PML-N releases ‘white paper’ on govt’s economic policies

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Web desk: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) issued white paper on the 2 year governance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

PML-N in white paper claimed that over the last two years, the PTI government has weakened the national power of Pakistan through its incompetence, failures and corruption. Our national power consists of the strength of our economy, politics, foreign policy, society, democratic governance structure, constitutional federalism, infrastructure, freedom of expression, and human resources, amongst other things. All of these components have suffered significantly over the past two years and, as a result, the national power of Pakistan has also been tragically and worryingly damaged.  

Read complete Text of PML-N white paper below:

1. ECONOMY

Although the PTI government is marked by general incompetence

in all areas and has brought back corruption and crony capitalism

to the highest echelons of power in Pakistan, the most horrifying

performance of PTI has been in dealing with the economy. Our

economy’s journey under PTI, from growth of 5.8% of GDP in 2018

to negative growth of -0.4% of GDP in 2020, has rendered millions

of Pakistanis jobless and has impoverished millions more. Even –

0.4% may be an understatement for the negative GDP growth.

Global financial institutions and independent economists estimate

the negative GDP growth in 2020 to be around -2%. The income of

the average Pakistani, which had increased by 24% between 2014

and 2018, has reduced by 16% over the last 2 years, from $1652

to $1388. The size of GDP has shrunk from $315 billion to $264

billion over the last two years, which would have been $350

billion today had growth momentum generated by PMLN

been maintained.

In this section we will review PTI’s sorry economic performance and

its betrayal of Pakistan’s vital interests over the last two years.

What we inherited

In 2013, PMLN inherited an economy in shambles. Our GDP

growth was only 3.5%, our budget deficit was 8.2%, our foreign

exchange reserves were US$ 9 billion and inflation rate was 11.4%.

Our FBR tax collection at Rs 1,946 billion was only 8.4% of GDP

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and stagnant. Large scale manufacturing was declining, our

exports at $24.8 billion had declined from the previous year and

foreign direct investment had also declined. Pakistan was unable

to sell any bonds in the international market and our economic

outlook was given a “negative” rating by all international agencies.

Where we left

When we left in 2018, our GDP or national income was growing at

5.8%, inflation had been brought down to 3.9%, the budget deficit

was 6.5%, we had doubled our tax collection to Rs 3,842 billion or

13% of GDP and had foreign exchange reserves of over $16 billion.

We left exports at $24.8 billion, and had set the export sector on a

path of revival and growth by improving the energy supply and

security situation. Our remittance had grown from $14 billion to

$20 billion. We had incurred a current account deficit of 5.5% of

GDP on account of a growing import bill when our import of plant

and machinery increased due to an increase in large-scale

manufacturing and the government also imported a lot of power

plants and other CPEC-related products and services. This current

account deficit ratio, though high, was being financed by private

international investors in light of Pakistan’s growth prospects and

was about the same as what Britain and many other countries

were running and what Pakistan had run in 2008.

Our healthy growth meant that we had been given first a “neutral”

and then a “positive” rating by the international agencies and we

were able to sell bonds often, including in late 2017, in the

international market at competitive rates (of 6% to 7%).

How the rot set in under PTI

As soon as the PTI government came to power, it started taking

steps that made our economy take a nosedive. It started with

ministers talking down our economy just to speak ill of PMLN. The

Minister of Finance wrongly claimed that our economy was near

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bankruptcy and the Adviser for Commerce baselessly talked about

an impending default. The result was that foreign banks and

markets, who were always ready to invest in Pakistan government

bonds and always oversubscribed to them when PMLN offered

them, walked away from Pakistan. This was done simultaneously

with wantonly destabilising and depreciating the Pakistani rupee.

Failure to Increase Exports

However, even after depreciating the rupee from Rs 115 to a dollar

where PMLN left to now over Rs 168, in two years PTI has not been

able to meet the export performance PMLN achieved in its last year.

In PTI’s first year, in 2018-19, Pakistan exports were $500 million

less than achieved by PMLN in 2017-18 and this year, in 2019-20,

even before coronavirus spread, that is, up to March 2020,

Pakistan’s exports were less than the corresponding period two

years ago.

Exorbitant Interest rates

PTI government also raised the State Bank policy rate to over 13%,

compared to 6% when PMLN left, thus crippling our industry. This

is the main reason for the crippling budget deficit and for the

slowdown of manufacturing and economic growth. Moreover, it

borrowed short-term hot money at these exorbitantly high interest

rates of 13% and higher. Because of the monetary policy failure,

the debt servicing cost has doubled from around Rs 1,500 billion

to around Rs 3,000 billion during the last two years under PTI. The

rapid increase in interest rate has meant that instead of giving 10

million new jobs, the PTI government has been busy destroying job

opportunities and small and medium enterprises. The number of

jobless people has increased by at least over 50% during the last

two years, and the unemployment rate has risen to over 10%

compared to 5.8% when PMLN left.

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Declining Industrial Imports

By killing growth and income, the PTI government has caused

imports to decrease. However, the biggest decrease has been in

new plants and machinery. This shows a lack of tract by investors

in PTI government’s policies and bodes ill for our future. The

decrease has also been in chemical and textile products that are

used in value-added exports. Hence, this has made our exports

stagnant too.

Failure in Tax Collection

Although PTI has made worse every aspect of our economy, by far

the worst performance has been in tax collection. About half of our

tax collection comes from the ports, in the form of sales tax,

withholding tax and custom duties on imported goods. Given that

PTI has devalued the currency by 40%, even after a decrease in

imports in dollar terms, the rupee value of our imports has

increased. Thus, without doing anything else, FBR collection

should have increased just from the import sector. Then of course

due to high inflation and rising prices, domestic collection of sales

tax and income tax should have also increased (inflation plus

nominal growth). Yet it turns out that in its first year PTI actually

collected less revenues than PMLN did in its last year (Rs 3,829

billion in 2019 compared to Rs 3,842 billion in 2018). This

happened for the first time in FBR’s history.

Moreover, even in its second year the real collection by FBR is less

than PMLN’s collection. Although an official figure of Rs 3,998

billion has been announced for 2020, the actual figure is Rs 3,826

billion. To hide its inefficiency and incompetence, PTI recorded tax

refunds of Rs 101 billion as grants rather than deducting them

from FBR revenues, as is normally done. Moreover, it started

collecting taxes and stopped paying refunds of around Rs 71 billion

to the five export sectors that were entirely exempt from sales tax

under PMLN. So even in nominal quantity tax collection under PTI

has decreased and as a percentage of GDP it has declined from

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13% to 11.4%, based on the official tax figure. The actual tax to

GDP ratio is even lower. This failure of PTI is all the more onerous

on the economy as the government also imposed additional taxes

of Rs 700 billion in the 2019-20 budget.

Crippling Inflation

We must mention here the crippling inflation, especially food

inflation, that has forced utmost misery to the poor and middleincome Pakistanis. From 3.9% under PMLN, inflation had

increased to 12% before coming down to 10%. Even now food

inflation is over 15%, which was less than 2% two years ago. Since

the inception of this corrupt and incompetent government, over 2

million people have lost their jobs and over 10 million people have

been forced into abject poverty.

Neglect of Development and CPEC

One big reason for the loss of job opportunities has been the

slashing of expenditures on education, health and development

projects over the last two years. The party that talked about

austerity has let current expenditures of the government increase

much faster than the rate of inflation. But where it has chosen to

cut, shamefully, is on CPEC projects, on building health and

education infrastructure and other necessary development works:

1. Federal PSDP allocation was increased by PMLN from Rs 360

billion in FY 2013 to Rs 1,001 billion in FY 2018 but PTI has

reduced it to Rs 650 billion which has hampered development

and growth

2. Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra and Gilgit-ChitralChakdara roads were approved under CPEC in 6th JCC but

no work started so far by PTI

3. Only Rs 6 bn allocated for ML-1 railway track. Completion

would take 200 years at this rate

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4. Nine economic zones were supposed to be ready by 2020

under CPEC in order to reap the industrial cooperation

dividend under the 2020-25 industrial cooperation plan but

not a single economic zone is ready so far

Whereas PMLN built universities, high technology innovation

centres, hospitals, airports, fibre optic cable infrastructure, power

transmission lines, gas transmission lines, around 2000 kms of

motorways and over 8000 kms of other roads, and installed over

11,000 MWs of power projects, including hydro, gas, renewable

and coal power projects, PTI has built nothing in its two years. Yet,

the deficit has skyrocketed.

Steeply Rising Debt and Deficit

The steeply worsening deficit under PTI has mortgaged the future

of our children. In the five years of PMLN our average budget deficit

was around 5.5% and in our last year our deficit was 6.5%.

Compare this to PTI’s first year deficit of 8.9%. The actual budget

deficit in the second year is over 9.5% deficit, even higher than the

first year, but the official figure has been reduced to 8.1% primarily

by holding back disbursement of Rs 540 billion of COVID-19 relief

funds to affected citizens. While PMLN increased our gross debt by

Rs 10,661 billion over five years, PTI has increased our debt by

over Rs 11,350 billion in just two years. At this pace PTI will double

the debt acquired by Pakistan over 70 years in just four years. In

5 years PMLN government took the gross debt to GDP ratio from

64% to 72%. In just two years, PTI has increased this ratio from

72% to around 87%. This rapid increase in indebtedness has grave

consequences for Pakistan’s sovereignty and nuclear assets.

Fiscal Indiscipline

PTI has not only failed to increase tax revenue collection over the

last two years, it has also, unfortunately, raised non-development,

current expenditure by 35% in the same period. This has naturally

resulted in higher budget deficits and, consequentially, in an

unprecedented increase in public debt in the last two years.

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Economic Sovereignty at Risk

The path to economic independence that PMLN chartered for our

nation, through CPEC infrastructure and industrial zones, by

increasing power production, by building water storage facilities,

by making our nation self-sufficient in wheat, sugar, fertiliser and

many fruits and vegetables etc has now been lost. The longer PTI

stays in power the worse our nation’s economic outlook will get.

When our tax, expenditure and budget policy is dictated by foreign

institutions, when the only visible strategy of the government is to

ask for donations and handouts, economic independence and

sovereignty is jeopardised. This is now the jeopardy being faced by

the nation.

Economic Overview of 2 Year of PTI Government

FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020

GDP Size $315 bn $284 bn $264 bn

GDP Growth 5.8% 1.9% -0.4%

Per Capita Income $1,652 $1,455 $1,388

Central Govt Debt Rs 24,953 bn Rs 32,708 bn Rs 36,300 bn

Debt to GDP 72% 85% 87%

Total Debt & Liabilities Rs 29,879 bn Rs 40,223 bn Rs 42,820 bn1

FDI $3.4 bn $1.4 bn $2.6 bn

FI $5.0 bn $-0.1 bn $2.0 bn

Tax Collection Rs 3,842 bn Rs 3,829 bn Rs 3,998 bn2

Tax to GDP 13.0% 11.6% 11.4%

Circular Debt Rs 1,026 bn – Rs 2,200 bn

Remittances $19.9 bn $21.7 bn $23.1 bn

LSM Growth 5.4% -2.3% -10.2%

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Inflation 3.9% 8.9% 10.7%

Budget Deficit 6.5% 9.1% 8.1%3

Exchange Rate (USD) Rs 1224 Rs 157 Rs 168

Exports $24.8 bn $24.3 bn $22.5 bn

FX Reserves with SBP $9.7 bn $7.3 bn $12.1 bn5

1 Debt figure for end-March 2020

2 Actual tax figure is Rs 3,826 bn once tax refunds of Rs 101 bn treated as

grants and outstanding refunds of Rs 71 bn payable to 5 export sectors are

accounted for

3 The actual budget deficit in FY 2020 is over 9.5% deficit but the official figure has been reduced to 8.1% primarily by holding back disbursement of Rs 540

billion of COVID-19 relief funds to affected citizens.

4 PMLN government left exchange rate at Rs 115 in end-May 2018

5 The amount includes $7 bn of temporary showcase deposits from Saudi

Arabia, UAE, Qatar and China

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Regional Comparison

• In January 2018, during the PMLN government, the World

Bank was projecting 6% GDP growth for Pakistan in 2020,

but actual GDP growth during 2020 has been -0.4% due to

the incompetence, corruption and failures of the PTI

government.

• The World Bank is projecting another year of GDP contraction

for Pakistan in FY 2021.

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Prices of Essential Food Items

Item Price in May 2018 (Rs)

(PKR)

Price in June 2020 (Rs)

(PKR) Sugar (1 kg) 53 85

Wheat Flour (10 kg) 360 544

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Pulse Masoor (1 kg) 113 174

Pulse Moong (1 kg) 114 303

Pulse Mash (1 kg) 148 270

Pulse Gram (1 kg) 114 167

Vegetable Ghee (1 kg) 148 206

Potatoes (1 kg) 27 71

Rice Basmati (1 kg) 75 101

Milk (1 ltr) 84 113

Eggs (dozen) 92 119

Onions (1 kg) 29 48

Tomatoes (1 kg) 31 50

Source: PBS

2. ENERGY

This section reviews the performance of the PTI government on

Energy issues.

