ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that infighting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Asad Umar and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen affected the party a lot and has been one of the main reasons behind Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision not going according to plan.
“There was a lot of expectation from PTI and Imran Khan,” Chaudhry said in an interview with Voice of America. “The public had not elected us or the prime minister to fix nuts and bolts but to reform the system.”
“When the Panama case was resolved I and few others had a chance to speak to Imran Khan and at that time I felt his ideas were very clear when it came to reforms,” he said.
The minister added, “The way he said the chief ministers had become dictators in Sindh and the finance commission award should be there along with police reforms, judicial reforms, it was very clear at that time what Imran Khan’s vision was.”
Chaudhry said that one of the main problems was the infighting between the PTI’s senior leadership that included Umar, Tareen and Qureshi. Hence, this level to a political vacuum.
“When the political vacuum was created, it was filled up with new people who were not from politics,” he said. “When your core team was disturbed it was filled with new people who were frankly not aligned with ideas and won’t be and don’t have the capacity to either,” he added.
This infighting affected the party a lot especially the political class, he stated.
‘Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto appointed weak people’
Responding to a question about whether the prime minister did not get an experienced team or if he was at fault for the way he was governing, Chaudhry said the team was selected by PM Imran.
“There is no leader like Imran Khan in the Muslim world. You can disagree with him but look at the Turkish leadership which is unacceptable to the West or the Iranian and Saudi leadership which has its controversies. Imran Khan is the only leader who brought the Muslim world together,” he said.
Chaudhry continued, “I can understand about Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto who took weak people and gave them important positions because they had the vision to transfer their leadership [to their children],” he added.
“They had no other vision,” Chaudhry said, adding that PM Imran did not have the same problem.
“The best people should have been there [appointed to government positions] but it affected the way things were,” he added.
‘JKT had Asad Umar removed from finance ministry’
When asked why despite having the political might of Qureshi, Tareen and Pervez Khattak in the Cabinet, things turned out the way they were, the science and technology minister said they tried to make them [Tareen and Umar] reconcile but it could not happen.
“When [Asad] Umar became the finance minister, [Jahangir] Tareen had him removed as the finance minister. Then when Umar came back [to the cabinet] he had Tareen removed. Similarly, Qureshi met Tareen to talk, but nothing could materialise,” Chaudhry said.
He added, “I could not understand because fights happen in parties but I think the internal fights between these top three to four leaders not only affected the party but the entire political class whose place was then taken over by bureaucrats.”