Vote of no confidence | By Rizwan Ghani

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Vote of no confidence

BUOYANT with “Constitution free zone” result in Punjab Assembly, PTI announced its agenda for returning to National Assembly.

Accordingly, PDM has cherry picked 35 PTI resignations and likely to use remaining resignations to secure vote of no confidence if and when needed.

Interior Minister’s statement of on time election has set stage for economic stability (IMF, friendly countries and international flood relief) and political cooling down by allowing level playing field (until elections)to all political parties to win the general elections, strengthen economy and democracy.

Under democratic system of check and balance, government must recover public money stolen in mega corruption during PTI government by Imran Khan and his cabinet.

The example of US Congress Jan 6 Committee can help law ministry and judiciary to end the menace.

The Committees of National Assembly should play their role. Otherwise, mega corruption will continue to drain national economy, accumulate debt and undermine national security.

America is using Jan 6 Committee for informing public about role of Trump in attack on the Capitol Hill.

The Committee exposed Republican strategy to undermine presidential election, peaceful transfer of power and entire structure of democracy.

The tactics of using social media, attacking credibility of vote counting process, disputing mail in ballots, role of attorneys in presenting false narratives, false results, vigilantism, role of White House staff, disregard for early warnings, illegal use of funding, use of mass groups like Proud Boys.

The Committee findings have no legal basis. Trump rejected them as show trails. Committee member Liz Cheney lost the election which Trump uses to keep control on the Party.

McCarthy had to thank Trump for his support for becoming House Speaker. However, the material presented during Committee hearings helped public, DoJ and judiciary make up their minds.

It is tested template for level playing field for political parties in Pakistan to make their case and win next general election.

Government should welcome PTI return to National Assembly. Under democratic accountability, parliament should issue a schedule for holding PTI government accountable for its term in office.

PTI PM and cabinet should face appropriate committees to justify their policies so that public can separate wheat from the chafe and bring an end to street propaganda.

These committee hearings should be broadcast live on PTV for the entire country so that public can make up its mind.

On the democracy, PTI PM should make his case for dissolution of local governments in relevant committee.

The constitutional legitimacy of (his) government after denotifying third level of government.

The legitimacy, fallout, corruption and recovery of LG development funds distributed to parliamentarians illegally.

The legitimacy of PM’s allegations of horse trading and corruption against others. PM’s failure to hold PMQ hour despite promise.

The economic picture should be made clear for next election. PTI laid economic trap for next government and demanded early election to return to power knowing that fallout of its economic traps will shift to PDM.

Liz Truss £30bn loss mini-budget that broke Britain (20 Oct 2022 the Guardian). It is an economic trap for the next government leaving new government very unpopular from the start (Trussonomics is dead but not before laying a trap for Labour, 18 Oct 2022, the Guardian).

Parliament should take public in confidence on economics. Reaganomics (1980) and Thatcherism (1979) discarded welfare state, nationalized industry and state regulation of economy in exchange with neo-liberalism (free market capitalism) increasing role of private sector in economy and society through privatization, FDIs, replacing gold with fiat currency, imports (supply chains) on the basis that lower taxes, trickledown effect and less state will result in more revenue, jobs and stronger economy.

With projections of $73bn in next three years, Parliament will have to decide about changing Pakistan’s economic model (IMF or no IMF, 16 Jan 2023, Pakistan Observer).

The debt of US ($31.5T) and UK (£2.4T) after 1979 against $850bn and £250bn respectively before it.

The US had to pay $580bn interest payment on US debt in 2021 and it is projected to be $1.2T in 2032 (US Committee for Response for Federal Budget 8 July 2022).

Like Western countries, the crony capitalism and supply based economic model has left Pakistan unemployed, debt ridden and without critical securities including water, food, seed, manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare and education.

The Rs 1 Tn education budget should be used to help boost self-reliance in these areas. There is urgent need to use SME, value addition, land reforms (Homestead law), local manufacturing and repegging to gold for reviving economy, creating job and ending debt.

Under good governance, there is need of reforms. The number of courts should increase ten-fold to match population growth.

Government must ensure high salaries and wages for 40 percent rise in its revenue, cut poverty and increase in size of economy.

Police reforms can cut number of crimes by allowing to spend 50% of police budget on community development to end social inequality.

Banking reforms (Glass-Steagall Act 1933) to fulfil domestic needs with savings and debt control.

—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.