Circular Debt

PTI doubled Pakistan’s Circular Debt in less than 2 Years.

The Circular Debt under PTI increased by Rs 1.2 BILLION EVERY

DAY.

The unprecedented increase in Pakistan’s power sector circular

debt is PTI’s worst failure in the energy sector; and this is despite

the highest increase in consumer power tariffs in the history of

Pakistan.

On May 31, 2018, the situation was as follows:

Circular Debt: Rs 462 Billion

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Power Holding (PHPL) liability: Rs 580 Billion

Total: Rs 1,026 Billion

On June 30, 2020, the situation was as follows:

Total Circular Debt: Rs 2,200 Billion

PMLN increased the power sector bill collection in 5 years from

84% to 93%. The bill collection by the PTI has REDUCED to 80%.

PMLN reduced the Transmission and Distribution losses from 22%

to 18%. PTI has INCREASED the losses to 19%.

Merit Order for Power Generation has been consistently violated

and power from inefficient powerplants has been generated to

benefit vested interests.

Furnace Oil based power plants with lower efficiency were

despatched while RLNG power plants with over 40% higher

efficiency were not despatched.

In June and July 2020 Pakistan generated the most expensive

power in Asia from 1000 MW of Diesel based power generation.

Energy Infrastructure Projects

The status of the major energy infrastructure projects is as follows:

Diamer-Bhasha Dam – The PMLN spent Rs 120 billion in acquiring

land for the Diamer-Bhasha hydroelectric dam, resolved technical

issues, and set up the project for construction in the company

mode. PTI has now started the work to build the water storage

dam, leaving aside the power generation potential, and without

arranging financing for the project; the money allocated and spent

in the last 2 years for the Rs 800 billion dam is less than Rs 40

billion. At this pace the dam would be completed in 50 years.

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Mohmand Dam – Another water storage project envisioned,

initiated, and tenders floated by the PMLN. The PTI has awarded

the contract to build Mohmand Dam to a consortium led by

Descon Engineering, a company owned by a PTI cabinet member,

after the only other bidder, a consortium led by FWO was

technically rejected. Descon, however, was not asked to match the

lower bid submitted by the FWO-led consortium.

Projects Status

Power Generation projects No project initiated

Power Transmission Line projects No project initiated

LNG Terminals No project initiated

Gas Transmission Pipeline projects No project initiated

TAPI Gas Pipeline project No progress

IP Gas Pipeline project No progress

PARCO Coastal Refinery project No progress

Mid-Country Refinery project No progress

White Oil Pipeline projects No progress

LPG Air-Mix Projects for Baluchistan,

Sindh, and Environmentally sensitive

areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab,

Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan

Cancelled

Provision of Electricity

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The PMLN eliminated load shedding in Pakistan by providing over

11,000 MW of efficient additional power generation capacity.

Due to PTI mismanagement and corruption, significant load

shedding has returned to Pakistan, especially this summer in

Karachi.

In December 2018, 4 months after taking over, the PTI failed to

order additional LNG for winter requirements and asked the longterm suppliers to defer scheduled LNG shipments, which were

then selling at higher prices in the market. The result was that

Pakistan’s most efficient power generation remained shut down,

much less efficient and environmentally detrimental furnace oil

power plants were utilized, and the dedicated LNG terminals were

underutilized.

These failures in collusion with vested interests resulted in heavy

load shedding in December 2018 and January 2019, added

substantially to the consumers cost of electricity, and Pakistan

ended up importing substantially more expensive LNG in early

2019.

Instead of being removed from the Cabinet for his gross

incompetence and collusion with the oil lobby, the Minister for

Petroleum was transferred and placed as Minister in charge of the

Aviation division; his performance there has destroyed the aviation

industry in Pakistan and resulted in great international

embarrassment for Pakistan.

The deliberate electricity shortage was again repeated when in

March, April, and May of 2020, the PTI asked suppliers to delay

their scheduled LNG shipments Resultantly there was a huge gas

shortage and the country, especially Karachi, suffered from 6 to 8

hours of daily load shedding during the months of May, June and

July 2020. Predictably as LNG imports were reduced, import of

furnace oil was allowed, and diesel generation was resumed after

4 years to benefit vested interests.

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The following basic questions arise about the management of fuel

for power generation in both these crises and the answer cannot

just be incompetence; the only answer for these crises is pure and

massive corruption by the PTI.

1. Why was LNG not planned to run Pakistan’s most efficient power

plants?

2. Why was Furnace Oil import allowed despite a Cabinet ban?

3. Why was Diesel power generation, costing over Rs. 30 per kWh

as compared to Rs. 12 per kWh for LNG power plants, resumed?

Price of Electricity

PTI increased the price of electricity by over 50% in 2 years; this is

the largest increase in the price of electricity in the history of

Pakistan.

Provision of Petrol

This summer also saw a fairly long period of petrol shortage in

Pakistan. In late March 2020 the government instructed petroleum

companies to not import any petrol in Pakistan. Thus, there was

no import of petrol in Pakistan in the month of April when oil prices

were near their historic lows and there was a further discount on

the import of crude oil in our region. This is in spite of the fact that

oil marketing companies implored the government to allow them

to import, sounding an alarm that they will run out of motor

gasoline. However, their pleas were rejected by the government.

Predictably there was a shortage of petrol in Pakistan in June.

It must also be noted that in June the government has kept petrol

prices at Rs 75 per litre, which included a tax of Rs 40 per litre.

However due to the shortage most people were unable to get the

petrol at the lower price. High octane or premium petrol, which is

unregulated, was however available at over Rs 110 per litre and

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most motorists had to switch to that expensive fuel. Then on the

25th of June the government, in an unprecedented move, revised

the price to Rs 100 per litre, including a tax component of Rs 45

per litre. After the price was increased in the last five days the

shortage eased considerably and oil marketing companies were

able to make substantial profits.

Had the government allowed free imports of petrol and crude oil in

April and May, no shortage would have taken place and local prices

too could’ve been kept low. Moreover, government tax revenues

would have been higher and oil companies too would have been

better off by being able to buy petroleum products when prices

were at historic lows. However, the government chose to ban

imports just as international oil prices were lowest in decades. It

is beyond credulity to assign this mismanagement to innocent

serial incompetence on the part of the government. This repeated

pattern of not importing LNG and importing finance oil and diesel

shows blatant venality on the part of the PTI ministers.

It’s important to also mention here that in the last two years the

smuggling of petrol and diesel from Iran has also increased

exponentially, and the month when formal imports were banned

by the government, the smuggling must have increased. However,

when the armed forces were called upon to seal the border with

Iran due to covid in May, and Iranian smuggled supplies dried up,

the shortage was exacerbated. This just goes to show that the

quantum of smuggling under PTI has increased considerably and

smuggled products are now available as far afield as KP and Sindh.

Price of Petrol

PTI has added additional Tax of Rs. 30 per Litre of petrol.

The Taxes on a Litre of petrol increased from less than Rs 15 per

litre in June 2018 to over Rs 45 in Aug 2020.

The margin for the taxes collected on petrol and diesel today,

whether in absolute numbers or as a fraction of the cost of fuel,

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are the highest in Pakistan’s history today. A litre of petrol, where

the retail price is Rs 103.74, has taxes of Rs 45 and the cost of fuel

of only Rs 45 and other charges of Rs 14. Notice here that other

charges were Rs 7 during PMLN’s tenure so the rapid increase in

other charges is also concerning. Why is PTI allowing middlemen

to make twice the profit?

Price of Gas

Let’s start with understanding what is “circular debt”. What we in

Pakistan normally refer to as “circular debt” in the power sector is

the power sector deficit or the losses already incurred by the power

companies that have not been financed by the government. When

the PTI government came to power it claimed that there was a

circular debt in the gas sector of Rs 190 billion as well and that

was its pretext for raising gas tariffs up to 141 percent. Since then

the total price increases have reached up to 200% for some

consumers, including industrial consumers.

There was however no circular debt in the gas sector. Every quarter

OGRA recommends gas tariffs for domestic and industrial

consumers in Pakistan based on applications submitted by the gas

companies. It is however up to the government to decide what

prices the companies should charge the consumers. Since the

formation of ORGA under General Musharraf, governments

historically allow the gas companies to charge less than what

OGRA recommends. The difference in amount between what the

OGRA permitted and what the government finally allowed was Rs

190 billion. But this was neither circular debt nor a gas sector loss

in any way. The Sui companies were both making healthy profits

even with lower prices and their share prices were doing well in the

stock market. There was no reason at all to raise prices. Yet the

government raised prices up to 141 percent for domestic and

industrial consumers. The increased prices of course put pressure

on the common citizens’ kitchen budget but also out a damper on

the industrial sector. For instance, the price of gas to industry

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which was Rs 600 per mmbtu when PMLN left is today Rs 1175

per mmbtu thus effectively doubling the cost of energy to our

industry and rendering them less competitive.

Even if these heavy price increases were a burden to the economy

and people, it was expected that at least the Sui companies would

make historic profits and become financially very strong.

Unfortunately, even that didn’t happen. Whereas the total

receivables of Sui companies were Rs 500 billion in June 2018,

that same head has now increased to Rs 1000 billion. SNGPL

during the winter sold a considerable amount of LNG at domestic

gas prices but was not able to recover the difference by selling

domestic gas at LNG prices in the summer.

This PTI government also didn’t take advantage of the historic lows

in oil prices by buying LNG aggressively through the long-term

LNG deals made by the previous government that were linked to

the price of oil. The average gas price of LNG contracts under PMLN

is about 12% of Brent. When average Brent was as low as $20 per

barrel (it went even as low as $7), LNG had become as cheap as

$2.4 per mmbtu. But the government failed to take advantage of

the situation and pass on the benefit to the consumers. Neither

did the government aggressively buy many spot or distressed

cargoes being offered for as low as $1.75 per mmbtu. Instead the

government is buying gas from gas concessions run by foreign

multinationals in Pakistan for as high as $ 5.50 per mmbtu. Of

course, if our own gas is more expensive it would’ve made sense to

save our domestic gas for later use and buy cheaper LNG now. The

table below shows the price of gas to various sectors now and in

May 2018.

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3. FOREIGN POLICY

Appeasement of India, paralysis, blunders, and bluster

characterize Imran Khan Government’s foreign policy in the last

two years.

Imran Khan has spinelessly appeased India since taking office.

This appeasement encouraged Narendra Modi to annex and

dissect Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), a step

India had dared not take in the previous 72 years of Indo-Pak

history.

Indian gobbling of Kashmir was the “World Cup” IK brought home

from his visit to Donald Trump.

The latest spat with Pakistan’s long-time ally and brotherly

country Saudi Arabia is the latest bitter fruit of IK’s incompetence.

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IK has blundered repeatedly in speaking ignorantly and illadvisedly. His subsequent vacillation has brought scorn upon

Pakistan from friends and enemies alike.

IK Government’s claims of diplomatic success were exposed

glaringly in the aftermath of Balakot strikes, when on 26 February

2019, Indian fighter aircraft violated Pakistan’s international

border after 48 years and struck Balakot.

What PM Khan termed as the “feeling that I have come after

winning the World Cup” upon return from Washington on 25 July

2019, in actuality turned out ten days later to be the worst foreignpolicy and security crisis for the country since the Fall of East

Pakistan half a century ago.

IK Government’s response to Kashmir’s annexation was inept,

infirm, and indecisive. Apart from verbal condemnation, the only

policy response was a one-time 30-minute stand-in.

Results of the “consultations” at UN Security Council have been

precisely zero. The noun “Kashmir” has not been on the USC

agenda before or after 5 August 2019. It came up marginally as

“any other business.” UN Security Council failed to produce any

outcome that could be used to build a future diplomatic strategy.

PM Khan’s speech to the UN General Assembly was bluster, sound,

and fury; signifying nothing. Instead of a well-crafted roadmap of

diplomatic, communication, kinetic, and legal actions for Pakistan,

PM Khan’s rhetoric of forming a new bloc in Islamic countries

aggravated Saudi Arabia deeply.

The much-touted revival of Pakistan’s longstanding relations with

brotherly Muslim countries in the Middle East has been exposed.

Not only these countries refrained from condemning India, some

of them actually supported India and have awarded their highest

honours to the Indian Prime Minister.

Since its early days, IK Government has been retreating from PM

Nawaz Sharif’s 2013-18 pivot towards China, Russia, and Central

Asia.

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The IK Government has diminished China-Pakistan Economic

Corridor (CPEC), jeopardizing the nation’s economic future and the

economic depth with Pakistan’s iron friend China achieved under

PM Nawaz Sharif.

