For several months now political analysts have speculated that there are rifts within the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as well as camps within the party who are dissatisfied with how the party is being run. The party's top leadership can no longer afford to ignore the infighting either, it appears.
The PTI government has six months to perform, said Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry in an interview with an international news organisation.
Fawad claimed Prime Minister Imran Khan has told the federal cabinet that if it does not perform within six months, matters may escalate.
In the interview, Fawad stressed that there were great expectations from the prime minister and the PTI government. It came into power on the promise of reforming the entire system, not just fixing nuts and bolts, he said.
He added that PM Imran's vision of systemic change was very clear before he came into power.
However, once the government was formed, there were many quarrels between senior leaders Asad Umar, Jehangir Tareen and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The internal strife within the party hurt the government, opined Fawad.
“Imran’s core team broke up. The new people are frankly not aligned with his idea and maybe don’t have the capacity to do so. The infighting has caused a lot of harm to the party and its political cadre.”
The federal minister further said that it is the government's own shortcomings that it cannot deliver.
The government runs on two things - politics and governance, if there is a lack of balance between the two, matters can go awry at any time, he elaborated.
Giving an example of the infighting within the ruling party, he said: "When Asad Umar was the finance minister, Jehangir Tareen made every effort to get him removed and when Asad Umar came back, he ousted Jehangir Tareen."
The science minister added that multiple meetings were held between Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Jehangir Tareen for reconciliation but to no avail.
Now, it is the advisers to the prime minister who are making decisions, while the politicians stand watching, said the federal minister.
Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto's purpose was to transfer leadership to their children, so it made sense that they appointed 'weak people' for crucial positions during their regimes, said the federal minister.
"However, PM Imran does not have this problem, he should have appointed the most competent persons," he added.
The federal minister added that he did not know on whose advice the prime minister had appointed such weak persons who required 'dictation' for every matter. This has damaged PM Imran's vision, opined Fawad.
With regards to his own portfolio change, Fawad said that after being removed as the minister for information and broadcast, he did not wish to be given another ministry. But Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari said the prime minister wanted him to have another ministry.
Fawad said he was given many options from which he chose science and technology. Within three months he said he realised the potential the science and technology portfolio offered.
Whereas he added, as the minister of information, one has to answer for the mistakes of others and has to say things that one may not believe in themselves.
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