Transfer of power to grassroots only solution for economy: Miftah

Former finance minister says Pakistan made no progress under any govt—be it the PML-N, PPP or PTI

News Desk February 20, 2023
Former finance minister Miftah Ismail talks to a journalist during an interview. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday said that no progress had been made under any government—be it the PML-N, PPP, or PTI—and that the country's economic situation will only improve once power is transferred to the grassroots level.

"We are spending a trillion rupees on education but still there is no improvement," the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said.

While saying that the education system was a little better in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the PML-N leader said the education department was being used to offer government jobs for political purposes in Sindh and Balochistan.

He said that only 2% to 2.5% children enrol in O or A levels, adding that the rich people do not care who is in power or who is not. Miftah said the nation must stop thinking on ethnic lines and rather think like Pakistanis first.

"The country has been turned into a security state and the economy has been destroyed," he added.

Read more: Dar’s economic policies inflicted ‘huge loss’ on Pakistan: Miftah

He opined that Pakistan should resolve its own issues first rather than meddling in the matters of Afghanistan. He further said that there was an anti-Pakistan vote bank in India, therefore, the neighbouring country does not show seriousness in trade talks with Pakistan.

Miftah is one of those PML-N leaders who had been actively vocal about the poor economic policies of the current regime.

Last month, the former finance minister held his successor Ishaq Dar responsible for the current economic mess, claiming the country suffered a “huge loss” due to Dar's reluctance in approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Dar sahab had initially thought that he could either run the affairs without IMF or that a different agreement could be reached by threatening the IMF,” he said while speaking to local TV channel.

The former finance czar said all experts knew that Dar’s approach was bound to fail. “He tried but [his policies] caused immense damage to the country. Now, the result is in front of us,” he said.

While speaking to the local TV channel earlier, Miftah also revealed that he had decided not to take any further part in electoral politics in the country.

“I am a part of the Muslim league [PML-N], but I have decided that I will not contest the next elections,” he remarked.

His statement came amid reports that the PML-N is mulling to take action against Miftah for publicly criticising the incumbent finance minister’s policies.


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