PM bemoans national politics becoming ‘meaningless rhetoric’

Says service delivery sole criteria to compete for public office; Pakistan’s politics suffers from ‘structural flaw’

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said politics in the country has been reduced to “meaningless rhetoric” and termed service delivery as the main criterion to compete for public office.

The premier made the remarks on Twitter and maintained that “our politics suffers from a structural flaw”, adding that it has been “reduced to a shorthand for grandstanding and meaningless rhetoric.” In an early morning tweet, Shehbaz furthered that “service delivery alone should govern competition for public office. Politics is an arena where people compete to serve fellow citizens.”

The remarks by the premier come as the government failed to reach any consensus on the issue of holding negotiations with the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), but separately the parties met with one another to break the current political impasse. Sources revealed that the ruling alliance was not on the same page when it comes to holding talks with the PTI while, on the other, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb refuted all such sources-based reports, saying the reports of differences among the coalition partners were “wrong” and “baseless”.

In the meeting, chaired by PM Shehbaz, sources said that the coalition parties took a stand that the supremacy of parliament would be maintained at any cost, saying the ruling alliance vowed that they would resist any attempt to undermine the authority of parliament. During the meeting, the sources said, PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari insisted on holding negotiations with the PTI on the issue of elections, contending that closing the doors to talks was not only against his party’s principles but also undemocratic and unpolitical. The sources maintained that Bilawal added that it was the need of the hour to take the path of dialogue to bring the country out of its current crises.

Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday telephoned Sultan of Oman His Majesty Haitham bin Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, to extend his best wishes and warm greetings on the auspicious occasion of Eidul Fitr. The Prime Minister highlighted the immense potential with regard to further strengthening of the brotherly relations, especially in strategic, economic and trade spheres. Referring to the historic fraternal ties between the two countries, he emphasized the need for enhancing institutional and economic linkages between the two maritime neighbours.

His Majesty warmly reciprocated Prime Minister’s Eid greetings and conveyed best wishes for the people of Pakistan. Both leaders reaffirmed their resolve to work closely towards further broadening bilateral relations with a view to achieving common objectives and aspirations ofthe people of the two countries.

Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed for fast implementation of solarization project in the country by immediately removing all the impediments in the import of solar panels and other parts. He said that a developing country like Pakistan could not afford to generate power by importing costly fuels. The prime minister expressed these views while chairing a high-level meeting to review progress on the solarization project initiated across the country, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The meeting was apprised that tenders had been floated for 17 government buildings for which bids were received and their technical examination was being carried out today. The prime minister observed that with the low-cost solar power generation, the consumers would get an inexpensive power supply, besides its generation would save precious foreign reserves spent on the import of expensive fuels.