government is not giving a timeframe to implement the Pakistan Muslim League’s 10-point economic agenda.
“I am failing to understand why the government thinks it will take that long. Most of my proposals need 45 minutes to act upon,” Sharif told the media here on Wednesday after chairing a meeting of top leaders from his party.
His reaction came a day after Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh refused to commit himself on how soon the government could initiate implementation on PML-N’s 10-point agenda to pull Pakistan out of an economic crisis.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also repeated what Shaikh had said, though he admitted the grimmest of challenges the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) faced at the moment, was emanating from the troubled economy.
“I don’t have a political threat, I have an economic threat and I am 200 per cent sure that we will overcome it,” the prime minister said. He, however, was quick to ‘snub’ a deadline Sharif had given for undertaking economic reforms. “Giving deadlines is not appropriate. Things take time…and they get done in due course,” Gilani told media after inaugurating a scheme for building more houses for parliamentarians.
The prime minister said his government was committed to bringing what he called structural changes to lift the country’s economy from a near collapse. Sharif, on the other hand, continued to press ahead with his call for the government to give a firm deadline.
“No plan can succeed without an accompanying timeframe. Some clauses of national agenda can be implemented within 45 minutes and some others in just 45 hours,” Sharif said. Addressing the meeting of party’s senior leaders, he said Prime Minister Gilani purposely gave his assent to 45 days for the implementation of national agenda.
The PML-N committee headed by Senator Ishaq Dar briefed Sharif regarding yesterday’s meeting with the government’s body. Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan was buckling under extraordinary circumstances. “There is a need for urgent measure immediately,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2011.