In its haste to conclude the IMF deal, Imran Khan’s government

compromised on national security by agreeing to the formal

mention of money laundering in the document, thus linking IMF

tranches directly to Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

IK Government’s panic, delay, and paralysis in dealing with FATF

has led to a spate of ill-considered, craven legislation that goes

beyond what longstanding FATF member-countries have enacted

in their own countries.

Imran Khan’s weak and vacillating foreign policy has annoyed our

longstanding allies, such as China and Saudi Arabia, and

comforted our arch-enemy India. It has exposed us perilously to

financial blackmail by major powers and rendered us helpless in

face of Indian aggression.

4. FASCISM

PM Khan has trampled freedom of expression, judicial

independence, constitutional federalism, parliamentary

sovereignty, and fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens.

IK government has used National Accountability Bureau as a tool

to repress, harass, and calumniate the Opposition.

A series of orders by the High Courts, observations by the

European Union, judgment of the Supreme Court in Khawaja

Salman Rafique v. National Accountability Bureau case, and a

declaration by Human Rights Watch (HRW) have established

beyond doubt that accountability under IK Government is revenge

and repression.

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In a landmark 87-page judgment, the Supreme Court criticized the

NAB for showing “utter disregard to the law, fair play, equity and

propriety,” and ruled that the “The power of arrest should not be

deployed as a tool of oppression and harassment… and the case

was a classic example of trampling of fundamental rights [and]

unlawful deprivation of freedom.”

“Pakistani authorities should… cease using the National

Accountability Bureau (NAB) to detain critics of the government,”

Human Rights Watch said. “The Pakistani Supreme Court

judgment is just the latest indictment of the NAB’s unlawful

behavior,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“Pakistani authorities should stop using a dictatorship-era body,

possessing draconian and arbitrary powers, to intimidate and

harass opponents.”

IK Government has compromised judges to convict on shoddy

grounds the three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and

to deny bail to PMLN and opposition leaders incarcerated under

various false pretenses.

Judicial independence has been punished by this government

through dismissal and filing of fake references against

independent-minded members of the higher judiciary.

Federal Ministers and Treasury members in the National Assembly

have rioted on the floor of the National Assembly; clashed

physically with Opposition members in Parliament premises; and

constantly calumniate the Opposition verbally on the floor.

IK Government’s constant mauling of Parliament has crippled

legislation and impeded invaluable work of Standing Committees.

IK Government’s horse-trading in the Senate damaged gravely the

public stature of Pakistan’s highest legislature. IK Government

has, for most part, bypassed Parliament by promulgating a

plethora of Ordinances rather than legislating through

introduction of bills in Parliament

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Imran Khan has assaulted the Constitution through his and his

ministers’ constant talk about overturning the 18th Amendment

and the National Finance Commission Award, and about

“constitutional options” to usurp the elected government in Sind.

PMLN successfully challenged and by Court order overturned the

IK Government’s illegal formation of National Finance Commission

Award.

Imran Khan has assaulted the autonomy and threatened the

prosperity and security of Gilgit-Baltistan by installing a partisan

caretaker government and scheming to both delay and influence

the upcoming GB Assembly elections.

Imran Khan has deliberately sabotaged the development and

welfare of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) by withholding and

slashing AJK’s development funds, and by failing to provide federal

government’s support to AJK’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

IK Government has for two years choked freedom of expression.

Independent journalists have been hounded out of jobs,

withholding of dues has been used to pressurize TV channel

owners, live interviews with opposition leaders were yanked off the

air in mid-broadcast, channels have been forced to close for days,

talk-shows by independent anchors have been cancelled, and

mammoth rallies by opposition leaders have been blacked out from

electronic and print media.

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5. RULE BY MAFIA

Imran Khan and his cabinet are a government of the Mafia, by the

Mafia, for the Mafia—impoverishing, looting, and mauling the

people of Pakistan.

In IK Government’s first mini-budget of January 2019, tax breaks

were provided to mafias, some of which had financed ruling party’s

election campaign: real-estate developers, banks, car-assemblers,

and sports-franchise owners.

IK and cabinet allowed export of 1.1 million tons of sugar in

December 2018, a mafia-facilitation that raised the retail price of

sugar from Rs. 55- per kg to Rs. 105- per kg for Pakistanis, netting

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more than Rs. 200 billion in additional profits for the sugar mafia.

Now sugar is being imported, enriching the importer-mafia.

IK and cabinet allowed pharmaceutical manufacturers to raise

their prices to extortionate levels, forcing Pakistanis to pay at least

300% more for medicines.

IK and CM Punjab Buzdar facilitated wheat mafia by procuring

substantively less wheat in 2019, causing the first atta crisis in

autumn of 2019 that raised prices form Rs. 35 per kg to Rs. 50/

per kg.

In summer of 2020, IK and CM Buzdar are responsible for the

greatest wheat theft in the history of Pakistan. Minister for Food

Security confessed in the National Assembly on 17 July 2020 that

wheat purchased from farmers after the harvest had “vanished in

the market… Six million tonnes of wheat was purchased but

[nobody knows] where it has gone.”

Now atta prices have spiralled to poor-killing and mass-hungerproducing level of Rs. 86/kg, netting hundreds of billions for the

stockist mafia, which will make even more billion with import of

wheat.

In a blatant and brazen example of mafia-manipulation, IK and

Cabinet raised petrol prices by a whopping 34% on June 26, four

days before they were actually due, which netted according to one

estimate Rs. 300 billion in additional profit to oil-producing

companies.

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6. CORRUPTION

Imran Khan and PTI have consistently adopted a populist, anticorruption rhetoric. They have repeatedly claimed to be crusaders

against corruption and for accountability. Yet, reality couldn’t be

any further from the truth. In actual fact, PTI has consistently

been a cesspool of corruption. PTI’s stints in government – first in

KP from 2013 and 2018, and since 2018, in Punjab, KP and the

Centre – have been characterized by corruption across the board

and glaring cases of conflict of interest. PTI and Imran Khan have

consciously prioritized and ensured unprecedented levels of crony

capitalism and corruption of friends.

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The list of PTI corruption scandals in the last 2 years alone is long

and varied – sugar scandal, wheat scandal, medicine prices

scandal, multiple energy sector scandals, Peshawar BRT, bribes

for postings and transfers, illegal PPE exports & medicine imports

from India, commissions from advertising agencies, and award of

Mohmand Dam construction contract to DESCON, to name a few.

Malam Jabba land lease and Billion Tree Tsunami project are also

mega corruption scandals worth mentioning from PTI’s 2013-18

tenure in KP.

In the cases of both the sugar and wheat scandals, stock shortages

and local price increases were deliberately manufactured by the

PTI government in order to line up the pockets of PTI ministers and

financiers using government funds. Hasty export approvals were

given by the PTI government for both sugar and wheat despite

knowing about inadequate levels of stock and uncertainty of

upcoming production.

In the case of sugar, subsidies were given to favour cabinet

members and friends. Before the rebate was announced, most

sugar mills sold their stocks to the secondary market. The only

mills that didn’t sell are mills of PTI ministers and financiers who

knew of the upcoming permissions to export and subsidies, and

pocketed an average of Rs 8 billion extra per month between

December 2018 and March 2020 at the expense of the Pakistani

people. The government also deliberately maintained a high local

price of sugar, by discouraging sugar imports through a sales tax

levy at twice the import value of sugar.

In the case of wheat, the Pakistan Flour Mills Association

purchased up to 2 MMT wheat in addition to the government quota

during the 2019 wheat season. Despite this, the Punjab

government subsequently doubled their quota discharged the flour

mill’s share three months prior to the prescribed time period. This

has enabled only seven to eight key players favoured by the PTI

government to control the wheat/flour market, and to (a) make

money on wheat exports, (b) manipulate flour prices in local

29

markets to their benefit, (c) smuggle wheat/flour to Afghanistan

and Iran, and (d) purchase in bulk from open markets.

The medical prices’ scandal too is another jewel in PTI’s crown of

corruption. As soon as the PTI government came to power and

appointed Amir Kiyani as Health Minister, prices rose

precipitously. In some cases, prices went up by more than 300%

but generally prices increased by between 75 and 100%. In

October 2019 after the opposition raised this issue in parliament

and media, NAB launched an Investigation into the matter and

found that this price gouging was a result of corruption which was

facilitated by the Health Minister, in order to rob patients in the

garb of drug price increases.

The PTI government has also overseen multiple corruption

scandals in the energy sector of the past 2 years. It has also

consciously appointed people with glaring conflicts of interest to

make governmental decisions regarding the energy sector. The

SAPM on Petroleum and Adviser on Commerce and Investment

both own IPPs. The in-laws of the Federal Minister for Power and

Petroleum also on an IPP. And these conflicted members of the

cabinet have not been shy to make decisions to their advantage.

One example: the aforementioned SAPM and Advisor have both

charged the government for more gas than their IPPs have used.

The PTI government’s decision to stop importing much cheaper

LNG and start importing furnace oil to cater to the oil lobby is

another case of brazen corruption. In continuation of this terrible

policy, this year, too, the government reduced the quantity of LNG

shipments which created a huge shortage of gas in Pakistan at a

time when global LNG prices were at a historic low. This resulted

in debilitating power shortages across Pakistan, especially in

Karachi, and forced the government to ask IPPs, including those

owned by PTI’s own cabinet members to produce power by using

diesel instead of natural gas. This enabled IPPs to make much

more money and the oil lobby to continue selling extra diesel and

furnace oil in Pakistan. There is no example of this kind of

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impropriety and blatant disregard of conflict of interest in

Pakistan’s history.

PTI has even milked transfer and postings for financial gain. Bribes

for transferring or appointing DCs, Collectors and SHOs have been

a norm under the PTI government over the past 2 years.

Any discussion regarding PTI’s corruption would be incomplete

without the mention of Peshawar BRT. Since assuming office in

the Centre and reassuming office in KP in 2018, the PTI

government has ensured the continuity of corruption in the BRT

project. The project was launched in October 2017 with a

completion deadline of July 2018 but, several missed deadlines

later, it has only been inaugurated in August 2020 despite still

being incomplete. The official cost of the project has ballooned from

Rs 49 billion to Rs 70 billion. The actual cost is suspected to be

over Rs 90 billion for the 27.4km project. In contrast, the 27km

Lahore BRT only cost Rs. 29.65 billion. Cost of Peshawar BRT is

almost equal to the combined cost of the Lahore, RawalpindiIslamabad and Multan BRTs completed by PMLN. The Peshawar

High Court (PHC), the Auditor General of Pakistan and even the

KP CM’s own inspection team have identified serious issues in the

project. The issues identified range from irregularities in award of

contracts and procurement, to unnecessary expenditures, and

unauthorized payments and cost variations. Over the last 2 years,

PHC has twice ordered investigation into the project. PHC first

directed NAB, then FIA. In both cases, the KP government moved

the Supreme Court to stop investigations ordered by PHC, which

only give further credence to strong claims of corruption on a

massive scale in the project. The KP government has been hellbent

on accommodating a non-performing contractor who was

blacklisted by the Punjab government under PMLN. Not only has

the contractor been accommodated despite terrible performance,

the contractor’s scope of work has also been enhanced and

increased, mainly because the contractor’s owner is a close family

from of the SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis. Not only that, the

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contractor has now also been awarded several new contracts in

Punjab and Islamabad.

The abovementioned cases only constitute the tip of the iceberg

and are not exhaustive by any means. These scandals and many

others like them explain how Imran Khan is able to own assets and

maintain a lifestyle beyond his known means.

7. PTI LIES VS PMLN FACTS – MINISTRY OF IT & TELECOM:

AN EXAMPLE

Deliberately lying and making false claims and accusations has

always remained a central pillar of PTI’s communication strategy,

both in government and prior to assuming office. The false claims

made by PTI in its recently published “2 Years Performance Report”

regarding the Ministry of IT & Telecom serve as a good example. In

this section, we have exposed those false claims by countering

them with actual facts.

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PTI CLAIM: On MISSION Statement: To become a strategic

enabler for an accelerated digitalization eco system, aiming to

expand knowledge-based economy and spur socio economic

growth.

PMLN FACT: This is the vision and mission statement of PMLN,

on which work was carried out by PMLN, and is now copy-pasted

in PTI report as if it is the vision and mission of PTI, when it is not!

PTI CLAIM of BASELINE OF SECTOR: “Where we were”

”During the past 2 years, Pakistan’s IT sector has made

measurable and quantizable progress due to strong focus of the

present government on ensuring sustainable IT industry growth.

The results speak for themselves. The number of IT companies

have increased to 2354 as of 30th June, 2020 compared to 1762

valid registrations as of 30 June, 2018.”

