Prime Minister in waiting Nawaz Sharif will have some surprises in store when he makes his first address after taking oath on June 5, sources privy to the preparations told The Express Tribune.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) chief presided over a high level party meeting at his residence Jati Umra, Raiwind where the senior leadership of his party helped him draft his speech.
Ahsan Iqbal, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khawaja Asif, Ishaq Dar, Sartaj Aziz, Shaukat Tareen and other technocrats and bureaucrats participated in the party’s internal meeting.
According to details, all participants at the meeting decided that it was essential for ‘revolutionary’ announcements to be made in the address.
A lot of time was put into finalising the draft, which is now almost complete. Points regarding the education sector will be incorporated after another meeting on Thursday. Nawaz will also preside over a meeting today of a 16 member delegation of the party’s law makers from Balochistan, to discuss the appointment of the Balochistan chief minister.
What to expect from the address
Nawaz will present his 30 days plan in his first address. The plan includes cuts in non-development expenditure of up to 30%, including a reduction in the expenses of the central government.
The PML-N chief will also promote simple living by avoiding the use of protocol during his movement in the country and will instead have only a few guards with him. Ministers will also be asked to use small cars following the example of Indian ministers. Nawaz has also decided to initiate a trend of waiting on traffic signals during his personal and official travels.
The decision of not staying in the prime minister house will be finalised after getting the input of security agencies in the following days.
Nawaz will talk about plans to ensure good governance, which will include the formation of a small cabinet with around 25 members in the Centre, a cut in the purchase of new vehicles, furniture for offices and renovation funds for the official residences of government employees and ministers.
Besides announcing mega development projects across the country, he will also announce a ‘strict’ decision regarding autonomous bodies that get Rs500 billion annually as a bailout package from the budget. Nawaz will also declare the withdrawal of excessive subsidies.
He is also determined to follow merit in the government recruitment process and will promote punctuality. He plans to set an example by following schedules and is determined to take action against delays. Those who come late to meetings will not be allowed to participate, regardless of their designation, the plan says.
Easy approach to the prime minister house, secretariat and Pakistan secretariat will be ensured and bureaucrats will be made to receive complaints in person. Nawaz will also give details about the different phases of the plan to decrease load-shedding.
The speech will also include talk of the government’s modus operandi for negotiations with the Taliban and the impact on Pakistan of Nato forces’ withdrawal from Afganistan.
Chaudhry Nisar to ‘target’ PTI
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was also discussed in the meeting and the participants have assigned Ch Nisar Ali Khan the task of grilling the PTI’s leadership.
The drone attack that occurred on Wednesday and PTI’s claim of providing the same education to all in the province were also discussed in the meeting. Nisar was told to remind the PTI’s leadership about their claims of shooting down drones and to demand introduction of one education system in K-P, as promised by PTI chairman Imran Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2013.