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PML-N’s strategy: A democratic government doesn’t need guarantees

20 May, 2022

Mehmal Sarfaraz on Asma Shirazi’s show Faisla Aap Ka on Thursday night. Image: Aaj News screengrab

Imran Khan’s jalsas are successful and he might even win in the next election. His line is popular. But there has been a lot of talk about who will give the guarantee that after raising petrol prices this government won’t see unrest in the next 14 months.

“A lot is being left unsaid. A lot of things are hinted at. We all know where they are asking the guarantees from,” Mehmal Sarfaraz said on Asma Shirazi’s show Faisla Aap Ka on Thursday night. “As far as assurances are concerned, a democratic government should not need assurances.”

She said that it was clear by now to everyone how the previous government ran the economy and what happened there. It is clear how they managed petrol prices to keep them low (with subsidies that now need to be ripped off like a band aid). But what we can take this government to task for is its indecision that has fueled uncertainty over the last 37 days or so. “Certain decisions needed to be made immediately. They were not taken. Was it because of these guarantees?”

The finance minister went to Washington and met the IMF. Nothing was forthcoming. “Then we were told they [the PML-N leaders] needed to go to London, to consult [Nawaz Sharif]. Then they needed to consult other entities.”

There is a lot of talk and rumours of early elections and whether this government will give the budget for it. Some quarters are saying that this government is not going anywhere, so far. But as we know, political situations can change in a matter of mere hours.

“So either this government takes the plunge and calls early elections or it takes difficult decisions about the economy,” she said. “These difficult decisions have to be made, someone has to make them or we won’t be able to survive.”