PMLN FACT: The number of registered IT companies in 2013 were

681. A concentrated effort was made to increase the registration

and by 2018 the registered companies grew to 1870 and growing.

The foundation of upward trajectory was laid by the PMLN

government when different incentives were provided for increasing

registration. No change in PMLN given incentives and policy is

made by the PTI government in the last 2 years. Important

question is that what new targets were set over and above what

was done and achieved by the PMLN government?

PTI LIE of Software Exports: ”The IT & IT enabled Services (ITeS)

export remittances comprising of computer services and call center

services are expected to reach US$1.2 billion by the conclusion of

FY 2019-20 compared to just USS$ 831.35 million in FY 2017-18.”

PMLN FACT: The financial year 2019-2020 has already completed

but still no final figures given in PTI report, but certainly the

software export for the year 2017-2018 was not $831.35 million

BUT $1.067 billion. According to the statistics provided by the

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State Bank of Pakistan, the fact is that during PMLN period,

exports of IT industry surged to the level of $939 million in the

financial year 2016-2017. During 2017-2018, the State Bank

reported software exports which reached an all-time high to

$1.067 billion and NOT $831 million as claimed by PTI in its

report. The growth in figures is due to measures taken during

PMLN government that gave over 300% increase in software

exports during a period of 5 years. The report fails to mention a

single policy step taken by PTI that helped create the growth

claimed, rather all is continuing from PMLN government.

PTI FALSE CLAIM attributed to self: ”Telecommunication Sector

has showed tremendous growth in last years.”

PMLN FACT: Ever since deregulation of the Telecommunications

sector, growth has been witnessed in the sector, and most recently

the growth in Mobile Broadband is due to PMLN championing

three rounds of spectrum auction for 3g/4g service which took

broadband figures from less than 3% to over 30% and today to

40%. It is not an achievement of PTI government, and the fact is

that not a single policy or developmental step has been taken by

the PTI government in this regard. if so then inform the public.

PTI STATEMENT: ”The licenses of Cellular Mobile Operators were

awarded for a period of 15 years and 03 of these licenses (Jazz,

Zong and Telenor) were due for renewal by PTA in 2019. After

extensive consultation by the Committees constituted by the Prime

Minister and approval of the Committees’ recommendations by the

Federal Cabinet, Policy Directive was issued on 9th May, 2019 for

implementation by PTA.”

PMLN FACT: If extensive consultations were held by the PTI

Government, then why all the mobile operators are in dispute in

Courts against PTA?

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PTI LIE: The vision ”Improve Pakistani citizen’s quality of life and

economic wellbeing by ensuring availability of accessible,

affordable, reliable, universal and high-quality ICT services.

To become a strategic enabler for an accelerated digitalization eco

system, aiming to expand knowledge-based economy and spur

socio economic growth.”

PMLN FACT: Above are the vision and mission statements given

by PMLN government, and copied in 2 year report from PMLN

cabinet approved Telecom Policy, 2015 and Digital Pakistan Policy,

2018, and is certainly not a vision and mission of PTI government.

PTI government has not introduced their policy, vision or mission

statement for the sector, and PTI even after 2 years is continuing

with PMLN vision, mission and policy.

PTI LIE: ”Ignite, under the auspices of Ministry of IT & Telecom,

launched a program to build a network of National Incubation

Centers (NIC), in Federal Capital and all Provincial Capitals…..All

NICs are fully functional and mentoring startups in ICT related

areas.”

PMLN FACTS: All 5 National Incubation Centers were conceived

and established by PMLN Government and not a single Incubation

Centre is added by PTI, when this program was to be expanded to

the Divisional level. Not an inch of progress in this area. Only

progress seen is infighting of Ignite Chairman and Ministry of IT’s

bureaucracy. Even CEO could not be appointed for last many

months.

PTI LIE: The program aims to assist final year undergraduate

students of ICT related disciplines studying in the Institutions by

providing them financial assistance for developing prototypes /

working models of their Final Year Projects (FYP) in order to

increase creativity, innovation and hands on engineering and

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development skills. NGIRI 2020 was launched on 6th January

2020.”

PMLN FACT: NATIONAL GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE program is an

annual program of Ignite that has been in place more than ten

years and has seen growth. No innovation in this regard was done

by PTI Government. In fact, most ignite programs like funding of

indigenous research are stagnant due to decision making

stalemate at the highest levels of Ignite.

PTI LIE: ”Ignite under the auspices of Ministry of Information

Technology & Telecommunication has launched a largescale

national Digital Skills (DigiSkills.pk) Training Program to provide

one (1) million trainings across the country over a period of 2

years….”

PMLN FACT: This Digiskills program was conceived and rolled out

by PMLN government and is a well-known fact. The program is

running at the scale and scope where PMLN government left it. No

further modules or extension given to the program by PTI in the

last 2 years.

PTI STATEMENT: ”Ignite has funded ICT-centric technical

innovative projects and HRD projects to different segments of the

society, including academia, IT industry and start-ups. The

primary focus of these projects is to encourage and promote ICT

related research, development and innovation. Few initiatives

include…(List of Initiatives)….”

PMLN FACT: This is an old program and ongoing. What is new

introduced by PTI? All the mentioned and many other projects

were funded by Ignite before PTI came in power and this can be

verified from record. What new have been done by PTI? In fact,

Ignite company is suffering due to worst infighting between a PTI

appointed Chairman and MOIT bureaucracy and due to lack of

political vision and leadership.

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PTI STATEMENT: ”APPS DEVELOPMENT: Multiple Apps have

been developed for citizens benefits.”

PMLN RESPONSE: This is an ongoing job of NITB to develop apps,

for which the whole department is maintained. It is part of routine

job of NITB, so what is PTI achievement in it?

PTI STATEMENT: ”ALLIED ICT FINLAND (AIF). This is a

government led National Consortium of Finnish Universities, …

have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding through its

member institution and a public university in Finland; Kajaani

University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) with the Virtual University

of Pakistan.”

PMLN STATEMENT: Just entering into a MoU with a foreign

platform with no rollout or implementation mechanism in practice

and no funding is a weird achievement claim. The question is why

and for what reasons Virtual University has entered into this

particular MOU with Finland apparently seeking a Finish

University to train which One million and at what cost to the

exchequer?

PTI STATEMENT: ”UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND PROJECTS

1. Projects launched to provide voice and broadband services area

in areas of North/South Waziristan,FR Bannu/Lakki/Tank,

Dadu/Hyderabad & Bahawalpur Districts (3,100 Mauzas)

benefitting apopulation of approximately 6.5 Million.

2. Forty (40) unserved tehsils/towns are being connected with 900

km optical fiber cable coveringBajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai,

Kurram & FR (Peshawar) areas.

3. The Broadband coverage on National Highways and Motorways

in Balochistan will be provided to650 Km of road segments on N25

& N65 and 451 Km of segments on N50 & N70.

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4. Moreover, mobile broadband coverage will be provided to: 481

mauzas in Dadu lot serving1.2 million population in Dadu,

Jamshoro and Thatta districts;

5. 964 mauzas serving 2.6 million population in Hyderabad lot

covering Matiari, Hyderabad, TandoAllah Yar, Tando Muhammad

Khan, Badin and Sujawal districts.”

PMLN FACTS:

Broadband for Sustainable development (BSD) was conceived

approved and launched under the PMLN government. NGBSD was

also discussed and conceived as an expansion of ongoing projects

during PMLN era. The performance report that is supposed to give

work already done, strangely enough, 2 out of 5 bullet points (point

3 and 4) say that the work ”will be” done in sometime in future.

Point 5 is repeat of point one. Whereas, Point 2, Optic Fibre Cable

Project was awarded during PMLN government. North Waziristan

lot was awarded in February 2018. The PMLN Gov approved

providing broadband coverage to National Highways etc. Almost

whole of Balochistan were covered with 3G under this PMLN Gov

policy. The biggest package of USF funding around Rs. 24 billion

was spent in Balochistan. Those projects done and now near

completion in Balochistan helped general population and students

of Balochistan cope with the requirements and challenges posed

by COVID-19 Crisis as well.

SPECIAL COMMUNICATION ORGANIZATION CONTRIBUTIONS

PTI CLAIM: ”Disbursement of small amount of USD 3 Million

under Ehsaas Kafalat Program through S-Paisa mobile banking

and generation of revenue of USD $ 11.4 million by Pakistan-China

OFC project have been mentioned as achievements of PTI Gov.”

PMLN FACT: These projects were completed under PMLN

government in 2017 and have nothing to do with the PTI

government.

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TECHNOLOGY PARK, ISLAMABAD

PTI LIE: ”The project for establishing Information Technology Park

at Chak Shahzad, Islamabad is linked with Prime Minister Imran

Khan’s vision on Information Technology & Telecommunication.”

PMLN FACT: It is widely known fact that Project of IT Park at

Islamabad was conceived, developed, approved and all funding

arrangements with Korean EXIM were entered into by the PMLN

Government and Imran Khan’s vision has nothing to do with it.

PTI CLAIM: ”PARTIAL PAYMENT (50%) I.E. USD 687.8 MILLION –

DEPOSITED BY THE TELECOM OPERATORS.”

PMLN FACT: The fact is that the matter is in court. The partial

payment mentioned has been deposited (under protest) by the

mobile operators under a court mandated injunction and cannot

be termed as progressive step or resolution of the matter.

PTI LIES on Legislative, policy framework (PROPOSED/

IMPLEMENTED)

”ROW (Right of Way) Policy Directive prepared and awaiting

remarks from M/O Law at present;”

PMLN FACT: The working on formulation and drafting of critical

set of RoW Rules was concluded way back in 2018 after

consultation of stakeholders including Ministry of Law. The

process has not even moved an inch since then and now it is being

claimed that it is again with Ministry of Law for remarks is

regressive considering that bulk of inter stakeholder consultation

work was already done during PMLN term.

PTI CLAIM: ”Draft Personal Data Protection Bill prepared and

stakeholder’s comments are being compiled;”

39

PMLN FACT: PMLN prepared the draft of Data Protection Bill,

2018 and posted on MoIT website for public comments, after

completing consultations with all stake holders. Thereafter the Bill

was to be rolled for further action. After the lapse of two years it is

standing where it was with only one change that from Data

Protection Bill, 2018 it is now named as Data Protection Bill, 2020.

PTI CLAIM: ”Spectrum Auction process has also been initiated in

the present regime to ensure more vibrant digital services;”

PMLN FACT: Not even a single step required for spectrum auction

including market price evaluation through international experts

etc. has been taken. So such a claim sounds no more than a joke

when all operators are in court against PTA on license renewal.

It is also worth highlighting that PMLN started a scheme to provide

a laptop for every student in public sector universities. The PTI

government has abandoned this initiative and has, thus, digitally

disempowered the youth of Pakistan.

39

PMLN FACT: PMLN prepared the draft of Data Protection Bill,

2018 and posted on MoIT website for public comments, after

completing consultations with all stake holders. Thereafter the Bill

was to be rolled for further action. After the lapse of two years it is

standing where it was with only one change that from Data

Protection Bill, 2018 it is now named as Data Protection Bill, 2020.

PTI CLAIM: ”Spectrum Auction process has also been initiated in

the present regime to ensure more vibrant digital services;”

PMLN FACT: Not even a single step required for spectrum auction

including market price evaluation through international experts

etc. has been taken. So such a claim sounds no more than a joke

when all operators are in court against PTA on license renewal.

It is also worth highlighting that PMLN started a scheme to provide

a laptop for every student in public sector universities. The PTI

government has abandoned this initiative and has, thus, digitally

disempowered the youth of Pakistan.

Steps Taken By PTI Govt To Gag Media, Curb Freedom of

Expression & Transparency

– Banned and penalised interaction of all government employees

with media ending transperency of government actions.

– Weaponised government advertisements to bully, intimate and

force news media to stay silent over government failures and to

become mouthpieces of false government propaganda. Pushing the

news media organisations into financial turmoil leading to mass

lay-offs, ending livelihoods of thousands of families.

– Launched the most brutal censorship regime which blacked out

coverage of opposition rallies and shut-down interviews of

opposition leaders in the middle of transmission.

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– Forced news media houses to lay off journalists and

anchorpersons who did not bow down to government threats and

agenda, while others are threatened through informal channels to

stay silent or face grave consequences for them and their families.

– Forced news channels off-air, unofficially and officially to punish

them for telling people the truth about government’s disastrous

performance.

– Arrested Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman for refusing to bow down to PTI

government’s dictation and tried to use his imprisonment as

leverage to blackmail the Geo/Jang group to stop telling truth

about the incompetence of the Imran-led Mafia government.

– Used the FIA against journalists, rights activists and bloggers

with arrest, cases and harassment.

– Was forced to shelve its plan of establishing Special Media

Tribunals after national and international media rights watchdogs

and leading opposition parties put up fierce resistance against this

gagging of the press.

