Former Caretaker PM Kakar Admits Responsibility for Wheat Import Decision

Wheat Import

Ex-PM Kakar Accepting Responsibility for Wheat Import Decision

  1. Mounting Pressure and Nationwide Protests
  2. Government Response: Committee Formation
  3. Clarification and Accountability
  4. Provincial Responsibilities and Oversight
  5. Wheat Procurement Phases
  6. Reflecting on Decision-Making
  7. Operational Framework and Legalities
  8. Questioning Profit Claims
  9. Calls for Inquiry: Response from Interior Minister

Former caretaker Prime Minister, Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar, has taken full accountability for the decision to import wheat during his tenure amidst mounting pressure from farmers and an opposition alliance gearing up for nationwide protest rallies due to the delay in wheat purchases.

In response to the brewing crisis, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee upon learning that over 600,000 tons of wheat were imported during the first two months of the incumbent government, despite the country already possessing a stockpile of over 113,000 tons of wheat.

Read about Kakar’s vision regarding Balochistan as PM of Pakistan.

The decision to import wheat was initiated during the last caretaker government’s tenure and continued after the PML-N government assumed office. Addressing a press conference in Quetta alongside Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi and Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti, Kakar clarified that he had never shifted the responsibility of wheat procurement onto the provinces or any other entity.

He asserted his full accountability for the decision to purchase wheat during his tenure, noting that under the 18th constitutional amendment, the provinces are responsible for collecting data on wheat procurement.

Kakar explained that wheat procurement occurs in two phases: firstly, the government purchases it from the world market and provides it to the people at subsidized rates to stabilize the market; secondly, the private sector is permitted to import wheat.

He lamented the oversight of a crucial third point amidst the crisis, emphasizing that with research and development investment, the country could potentially produce over four million tons of wheat.

Reflecting on his role during the wheat importation in the caretaker government, Kakar, who also served as the Minister of Food and Security at the time, clarified that the decision was based on data provided by the provinces to the PDM government, which was then passed on to the caretaker government for action.

Regarding the wheat importation under his tenure, Kakar highlighted that the government operated within the framework of an SRO issued during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) era, with no additional laws enacted for the private sector’s involvement and no special permissions sought.

Kakar questioned claims of a profit of Rs85 billion made on the import of wheat, stating, “Did we order any cocaine that got so much profit in six months?” He criticized attempts to tarnish their image and make a legal object (SRO) illegal.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, speaking on the occasion, addressed calls for an inquiry into the wheat import issue involving Kakar and himself, stating that some people desire such an inquiry.

You may also like to read about Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi’s recent visit to Quetta, CLICK HERE

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