Some federal cabinet members raised concerns about being neglected a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan honoured the top ten ministries based on their performance.
According to sources in certain ministries, the list of ten best-performing ministries released on Thursday has sparked discontent among the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ranks, as numerous frontline ministries were left off the list.
Foreign affairs, finance, information technology, housing, information, and the environment were among the ministries that did not make the cut.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also the ruling party’s vice president, issued a letter to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Establishment Arbab Shahzad, expressing grave reservations about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being ranked 11th.
Allies in the government MQM and PML-Q have also slammed the performance report.
Mr Shahzad drafted the criteria under which the top 10 ministries were rated, as well as a following report for the Prime Minister.
Two government allies — the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), which held the IT and housing ministries, respectively — were also upset, according to the sources, for not being recognised despite ‘excellent performance.’
Mr Qureshi voiced reservations in his letter about ministerial performance as well as the distribution of diplomas among them. He noted that the Foreign Ministry met 22 of the 26 targets specified in the nine-month performance agreement in the first quarter. He stated in the document that is also widely shared on social media that one of the remaining four targets was completed 99 percent, and the reasons for delaying the remaining three projects were mentioned in a letter written on Oct 27, 2021, and the reasons for delaying the remaining three projects were mentioned in a letter written on Oct 27, 2021.
The minister said that his ministry’s success in meeting targets in the first quarter – the first three months of the fiscal year – remained at 70%, while the rest of the ministries’ performance was at 62 percent. In the second quarter, the ministry met 18 of its 24 goals. He posed queries and stated that no written rules for the third quarter had been released.
Meanwhile, if the opposition parties were truly committed to the cause, Mr Qureshi implored them to support the constitutional amendment needed to create a south Punjab province.
The minister chastised PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in a statement for failing to react to his letter on the topic. “They should not obstruct the creation of the south Punjab province, even if it is not in Bilawal Bhutto’s and Shehbaz Sharif’s political interests,” Mr Qureshi continued.
Parties that are allies
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, the leader of the MQM-Pakistan, also openly chastised the government for failing to recognise the “major” achievements of the IT Ministry he oversees, which he claimed garnered record money through exports.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently praised the performance of the Information Technology Ministry.
Mr Siddiqui remarked, “We [MQM] raised the country’s IT exports by 50%, but we were nowhere in the top 10 list.”
He believes that such assessments and surveys evaluating the government’s performance should be undertaken by the media or the general public, rather than by the government itself.
The PML-Q is also angry, according to sources in the party, since the performance of the Housing Ministry, which is led by a lawmaker from the party, has gone unnoticed by the PM.
They stated the ministry was doing all possible to satisfy the prime minister’s goal of providing people with affordable housing options.
Similarly, despite initiating the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme, sources in the Environment Ministry said the ministry was not among the best achievers.
According to the sources, some disgruntled ministers have conveyed their concerns to the appropriate authorities, claiming that the Establishment Division had overlooked their “out-of-the-box” achievements. The Foreign Ministry believed it had been unfairly criticised for holding the recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation Foreign Ministers summit on short notice, as well as successfully evacuating Pakistani and other nationals stranded in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control in August last year.
Similarly, the Information Ministry received a failing grade for failing to complete a proposal to appoint 60 press attachés across Africa. According to reports, the information minister shelved the project, deeming it a waste of resources because such officials were not required in nations like Ghana and Uganda. Rather, the ministry proposed that cultural attachés be appointed in certain of these states.
Some of the disappointed ministers were also upset that the Interior Ministry was ranked in the top 10 for only issuing 40,000 passports, according to the sources. They considered the granting of passports to be a “regular matter.”
When contacted, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry stated that the Establishment Division was unable to effectively communicate the criteria to the ministries, as a result of which some of their accomplishments were overlooked.
He explained that the survey was based on the ministries’ performance over a nine-month period — from July 2021 to the present — and which of them had met the Public Sector Development Programme’s targets.
Later, in a television interview, Mr Shahzad stated that Mr Qureshi had the right to object to the study, adding that the document was made using accessible data.
“It is Mr Qureshi’s prerogative [to believe] that his ministry should have been at the top of the list.” But everything we said in the report was based on the information we got,” he added.