Addressing the newly sworn in caretaker cabinet in his maiden address on Friday, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said the cabinet while not having a perpetual mandate “will try to lay some foundation where we have a sense of continuation of national and international commitments.”
Kakar added that the cabinet will try to support new initiatives within the bounds of the law and Constitution.
“I am hopeful that Almighty Allah would enable us to lead and steer this nation in this interim period,” he said.
The newly inducted cabinet was sworn in yesterday, and is tasked with running the country until fresh elections – which might be delayed beyond November as constituency boundaries were set to be redrawn.
The caretaker set-up, which has come on the heels of abject political instability, is closely being watched for its agenda and wavelength.
Addressing the cabinet today, Kakar said that his able team would work towards countering the “huge” economic challenges it faces through “financial discipline” and have a “sense of sanctity of the taxpayers’ money”.
PM Kakar also spoke out against attacks on religious minorities during the meeting.
The caretaker PM also added a stern warning to any possible play between law and politics.
“I know it is a polarized society and in this polarized environment we will try to differentiate between politics and law. There is a law and there is a rule of order. We would ensure that rule of order is not compromised in any way. Rule of order would ensure and lead to rule of law,” he said.
In the same breath he added that “if there is chaos and anarchy then no government system, no secular or religious theocratic system could exist. So we know the sanctity of order and that would be kept at any cost”.
In a nod to the country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his famous speech of August 11, 1947, Kakar said there would be “no identity-based rights” be prescribed. “Rights,” he said, “will not be given to people on the basis of nouns, but rather on adjective, on the basis of conduct, character and behavior.”
He called upon the nation to start envisioning a “Pakistani dream” and to start working towards realising it.
“We would strongly discourage rigidity be it any form in this society. We do not stand for the forces of darkness,” he stressed. “Extreme attitudes” which he said included “secularism” and “religious” ones, would not only be “unwelcome, but would be discouraged. They would be curbed and controlled by the law.”
“The minorities, so help us Allah, will stay protected in this country. There may be an attempt to harm them by the marginalised and peripheral group of people but that will be responded sternly by the state and society, both,” he said.
“Pakistan state and society does not align and identify with such elements. They may be from us but they are divorced from our identity. We do not identify with them,” he stressed.
“When you are in majority, the minority must be protected,” he added, “not on the basis that they would convert to your worldview. They can differ with you. But their human dignity and security and their provision and sustenance has to be ensured by this divinely inspired idea”.
May 9 events
Towards the end of his address, Kakar also expressed his “discomfort and disappointment” over the events of May 9.
“These state symbols when they are attacked, the state does not disappear or vanish in a day or two or a week. It’s a process and the initiation of that process, or an attempt at least to do so, was exhibited on May 9.
“We not just condemn it, now we are in the role to ensure that justice is being done and whosoever violated the laws on those days will be treated by those laws. There won’t be any favour, there won’t be any fear. We will try to implement with justice and neutrality,” he said.
Further, he took the opportunity to express his government’s commitment to the issue of Kashmir which he described as part of the Pakistani nation’s soul.