– Faced international embarrassment over its intended censorship

of social media through the government’s “‘social media rules and

regulations”.

– Tried to control all channels of information to public through a

single body by merging Pemra and Press Council as well as PTA,

under a new proposed law, Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority

(PMRA)

1. ECONOMY

Although the PTI government is marked by general incompetence

in all areas and has brought back corruption and crony capitalism

to the highest echelons of power in Pakistan, the most horrifying

performance of PTI has been in dealing with the economy. Our

economy’s journey under PTI, from growth of 5.8% of GDP in 2018

to negative growth of -0.4% of GDP in 2020, has rendered millions

of Pakistanis jobless and has impoverished millions more. Even –

0.4% may be an understatement for the negative GDP growth.

Global financial institutions and independent economists estimate

the negative GDP growth in 2020 to be around -2%. The income of

the average Pakistani, which had increased by 24% between 2014

and 2018, has reduced by 16% over the last 2 years, from $1652

to $1388. The size of GDP has shrunk from $315 billion to $264

billion over the last two years, which would have been $350

billion today had growth momentum generated by PMLN

been maintained.

In this section we will review PTI’s sorry economic performance and

its betrayal of Pakistan’s vital interests over the last two years.

What we inherited

In 2013, PMLN inherited an economy in shambles. Our GDP

growth was only 3.5%, our budget deficit was 8.2%, our foreign

exchange reserves were US$ 9 billion and inflation rate was 11.4%.

Our FBR tax collection at Rs 1,946 billion was only 8.4% of GDP

3

and stagnant. Large scale manufacturing was declining, our

exports at $24.8 billion had declined from the previous year and

foreign direct investment had also declined. Pakistan was unable

to sell any bonds in the international market and our economic

outlook was given a “negative” rating by all international agencies.

Where we left

When we left in 2018, our GDP or national income was growing at

5.8%, inflation had been brought down to 3.9%, the budget deficit

was 6.5%, we had doubled our tax collection to Rs 3,842 billion or

13% of GDP and had foreign exchange reserves of over $16 billion.

We left exports at $24.8 billion, and had set the export sector on a

path of revival and growth by improving the energy supply and

security situation. Our remittance had grown from $14 billion to

$20 billion. We had incurred a current account deficit of 5.5% of

GDP on account of a growing import bill when our import of plant

and machinery increased due to an increase in large-scale

manufacturing and the government also imported a lot of power

plants and other CPEC-related products and services. This current

account deficit ratio, though high, was being financed by private

international investors in light of Pakistan’s growth prospects and

was about the same as what Britain and many other countries

were running and what Pakistan had run in 2008.

Our healthy growth meant that we had been given first a “neutral”

and then a “positive” rating by the international agencies and we

were able to sell bonds often, including in late 2017, in the

international market at competitive rates (of 6% to 7%).

How the rot set in under PTI

As soon as the PTI government came to power, it started taking

steps that made our economy take a nosedive. It started with

ministers talking down our economy just to speak ill of PMLN. The

Minister of Finance wrongly claimed that our economy was near

4

bankruptcy and the Adviser for Commerce baselessly talked about

an impending default. The result was that foreign banks and

markets, who were always ready to invest in Pakistan government

bonds and always oversubscribed to them when PMLN offered

them, walked away from Pakistan. This was done simultaneously

with wantonly destabilising and depreciating the Pakistani rupee.

Failure to Increase Exports

However, even after depreciating the rupee from Rs 115 to a dollar

where PMLN left to now over Rs 168, in two years PTI has not been

able to meet the export performance PMLN achieved in its last year.

In PTI’s first year, in 2018-19, Pakistan exports were $500 million

less than achieved by PMLN in 2017-18 and this year, in 2019-20,

even before coronavirus spread, that is, up to March 2020,

Pakistan’s exports were less than the corresponding period two

years ago.

Exorbitant Interest rates

PTI government also raised the State Bank policy rate to over 13%,

compared to 6% when PMLN left, thus crippling our industry. This

is the main reason for the crippling budget deficit and for the

slowdown of manufacturing and economic growth. Moreover, it

borrowed short-term hot money at these exorbitantly high interest

rates of 13% and higher. Because of the monetary policy failure,

the debt servicing cost has doubled from around Rs 1,500 billion

to around Rs 3,000 billion during the last two years under PTI. The

rapid increase in interest rate has meant that instead of giving 10

million new jobs, the PTI government has been busy destroying job

opportunities and small and medium enterprises. The number of

jobless people has increased by at least over 50% during the last

two years, and the unemployment rate has risen to over 10%

compared to 5.8% when PMLN left.

5

Declining Industrial Imports

By killing growth and income, the PTI government has caused

imports to decrease. However, the biggest decrease has been in

new plants and machinery. This shows a lack of tract by investors

in PTI government’s policies and bodes ill for our future. The

decrease has also been in chemical and textile products that are

used in value-added exports. Hence, this has made our exports

stagnant too.

Failure in Tax Collection

Although PTI has made worse every aspect of our economy, by far

the worst performance has been in tax collection. About half of our

tax collection comes from the ports, in the form of sales tax,

withholding tax and custom duties on imported goods. Given that

PTI has devalued the currency by 40%, even after a decrease in

imports in dollar terms, the rupee value of our imports has

increased. Thus, without doing anything else, FBR collection

should have increased just from the import sector. Then of course

due to high inflation and rising prices, domestic collection of sales

tax and income tax should have also increased (inflation plus

nominal growth). Yet it turns out that in its first year PTI actually

collected less revenues than PMLN did in its last year (Rs 3,829

billion in 2019 compared to Rs 3,842 billion in 2018). This

happened for the first time in FBR’s history.

Moreover, even in its second year the real collection by FBR is less

than PMLN’s collection. Although an official figure of Rs 3,998

billion has been announced for 2020, the actual figure is Rs 3,826

billion. To hide its inefficiency and incompetence, PTI recorded tax

refunds of Rs 101 billion as grants rather than deducting them

from FBR revenues, as is normally done. Moreover, it started

collecting taxes and stopped paying refunds of around Rs 71 billion

to the five export sectors that were entirely exempt from sales tax

under PMLN. So even in nominal quantity tax collection under PTI

has decreased and as a percentage of GDP it has declined from

6

13% to 11.4%, based on the official tax figure. The actual tax to

GDP ratio is even lower. This failure of PTI is all the more onerous

on the economy as the government also imposed additional taxes

of Rs 700 billion in the 2019-20 budget.

Crippling Inflation

We must mention here the crippling inflation, especially food

inflation, that has forced utmost misery to the poor and middleincome Pakistanis. From 3.9% under PMLN, inflation had

increased to 12% before coming down to 10%. Even now food

inflation is over 15%, which was less than 2% two years ago. Since

the inception of this corrupt and incompetent government, over 2

million people have lost their jobs and over 10 million people have

been forced into abject poverty.

Neglect of Development and CPEC

One big reason for the loss of job opportunities has been the

slashing of expenditures on education, health and development

projects over the last two years. The party that talked about

austerity has let current expenditures of the government increase

much faster than the rate of inflation. But where it has chosen to

cut, shamefully, is on CPEC projects, on building health and

education infrastructure and other necessary development works:

1. Federal PSDP allocation was increased by PMLN from Rs 360

billion in FY 2013 to Rs 1,001 billion in FY 2018 but PTI has

reduced it to Rs 650 billion which has hampered development

and growth

2. Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra and Gilgit-ChitralChakdara roads were approved under CPEC in 6th JCC but

no work started so far by PTI

3. Only Rs 6 bn allocated for ML-1 railway track. Completion

would take 200 years at this rate

7

4. Nine economic zones were supposed to be ready by 2020

under CPEC in order to reap the industrial cooperation

dividend under the 2020-25 industrial cooperation plan but

not a single economic zone is ready so far

Whereas PMLN built universities, high technology innovation

centres, hospitals, airports, fibre optic cable infrastructure, power

transmission lines, gas transmission lines, around 2000 kms of

motorways and over 8000 kms of other roads, and installed over

11,000 MWs of power projects, including hydro, gas, renewable

and coal power projects, PTI has built nothing in its two years. Yet,

the deficit has skyrocketed.

Steeply Rising Debt and Deficit

The steeply worsening deficit under PTI has mortgaged the future

of our children. In the five years of PMLN our average budget deficit

was around 5.5% and in our last year our deficit was 6.5%.

Compare this to PTI’s first year deficit of 8.9%. The actual budget

deficit in the second year is over 9.5% deficit, even higher than the

first year, but the official figure has been reduced to 8.1% primarily

by holding back disbursement of Rs 540 billion of COVID-19 relief

funds to affected citizens. While PMLN increased our gross debt by

Rs 10,661 billion over five years, PTI has increased our debt by

over Rs 11,350 billion in just two years. At this pace PTI will double

the debt acquired by Pakistan over 70 years in just four years. In

5 years PMLN government took the gross debt to GDP ratio from

64% to 72%. In just two years, PTI has increased this ratio from

72% to around 87%. This rapid increase in indebtedness has grave

consequences for Pakistan’s sovereignty and nuclear assets.

Fiscal Indiscipline

PTI has not only failed to increase tax revenue collection over the

last two years, it has also, unfortunately, raised non-development,

current expenditure by 35% in the same period. This has naturally

resulted in higher budget deficits and, consequentially, in an

unprecedented increase in public debt in the last two years.

8

Economic Sovereignty at Risk

The path to economic independence that PMLN chartered for our

nation, through CPEC infrastructure and industrial zones, by

increasing power production, by building water storage facilities,

by making our nation self-sufficient in wheat, sugar, fertiliser and

many fruits and vegetables etc has now been lost. The longer PTI

stays in power the worse our nation’s economic outlook will get.

When our tax, expenditure and budget policy is dictated by foreign

institutions, when the only visible strategy of the government is to

ask for donations and handouts, economic independence and

sovereignty is jeopardised. This is now the jeopardy being faced by

the nation.

Economic Overview of 2 Year of PTI Government

FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020

GDP Size $315 bn $284 bn $264 bn

GDP Growth 5.8% 1.9% -0.4%

Per Capita Income $1,652 $1,455 $1,388

Central Govt Debt Rs 24,953 bn Rs 32,708 bn Rs 36,300 bn

Debt to GDP 72% 85% 87%

Total Debt & Liabilities Rs 29,879 bn Rs 40,223 bn Rs 42,820 bn1

FDI $3.4 bn $1.4 bn $2.6 bn

FI $5.0 bn $-0.1 bn $2.0 bn

Tax Collection Rs 3,842 bn Rs 3,829 bn Rs 3,998 bn2

Tax to GDP 13.0% 11.6% 11.4%

Circular Debt Rs 1,026 bn – Rs 2,200 bn

Remittances $19.9 bn $21.7 bn $23.1 bn

LSM Growth 5.4% -2.3% -10.2%

9

Inflation 3.9% 8.9% 10.7%

Budget Deficit 6.5% 9.1% 8.1%3

Exchange Rate (USD) Rs 1224 Rs 157 Rs 168

Exports $24.8 bn $24.3 bn $22.5 bn

FX Reserves with SBP $9.7 bn $7.3 bn $12.1 bn5

1 Debt figure for end-March 2020

2 Actual tax figure is Rs 3,826 bn once tax refunds of Rs 101 bn treated as

grants and outstanding refunds of Rs 71 bn payable to 5 export sectors are

accounted for

3 The actual budget deficit in FY 2020 is over 9.5% deficit but the official figure has been reduced to 8.1% primarily by holding back disbursement of Rs 540

billion of COVID-19 relief funds to affected citizens.

4 PMLN government left exchange rate at Rs 115 in end-May 2018

5 The amount includes $7 bn of temporary showcase deposits from Saudi

Arabia, UAE, Qatar and China

10

Regional Comparison

• In January 2018, during the PMLN government, the World

Bank was projecting 6% GDP growth for Pakistan in 2020,

but actual GDP growth during 2020 has been -0.4% due to

the incompetence, corruption and failures of the PTI

government.

• The World Bank is projecting another year of GDP contraction

for Pakistan in FY 2021.

11

Prices of Essential Food Items

Item Price in May 2018 (Rs)

(PKR)

Price in June 2020 (Rs)

(PKR) Sugar (1 kg) 53 85

Wheat Flour (10 kg) 360 544

12

Pulse Masoor (1 kg) 113 174

Pulse Moong (1 kg) 114 303

Pulse Mash (1 kg) 148 270

Pulse Gram (1 kg) 114 167

Vegetable Ghee (1 kg) 148 206

Potatoes (1 kg) 27 71

Rice Basmati (1 kg) 75 101

Milk (1 ltr) 84 113

Eggs (dozen) 92 119

Onions (1 kg) 29 48

Tomatoes (1 kg) 31 50

Source: PBS

2. ENERGY

This section reviews the performance of the PTI government on

Energy issues.

Circular Debt

PTI doubled Pakistan’s Circular Debt in less than 2 Years.

The Circular Debt under PTI increased by Rs 1.2 BILLION EVERY

DAY.

The unprecedented increase in Pakistan’s power sector circular

debt is PTI’s worst failure in the energy sector; and this is despite

the highest increase in consumer power tariffs in the history of

Pakistan.

On May 31, 2018, the situation was as follows:

Circular Debt: Rs 462 Billion

13

Power Holding (PHPL) liability: Rs 580 Billion

Total: Rs 1,026 Billion

On June 30, 2020, the situation was as follows:

Total Circular Debt: Rs 2,200 Billion

PMLN increased the power sector bill collection in 5 years from

84% to 93%. The bill collection by the PTI has REDUCED to 80%.

PMLN reduced the Transmission and Distribution losses from 22%

to 18%. PTI has INCREASED the losses to 19%.

Merit Order for Power Generation has been consistently violated

and power from inefficient powerplants has been generated to

benefit vested interests.

Furnace Oil based power plants with lower efficiency were

despatched while RLNG power plants with over 40% higher

efficiency were not despatched.

In June and July 2020 Pakistan generated the most expensive

power in Asia from 1000 MW of Diesel based power generation.

Energy Infrastructure Projects

The status of the major energy infrastructure projects is as follows:

Diamer-Bhasha Dam – The PMLN spent Rs 120 billion in acquiring

land for the Diamer-Bhasha hydroelectric dam, resolved technical

issues, and set up the project for construction in the company

mode. PTI has now started the work to build the water storage

dam, leaving aside the power generation potential, and without

arranging financing for the project; the money allocated and spent

in the last 2 years for the Rs 800 billion dam is less than Rs 40

billion. At this pace the dam would be completed in 50 years.

14

Mohmand Dam – Another water storage project envisioned,

initiated, and tenders floated by the PMLN. The PTI has awarded

the contract to build Mohmand Dam to a consortium led by

Descon Engineering, a company owned by a PTI cabinet member,

after the only other bidder, a consortium led by FWO was

technically rejected. Descon, however, was not asked to match the

lower bid submitted by the FWO-led consortium.

Projects Status

Power Generation projects No project initiated

Power Transmission Line projects No project initiated

LNG Terminals No project initiated

Gas Transmission Pipeline projects No project initiated

TAPI Gas Pipeline project No progress

IP Gas Pipeline project No progress

PARCO Coastal Refinery project No progress

Mid-Country Refinery project No progress

White Oil Pipeline projects No progress

LPG Air-Mix Projects for Baluchistan,

Sindh, and Environmentally sensitive

areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab,

Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan

Cancelled

Provision of Electricity

15

The PMLN eliminated load shedding in Pakistan by providing over

11,000 MW of efficient additional power generation capacity.

Due to PTI mismanagement and corruption, significant load

shedding has returned to Pakistan, especially this summer in

Karachi.

In December 2018, 4 months after taking over, the PTI failed to

order additional LNG for winter requirements and asked the longterm suppliers to defer scheduled LNG shipments, which were

then selling at higher prices in the market. The result was that

Pakistan’s most efficient power generation remained shut down,

much less efficient and environmentally detrimental furnace oil

power plants were utilized, and the dedicated LNG terminals were

underutilized.

These failures in collusion with vested interests resulted in heavy

load shedding in December 2018 and January 2019, added

substantially to the consumers cost of electricity, and Pakistan

ended up importing substantially more expensive LNG in early

2019.

Instead of being removed from the Cabinet for his gross

incompetence and collusion with the oil lobby, the Minister for

Petroleum was transferred and placed as Minister in charge of the

Aviation division; his performance there has destroyed the aviation

industry in Pakistan and resulted in great international

embarrassment for Pakistan.

The deliberate electricity shortage was again repeated when in

March, April, and May of 2020, the PTI asked suppliers to delay

their scheduled LNG shipments Resultantly there was a huge gas

shortage and the country, especially Karachi, suffered from 6 to 8

hours of daily load shedding during the months of May, June and

July 2020. Predictably as LNG imports were reduced, import of

furnace oil was allowed, and diesel generation was resumed after

4 years to benefit vested interests.

16

The following basic questions arise about the management of fuel

for power generation in both these crises and the answer cannot

just be incompetence; the only answer for these crises is pure and

massive corruption by the PTI.

1. Why was LNG not planned to run Pakistan’s most efficient power

plants?

2. Why was Furnace Oil import allowed despite a Cabinet ban?

3. Why was Diesel power generation, costing over Rs. 30 per kWh

as compared to Rs. 12 per kWh for LNG power plants, resumed?

Price of Electricity

PTI increased the price of electricity by over 50% in 2 years; this is

the largest increase in the price of electricity in the history of

Pakistan.

Provision of Petrol

This summer also saw a fairly long period of petrol shortage in

Pakistan. In late March 2020 the government instructed petroleum

companies to not import any petrol in Pakistan. Thus, there was

no import of petrol in Pakistan in the month of April when oil prices

were near their historic lows and there was a further discount on

the import of crude oil in our region. This is in spite of the fact that

oil marketing companies implored the government to allow them

to import, sounding an alarm that they will run out of motor

gasoline. However, their pleas were rejected by the government.

Predictably there was a shortage of petrol in Pakistan in June.

It must also be noted that in June the government has kept petrol

prices at Rs 75 per litre, which included a tax of Rs 40 per litre.

However due to the shortage most people were unable to get the

petrol at the lower price. High octane or premium petrol, which is

unregulated, was however available at over Rs 110 per litre and

17

most motorists had to switch to that expensive fuel. Then on the

25th of June the government, in an unprecedented move, revised

the price to Rs 100 per litre, including a tax component of Rs 45

per litre. After the price was increased in the last five days the

shortage eased considerably and oil marketing companies were

able to make substantial profits.

Had the government allowed free imports of petrol and crude oil in

April and May, no shortage would have taken place and local prices

too could’ve been kept low. Moreover, government tax revenues

would have been higher and oil companies too would have been

better off by being able to buy petroleum products when prices

were at historic lows. However, the government chose to ban

imports just as international oil prices were lowest in decades. It

is beyond credulity to assign this mismanagement to innocent

serial incompetence on the part of the government. This repeated

pattern of not importing LNG and importing finance oil and diesel

shows blatant venality on the part of the PTI ministers.

It’s important to also mention here that in the last two years the

smuggling of petrol and diesel from Iran has also increased

exponentially, and the month when formal imports were banned

by the government, the smuggling must have increased. However,

when the armed forces were called upon to seal the border with

Iran due to covid in May, and Iranian smuggled supplies dried up,

the shortage was exacerbated. This just goes to show that the

quantum of smuggling under PTI has increased considerably and

smuggled products are now available as far afield as KP and Sindh.

Price of Petrol

PTI has added additional Tax of Rs. 30 per Litre of petrol.

The Taxes on a Litre of petrol increased from less than Rs 15 per

litre in June 2018 to over Rs 45 in Aug 2020.

The margin for the taxes collected on petrol and diesel today,

whether in absolute numbers or as a fraction of the cost of fuel,

18

are the highest in Pakistan’s history today. A litre of petrol, where

the retail price is Rs 103.74, has taxes of Rs 45 and the cost of fuel

of only Rs 45 and other charges of Rs 14. Notice here that other

charges were Rs 7 during PMLN’s tenure so the rapid increase in

other charges is also concerning. Why is PTI allowing middlemen

to make twice the profit?

Price of Gas

Let’s start with understanding what is “circular debt”. What we in

Pakistan normally refer to as “circular debt” in the power sector is

the power sector deficit or the losses already incurred by the power

companies that have not been financed by the government. When

the PTI government came to power it claimed that there was a

circular debt in the gas sector of Rs 190 billion as well and that

was its pretext for raising gas tariffs up to 141 percent. Since then

the total price increases have reached up to 200% for some

consumers, including industrial consumers.

There was however no circular debt in the gas sector. Every quarter

OGRA recommends gas tariffs for domestic and industrial

consumers in Pakistan based on applications submitted by the gas

companies. It is however up to the government to decide what

prices the companies should charge the consumers. Since the

formation of ORGA under General Musharraf, governments

historically allow the gas companies to charge less than what

OGRA recommends. The difference in amount between what the

OGRA permitted and what the government finally allowed was Rs

190 billion. But this was neither circular debt nor a gas sector loss

in any way. The Sui companies were both making healthy profits

even with lower prices and their share prices were doing well in the

stock market. There was no reason at all to raise prices. Yet the

government raised prices up to 141 percent for domestic and

industrial consumers. The increased prices of course put pressure

on the common citizens’ kitchen budget but also out a damper on

the industrial sector. For instance, the price of gas to industry

19

which was Rs 600 per mmbtu when PMLN left is today Rs 1175

per mmbtu thus effectively doubling the cost of energy to our

industry and rendering them less competitive.

Even if these heavy price increases were a burden to the economy

and people, it was expected that at least the Sui companies would

make historic profits and become financially very strong.

Unfortunately, even that didn’t happen. Whereas the total

receivables of Sui companies were Rs 500 billion in June 2018,

that same head has now increased to Rs 1000 billion. SNGPL

during the winter sold a considerable amount of LNG at domestic

gas prices but was not able to recover the difference by selling

domestic gas at LNG prices in the summer.

This PTI government also didn’t take advantage of the historic lows

in oil prices by buying LNG aggressively through the long-term

LNG deals made by the previous government that were linked to

the price of oil. The average gas price of LNG contracts under PMLN

is about 12% of Brent. When average Brent was as low as $20 per

barrel (it went even as low as $7), LNG had become as cheap as

$2.4 per mmbtu. But the government failed to take advantage of

the situation and pass on the benefit to the consumers. Neither

did the government aggressively buy many spot or distressed

cargoes being offered for as low as $1.75 per mmbtu. Instead the

government is buying gas from gas concessions run by foreign

multinationals in Pakistan for as high as $ 5.50 per mmbtu. Of

course, if our own gas is more expensive it would’ve made sense to

save our domestic gas for later use and buy cheaper LNG now. The

table below shows the price of gas to various sectors now and in

May 2018.

20

3. FOREIGN POLICY

Appeasement of India, paralysis, blunders, and bluster

characterize Imran Khan Government’s foreign policy in the last

two years.

Imran Khan has spinelessly appeased India since taking office.

This appeasement encouraged Narendra Modi to annex and

dissect Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), a step

India had dared not take in the previous 72 years of Indo-Pak

history.

Indian gobbling of Kashmir was the “World Cup” IK brought home

from his visit to Donald Trump.

The latest spat with Pakistan’s long-time ally and brotherly

country Saudi Arabia is the latest bitter fruit of IK’s incompetence.

21

IK has blundered repeatedly in speaking ignorantly and illadvisedly. His subsequent vacillation has brought scorn upon

Pakistan from friends and enemies alike.

IK Government’s claims of diplomatic success were exposed

glaringly in the aftermath of Balakot strikes, when on 26 February

2019, Indian fighter aircraft violated Pakistan’s international

border after 48 years and struck Balakot.

What PM Khan termed as the “feeling that I have come after

winning the World Cup” upon return from Washington on 25 July

2019, in actuality turned out ten days later to be the worst foreignpolicy and security crisis for the country since the Fall of East

Pakistan half a century ago.

IK Government’s response to Kashmir’s annexation was inept,

infirm, and indecisive. Apart from verbal condemnation, the only

policy response was a one-time 30-minute stand-in.

Results of the “consultations” at UN Security Council have been

precisely zero. The noun “Kashmir” has not been on the USC

agenda before or after 5 August 2019. It came up marginally as

“any other business.” UN Security Council failed to produce any

outcome that could be used to build a future diplomatic strategy.

PM Khan’s speech to the UN General Assembly was bluster, sound,

and fury; signifying nothing. Instead of a well-crafted roadmap of

diplomatic, communication, kinetic, and legal actions for Pakistan,

PM Khan’s rhetoric of forming a new bloc in Islamic countries

aggravated Saudi Arabia deeply.

The much-touted revival of Pakistan’s longstanding relations with

brotherly Muslim countries in the Middle East has been exposed.

Not only these countries refrained from condemning India, some

of them actually supported India and have awarded their highest

honours to the Indian Prime Minister.

Since its early days, IK Government has been retreating from PM

Nawaz Sharif’s 2013-18 pivot towards China, Russia, and Central

Asia.

22

The IK Government has diminished China-Pakistan Economic

Corridor (CPEC), jeopardizing the nation’s economic future and the

economic depth with Pakistan’s iron friend China achieved under

PM Nawaz Sharif.

In its haste to conclude the IMF deal, Imran Khan’s government

compromised on national security by agreeing to the formal

mention of money laundering in the document, thus linking IMF

tranches directly to Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

IK Government’s panic, delay, and paralysis in dealing with FATF

has led to a spate of ill-considered, craven legislation that goes

beyond what longstanding FATF member-countries have enacted

in their own countries.

Imran Khan’s weak and vacillating foreign policy has annoyed our

longstanding allies, such as China and Saudi Arabia, and

comforted our arch-enemy India. It has exposed us perilously to

financial blackmail by major powers and rendered us helpless in

face of Indian aggression.

4. FASCISM

PM Khan has trampled freedom of expression, judicial

independence, constitutional federalism, parliamentary

sovereignty, and fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens.

IK government has used National Accountability Bureau as a tool

to repress, harass, and calumniate the Opposition.

A series of orders by the High Courts, observations by the

European Union, judgment of the Supreme Court in Khawaja

Salman Rafique v. National Accountability Bureau case, and a

declaration by Human Rights Watch (HRW) have established

beyond doubt that accountability under IK Government is revenge

and repression.

23

In a landmark 87-page judgment, the Supreme Court criticized the

NAB for showing “utter disregard to the law, fair play, equity and

propriety,” and ruled that the “The power of arrest should not be

deployed as a tool of oppression and harassment… and the case

was a classic example of trampling of fundamental rights [and]

unlawful deprivation of freedom.”

“Pakistani authorities should… cease using the National

Accountability Bureau (NAB) to detain critics of the government,”

Human Rights Watch said. “The Pakistani Supreme Court

judgment is just the latest indictment of the NAB’s unlawful

behavior,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“Pakistani authorities should stop using a dictatorship-era body,

possessing draconian and arbitrary powers, to intimidate and

harass opponents.”

IK Government has compromised judges to convict on shoddy

grounds the three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and

to deny bail to PMLN and opposition leaders incarcerated under

various false pretenses.

Judicial independence has been punished by this government

through dismissal and filing of fake references against

independent-minded members of the higher judiciary.

Federal Ministers and Treasury members in the National Assembly

have rioted on the floor of the National Assembly; clashed

physically with Opposition members in Parliament premises; and

constantly calumniate the Opposition verbally on the floor.

IK Government’s constant mauling of Parliament has crippled

legislation and impeded invaluable work of Standing Committees.

IK Government’s horse-trading in the Senate damaged gravely the

public stature of Pakistan’s highest legislature. IK Government

has, for most part, bypassed Parliament by promulgating a

plethora of Ordinances rather than legislating through

introduction of bills in Parliament

24

Imran Khan has assaulted the Constitution through his and his

ministers’ constant talk about overturning the 18th Amendment

and the National Finance Commission Award, and about

“constitutional options” to usurp the elected government in Sind.

PMLN successfully challenged and by Court order overturned the

IK Government’s illegal formation of National Finance Commission

Award.

Imran Khan has assaulted the autonomy and threatened the

prosperity and security of Gilgit-Baltistan by installing a partisan

caretaker government and scheming to both delay and influence

the upcoming GB Assembly elections.

Imran Khan has deliberately sabotaged the development and

welfare of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) by withholding and

slashing AJK’s development funds, and by failing to provide federal

government’s support to AJK’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

IK Government has for two years choked freedom of expression.

Independent journalists have been hounded out of jobs,

withholding of dues has been used to pressurize TV channel

owners, live interviews with opposition leaders were yanked off the

air in mid-broadcast, channels have been forced to close for days,

talk-shows by independent anchors have been cancelled, and

mammoth rallies by opposition leaders have been blacked out from

electronic and print media.

25

5. RULE BY MAFIA

Imran Khan and his cabinet are a government of the Mafia, by the

Mafia, for the Mafia—impoverishing, looting, and mauling the

people of Pakistan.

In IK Government’s first mini-budget of January 2019, tax breaks

were provided to mafias, some of which had financed ruling party’s

election campaign: real-estate developers, banks, car-assemblers,

and sports-franchise owners.

IK and cabinet allowed export of 1.1 million tons of sugar in

December 2018, a mafia-facilitation that raised the retail price of

sugar from Rs. 55- per kg to Rs. 105- per kg for Pakistanis, netting

26

more than Rs. 200 billion in additional profits for the sugar mafia.

Now sugar is being imported, enriching the importer-mafia.

IK and cabinet allowed pharmaceutical manufacturers to raise

their prices to extortionate levels, forcing Pakistanis to pay at least

300% more for medicines.

IK and CM Punjab Buzdar facilitated wheat mafia by procuring

substantively less wheat in 2019, causing the first atta crisis in

autumn of 2019 that raised prices form Rs. 35 per kg to Rs. 50/

per kg.

In summer of 2020, IK and CM Buzdar are responsible for the

greatest wheat theft in the history of Pakistan. Minister for Food

Security confessed in the National Assembly on 17 July 2020 that

wheat purchased from farmers after the harvest had “vanished in

the market… Six million tonnes of wheat was purchased but

[nobody knows] where it has gone.”

Now atta prices have spiralled to poor-killing and mass-hungerproducing level of Rs. 86/kg, netting hundreds of billions for the

stockist mafia, which will make even more billion with import of

wheat.

In a blatant and brazen example of mafia-manipulation, IK and

Cabinet raised petrol prices by a whopping 34% on June 26, four

days before they were actually due, which netted according to one

estimate Rs. 300 billion in additional profit to oil-producing

companies.

27

6. CORRUPTION

Imran Khan and PTI have consistently adopted a populist, anticorruption rhetoric. They have repeatedly claimed to be crusaders

against corruption and for accountability. Yet, reality couldn’t be

any further from the truth. In actual fact, PTI has consistently

been a cesspool of corruption. PTI’s stints in government – first in

KP from 2013 and 2018, and since 2018, in Punjab, KP and the

Centre – have been characterized by corruption across the board

and glaring cases of conflict of interest. PTI and Imran Khan have

consciously prioritized and ensured unprecedented levels of crony

capitalism and corruption of friends.

28

The list of PTI corruption scandals in the last 2 years alone is long

and varied – sugar scandal, wheat scandal, medicine prices

scandal, multiple energy sector scandals, Peshawar BRT, bribes

for postings and transfers, illegal PPE exports & medicine imports

from India, commissions from advertising agencies, and award of

Mohmand Dam construction contract to DESCON, to name a few.

Malam Jabba land lease and Billion Tree Tsunami project are also

mega corruption scandals worth mentioning from PTI’s 2013-18

tenure in KP.

In the cases of both the sugar and wheat scandals, stock shortages

and local price increases were deliberately manufactured by the

PTI government in order to line up the pockets of PTI ministers and

financiers using government funds. Hasty export approvals were

given by the PTI government for both sugar and wheat despite

knowing about inadequate levels of stock and uncertainty of

upcoming production.

In the case of sugar, subsidies were given to favour cabinet

members and friends. Before the rebate was announced, most

sugar mills sold their stocks to the secondary market. The only

mills that didn’t sell are mills of PTI ministers and financiers who

knew of the upcoming permissions to export and subsidies, and

pocketed an average of Rs 8 billion extra per month between

December 2018 and March 2020 at the expense of the Pakistani

people. The government also deliberately maintained a high local

price of sugar, by discouraging sugar imports through a sales tax

levy at twice the import value of sugar.

In the case of wheat, the Pakistan Flour Mills Association

purchased up to 2 MMT wheat in addition to the government quota

during the 2019 wheat season. Despite this, the Punjab

government subsequently doubled their quota discharged the flour

mill’s share three months prior to the prescribed time period. This

has enabled only seven to eight key players favoured by the PTI

government to control the wheat/flour market, and to (a) make

money on wheat exports, (b) manipulate flour prices in local

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markets to their benefit, (c) smuggle wheat/flour to Afghanistan

and Iran, and (d) purchase in bulk from open markets.

The medical prices’ scandal too is another jewel in PTI’s crown of

corruption. As soon as the PTI government came to power and

appointed Amir Kiyani as Health Minister, prices rose

precipitously. In some cases, prices went up by more than 300%

but generally prices increased by between 75 and 100%. In

October 2019 after the opposition raised this issue in parliament

and media, NAB launched an Investigation into the matter and

found that this price gouging was a result of corruption which was

facilitated by the Health Minister, in order to rob patients in the

garb of drug price increases.

The PTI government has also overseen multiple corruption

scandals in the energy sector of the past 2 years. It has also

consciously appointed people with glaring conflicts of interest to

make governmental decisions regarding the energy sector. The

SAPM on Petroleum and Adviser on Commerce and Investment

both own IPPs. The in-laws of the Federal Minister for Power and

Petroleum also on an IPP. And these conflicted members of the

cabinet have not been shy to make decisions to their advantage.

One example: the aforementioned SAPM and Advisor have both

charged the government for more gas than their IPPs have used.

The PTI government’s decision to stop importing much cheaper

LNG and start importing furnace oil to cater to the oil lobby is

another case of brazen corruption. In continuation of this terrible

policy, this year, too, the government reduced the quantity of LNG

shipments which created a huge shortage of gas in Pakistan at a

time when global LNG prices were at a historic low. This resulted

in debilitating power shortages across Pakistan, especially in

Karachi, and forced the government to ask IPPs, including those

owned by PTI’s own cabinet members to produce power by using

diesel instead of natural gas. This enabled IPPs to make much

more money and the oil lobby to continue selling extra diesel and

furnace oil in Pakistan. There is no example of this kind of

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impropriety and blatant disregard of conflict of interest in

Pakistan’s history.

PTI has even milked transfer and postings for financial gain. Bribes

for transferring or appointing DCs, Collectors and SHOs have been

a norm under the PTI government over the past 2 years.

Any discussion regarding PTI’s corruption would be incomplete

without the mention of Peshawar BRT. Since assuming office in

the Centre and reassuming office in KP in 2018, the PTI

government has ensured the continuity of corruption in the BRT

project. The project was launched in October 2017 with a

completion deadline of July 2018 but, several missed deadlines

later, it has only been inaugurated in August 2020 despite still

being incomplete. The official cost of the project has ballooned from

Rs 49 billion to Rs 70 billion. The actual cost is suspected to be

over Rs 90 billion for the 27.4km project. In contrast, the 27km

Lahore BRT only cost Rs. 29.65 billion. Cost of Peshawar BRT is

almost equal to the combined cost of the Lahore, RawalpindiIslamabad and Multan BRTs completed by PMLN. The Peshawar

High Court (PHC), the Auditor General of Pakistan and even the

KP CM’s own inspection team have identified serious issues in the

project. The issues identified range from irregularities in award of

contracts and procurement, to unnecessary expenditures, and

unauthorized payments and cost variations. Over the last 2 years,

PHC has twice ordered investigation into the project. PHC first

directed NAB, then FIA. In both cases, the KP government moved

the Supreme Court to stop investigations ordered by PHC, which

only give further credence to strong claims of corruption on a

massive scale in the project. The KP government has been hellbent

on accommodating a non-performing contractor who was

blacklisted by the Punjab government under PMLN. Not only has

the contractor been accommodated despite terrible performance,

the contractor’s scope of work has also been enhanced and

increased, mainly because the contractor’s owner is a close family

from of the SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis. Not only that, the

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contractor has now also been awarded several new contracts in

Punjab and Islamabad.

The abovementioned cases only constitute the tip of the iceberg

and are not exhaustive by any means. These scandals and many

others like them explain how Imran Khan is able to own assets and

maintain a lifestyle beyond his known means.

7. PTI LIES VS PMLN FACTS – MINISTRY OF IT & TELECOM:

AN EXAMPLE

Deliberately lying and making false claims and accusations has

always remained a central pillar of PTI’s communication strategy,

both in government and prior to assuming office. The false claims

made by PTI in its recently published “2 Years Performance Report”

regarding the Ministry of IT & Telecom serve as a good example. In

this section, we have exposed those false claims by countering

them with actual facts.

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PTI CLAIM: On MISSION Statement: To become a strategic

enabler for an accelerated digitalization eco system, aiming to

expand knowledge-based economy and spur socio economic

growth.

PMLN FACT: This is the vision and mission statement of PMLN,

on which work was carried out by PMLN, and is now copy-pasted

in PTI report as if it is the vision and mission of PTI, when it is not!

PTI CLAIM of BASELINE OF SECTOR: “Where we were”

”During the past 2 years, Pakistan’s IT sector has made

measurable and quantizable progress due to strong focus of the

present government on ensuring sustainable IT industry growth.

The results speak for themselves. The number of IT companies

have increased to 2354 as of 30th June, 2020 compared to 1762

valid registrations as of 30 June, 2018.”

PMLN FACT: The number of registered IT companies in 2013 were

681. A concentrated effort was made to increase the registration

and by 2018 the registered companies grew to 1870 and growing.

The foundation of upward trajectory was laid by the PMLN

government when different incentives were provided for increasing

registration. No change in PMLN given incentives and policy is

made by the PTI government in the last 2 years. Important

question is that what new targets were set over and above what

was done and achieved by the PMLN government?

PTI LIE of Software Exports: ”The IT & IT enabled Services (ITeS)

export remittances comprising of computer services and call center

services are expected to reach US$1.2 billion by the conclusion of

FY 2019-20 compared to just USS$ 831.35 million in FY 2017-18.”

PMLN FACT: The financial year 2019-2020 has already completed

but still no final figures given in PTI report, but certainly the

software export for the year 2017-2018 was not $831.35 million

BUT $1.067 billion. According to the statistics provided by the

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State Bank of Pakistan, the fact is that during PMLN period,

exports of IT industry surged to the level of $939 million in the

financial year 2016-2017. During 2017-2018, the State Bank

reported software exports which reached an all-time high to

$1.067 billion and NOT $831 million as claimed by PTI in its

report. The growth in figures is due to measures taken during

PMLN government that gave over 300% increase in software

exports during a period of 5 years. The report fails to mention a

single policy step taken by PTI that helped create the growth

claimed, rather all is continuing from PMLN government.

PTI FALSE CLAIM attributed to self: ”Telecommunication Sector

has showed tremendous growth in last years.”

PMLN FACT: Ever since deregulation of the Telecommunications

sector, growth has been witnessed in the sector, and most recently

the growth in Mobile Broadband is due to PMLN championing

three rounds of spectrum auction for 3g/4g service which took

broadband figures from less than 3% to over 30% and today to

40%. It is not an achievement of PTI government, and the fact is

that not a single policy or developmental step has been taken by

the PTI government in this regard. if so then inform the public.

PTI STATEMENT: ”The licenses of Cellular Mobile Operators were

awarded for a period of 15 years and 03 of these licenses (Jazz,

Zong and Telenor) were due for renewal by PTA in 2019. After

extensive consultation by the Committees constituted by the Prime

Minister and approval of the Committees’ recommendations by the

Federal Cabinet, Policy Directive was issued on 9th May, 2019 for

implementation by PTA.”

PMLN FACT: If extensive consultations were held by the PTI

Government, then why all the mobile operators are in dispute in

Courts against PTA?

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PTI LIE: The vision ”Improve Pakistani citizen’s quality of life and

economic wellbeing by ensuring availability of accessible,

affordable, reliable, universal and high-quality ICT services.

To become a strategic enabler for an accelerated digitalization eco

system, aiming to expand knowledge-based economy and spur

socio economic growth.”

PMLN FACT: Above are the vision and mission statements given

by PMLN government, and copied in 2 year report from PMLN

cabinet approved Telecom Policy, 2015 and Digital Pakistan Policy,

2018, and is certainly not a vision and mission of PTI government.

PTI government has not introduced their policy, vision or mission

statement for the sector, and PTI even after 2 years is continuing

with PMLN vision, mission and policy.

PTI LIE: ”Ignite, under the auspices of Ministry of IT & Telecom,

launched a program to build a network of National Incubation

Centers (NIC), in Federal Capital and all Provincial Capitals…..All

NICs are fully functional and mentoring startups in ICT related

areas.”

PMLN FACTS: All 5 National Incubation Centers were conceived

and established by PMLN Government and not a single Incubation

Centre is added by PTI, when this program was to be expanded to

the Divisional level. Not an inch of progress in this area. Only

progress seen is infighting of Ignite Chairman and Ministry of IT’s

bureaucracy. Even CEO could not be appointed for last many

months.

PTI LIE: The program aims to assist final year undergraduate

students of ICT related disciplines studying in the Institutions by

providing them financial assistance for developing prototypes /

working models of their Final Year Projects (FYP) in order to

increase creativity, innovation and hands on engineering and

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development skills. NGIRI 2020 was launched on 6th January

2020.”

PMLN FACT: NATIONAL GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE program is an

annual program of Ignite that has been in place more than ten

years and has seen growth. No innovation in this regard was done

by PTI Government. In fact, most ignite programs like funding of

indigenous research are stagnant due to decision making

stalemate at the highest levels of Ignite.

PTI LIE: ”Ignite under the auspices of Ministry of Information

Technology & Telecommunication has launched a largescale

national Digital Skills (DigiSkills.pk) Training Program to provide

one (1) million trainings across the country over a period of 2

years….”

PMLN FACT: This Digiskills program was conceived and rolled out

by PMLN government and is a well-known fact. The program is

running at the scale and scope where PMLN government left it. No

further modules or extension given to the program by PTI in the

last 2 years.

PTI STATEMENT: ”Ignite has funded ICT-centric technical

innovative projects and HRD projects to different segments of the

society, including academia, IT industry and start-ups. The

primary focus of these projects is to encourage and promote ICT

related research, development and innovation. Few initiatives

include…(List of Initiatives)….”

PMLN FACT: This is an old program and ongoing. What is new

introduced by PTI? All the mentioned and many other projects

were funded by Ignite before PTI came in power and this can be

verified from record. What new have been done by PTI? In fact,

Ignite company is suffering due to worst infighting between a PTI

appointed Chairman and MOIT bureaucracy and due to lack of

political vision and leadership.

36

PTI STATEMENT: ”APPS DEVELOPMENT: Multiple Apps have

been developed for citizens benefits.”

PMLN RESPONSE: This is an ongoing job of NITB to develop apps,

for which the whole department is maintained. It is part of routine

job of NITB, so what is PTI achievement in it?

PTI STATEMENT: ”ALLIED ICT FINLAND (AIF). This is a

government led National Consortium of Finnish Universities, …

have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding through its

member institution and a public university in Finland; Kajaani

University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) with the Virtual University

of Pakistan.”

PMLN STATEMENT: Just entering into a MoU with a foreign

platform with no rollout or implementation mechanism in practice

and no funding is a weird achievement claim. The question is why

and for what reasons Virtual University has entered into this

particular MOU with Finland apparently seeking a Finish

University to train which One million and at what cost to the

exchequer?

PTI STATEMENT: ”UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND PROJECTS

1. Projects launched to provide voice and broadband services area

in areas of North/South Waziristan,FR Bannu/Lakki/Tank,

Dadu/Hyderabad & Bahawalpur Districts (3,100 Mauzas)

benefitting apopulation of approximately 6.5 Million.

2. Forty (40) unserved tehsils/towns are being connected with 900

km optical fiber cable coveringBajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai,

Kurram & FR (Peshawar) areas.

3. The Broadband coverage on National Highways and Motorways

in Balochistan will be provided to650 Km of road segments on N25

& N65 and 451 Km of segments on N50 & N70.

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4. Moreover, mobile broadband coverage will be provided to: 481

mauzas in Dadu lot serving1.2 million population in Dadu,

Jamshoro and Thatta districts;

5. 964 mauzas serving 2.6 million population in Hyderabad lot

covering Matiari, Hyderabad, TandoAllah Yar, Tando Muhammad

Khan, Badin and Sujawal districts.”

PMLN FACTS:

Broadband for Sustainable development (BSD) was conceived

approved and launched under the PMLN government. NGBSD was

also discussed and conceived as an expansion of ongoing projects

during PMLN era. The performance report that is supposed to give

work already done, strangely enough, 2 out of 5 bullet points (point

3 and 4) say that the work ”will be” done in sometime in future.

Point 5 is repeat of point one. Whereas, Point 2, Optic Fibre Cable

Project was awarded during PMLN government. North Waziristan

lot was awarded in February 2018. The PMLN Gov approved

providing broadband coverage to National Highways etc. Almost

whole of Balochistan were covered with 3G under this PMLN Gov

policy. The biggest package of USF funding around Rs. 24 billion

was spent in Balochistan. Those projects done and now near

completion in Balochistan helped general population and students

of Balochistan cope with the requirements and challenges posed

by COVID-19 Crisis as well.

SPECIAL COMMUNICATION ORGANIZATION CONTRIBUTIONS

PTI CLAIM: ”Disbursement of small amount of USD 3 Million

under Ehsaas Kafalat Program through S-Paisa mobile banking

and generation of revenue of USD $ 11.4 million by Pakistan-China

OFC project have been mentioned as achievements of PTI Gov.”

PMLN FACT: These projects were completed under PMLN

government in 2017 and have nothing to do with the PTI

government.

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TECHNOLOGY PARK, ISLAMABAD

PTI LIE: ”The project for establishing Information Technology Park

at Chak Shahzad, Islamabad is linked with Prime Minister Imran

Khan’s vision on Information Technology & Telecommunication.”

PMLN FACT: It is widely known fact that Project of IT Park at

Islamabad was conceived, developed, approved and all funding

arrangements with Korean EXIM were entered into by the PMLN

Government and Imran Khan’s vision has nothing to do with it.

PTI CLAIM: ”PARTIAL PAYMENT (50%) I.E. USD 687.8 MILLION –

DEPOSITED BY THE TELECOM OPERATORS.”

PMLN FACT: The fact is that the matter is in court. The partial

payment mentioned has been deposited (under protest) by the

mobile operators under a court mandated injunction and cannot

be termed as progressive step or resolution of the matter.

PTI LIES on Legislative, policy framework (PROPOSED/

IMPLEMENTED)

”ROW (Right of Way) Policy Directive prepared and awaiting

remarks from M/O Law at present;”

PMLN FACT: The working on formulation and drafting of critical

set of RoW Rules was concluded way back in 2018 after

consultation of stakeholders including Ministry of Law. The

process has not even moved an inch since then and now it is being

claimed that it is again with Ministry of Law for remarks is

regressive considering that bulk of inter stakeholder consultation

work was already done during PMLN term.

PTI CLAIM: ”Draft Personal Data Protection Bill prepared and

stakeholder’s comments are being compiled;”

39

PMLN FACT: PMLN prepared the draft of Data Protection Bill,

2018 and posted on MoIT website for public comments, after

completing consultations with all stake holders. Thereafter the Bill

was to be rolled for further action. After the lapse of two years it is

standing where it was with only one change that from Data

Protection Bill, 2018 it is now named as Data Protection Bill, 2020.

PTI CLAIM: ”Spectrum Auction process has also been initiated in

the present regime to ensure more vibrant digital services;”

PMLN FACT: Not even a single step required for spectrum auction

including market price evaluation through international experts

etc. has been taken. So such a claim sounds no more than a joke

when all operators are in court against PTA on license renewal.

It is also worth highlighting that PMLN started a scheme to provide

a laptop for every student in public sector universities. The PTI

government has abandoned this initiative and has, thus, digitally

disempowered the youth of Pakistan.

39

PMLN FACT: PMLN prepared the draft of Data Protection Bill,

2018 and posted on MoIT website for public comments, after

completing consultations with all stake holders. Thereafter the Bill

was to be rolled for further action. After the lapse of two years it is

standing where it was with only one change that from Data

Protection Bill, 2018 it is now named as Data Protection Bill, 2020.

PTI CLAIM: ”Spectrum Auction process has also been initiated in

the present regime to ensure more vibrant digital services;”

PMLN FACT: Not even a single step required for spectrum auction

including market price evaluation through international experts

etc. has been taken. So such a claim sounds no more than a joke

when all operators are in court against PTA on license renewal.

It is also worth highlighting that PMLN started a scheme to provide

a laptop for every student in public sector universities. The PTI

government has abandoned this initiative and has, thus, digitally

disempowered the youth of Pakistan.

Steps Taken By PTI Govt To Gag Media, Curb Freedom of

Expression & Transparency

– Banned and penalised interaction of all government employees

with media ending transperency of government actions.

– Weaponised government advertisements to bully, intimate and

force news media to stay silent over government failures and to

become mouthpieces of false government propaganda. Pushing the

news media organisations into financial turmoil leading to mass

lay-offs, ending livelihoods of thousands of families.

– Launched the most brutal censorship regime which blacked out

coverage of opposition rallies and shut-down interviews of

opposition leaders in the middle of transmission.

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– Forced news media houses to lay off journalists and

anchorpersons who did not bow down to government threats and

agenda, while others are threatened through informal channels to

stay silent or face grave consequences for them and their families.

– Forced news channels off-air, unofficially and officially to punish

them for telling people the truth about government’s disastrous

performance.

– Arrested Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman for refusing to bow down to PTI

government’s dictation and tried to use his imprisonment as

leverage to blackmail the Geo/Jang group to stop telling truth

about the incompetence of the Imran-led Mafia government.

– Used the FIA against journalists, rights activists and bloggers

with arrest, cases and harassment.

– Was forced to shelve its plan of establishing Special Media

Tribunals after national and international media rights watchdogs

and leading opposition parties put up fierce resistance against this

gagging of the press.

– Faced international embarrassment over its intended censorship

of social media through the government’s “‘social media rules and

regulations”.

– Tried to control all channels of information to public through a

single body by merging Pemra and Press Council as well as PTA,

under a new proposed law, Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority

(PMRA)

Read PML-N White paper pdf here

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