Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has asserted that the political system of Pakistan lacks power to solve issues, stressing the need to respect public opinion. Addressing a national dialogue in Quetta, the former prime minister regretted that the country’s issues were not being discussed in the Parliament – despite being a forum of elected representatives. “Unfortunately, the country’s economy has reached the brink of disaster,” Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said, adding that currently, there was no such forum to discuss the prevailing issues being faced by the country. He regretted that the political system of Pakistan lacks power to solve the issues. “The country of 230 million was facing almost every crisis,” he said, adding that he was also responsible for the country’s prevailing issues. The PML-N leader stressed the need to constitute a strong system for country’s betterment, saying that the government should deliver and respect the public opinion. “Problems cannot be resolved in a country – where lists are made who will win and who will not,” he said, adding that people choose alternative solution in a country where the justice system is paralyzed. He also pointed out that Balochistan should be most prosperous province, but unfortunately, it is the most miserable one. “These problems will be resolved once the making of lists stops,” he noted. Shahid Khaqan further said that the problems would be discussed when senators will not be elected after paying billions of rupees. “We became a nuclear power but could not improve the quality of schools and hospitals,” he said, adding that no political party can resolve the issues by taking 100 percent of seats. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, former senator and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) member, while speaking on the occasion shared fears of Pakistan standing near a “political breakdown”. “We have become politically and morally bankrupt. Even today, people are not being told the truth, which the country needs,” Khokhar said. Khokhar added that the communication between the people and political parties is broken. The ex-PPP leader stressed the need to address people’s issues rather than being engaged in irrelevant political discourse such as the Panama Papers and Toshakhana case. “There were discussions on Panama [Papers] and Toshakhana [case], but where were the issues of people? The situation has gotten to a point where if one doesn’t leave the country, they are going to the mountains.” The former senator lamented that democracy was buried the day when the dictator violated the constitution. “It was decided on the first day that democracy wouldn’t be allowed to flourish in the country. What did we do to the constitution maker of the country?” he said, raising questions on the treatment meted out to former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged by then-army chief General Zia-ul-Haq. The politician, who hasn’t joined any political party since his departure from the PPP, questioned steps taken to ensure the provision of human rights in the country on the basis of Article 8 to 28. “Courts have been given the responsibility of human rights; they, too, are silent and not paying attention to these issues. The society is disintegrating,” Khokhar said. Speaking about the intention of the national dialogue series titled “Reimagining Pakistan”, the former PPP member stated that these sessions are intended to listen to people’s discussions and find solutions for them. Khokhar, when commenting on the issues of Balochistan, asked what is the difficulty if there is a supposed interest in solving the problems of the province. Khokhar insisted on the need for ending political instability for the betterment of the country’s economy. “Parties are willing to do anything for the greed of power. The same conversation is going on in Punjab as well,” he said. The ex-senator said that people’s relationship with the constitution is breaking. “If this conversation doesn’t take place on streets and neighbourhoods, then the country will suffer,” Khokhar said, highlighting their aim to ensure the sanctity of the constitution. The PPP senior leader Farhatullah Babar, who joined the session via video link, stressed following the constitution. “It is time to reimagine Pakistan and restore the sanctity of the constitution,” the veteran politician said, further highlighting the need to form an agreed charter to reimagine the country. In his address to the event, former finance minister Miftah Ismail said it was crucial for Pakistan to “stand on its feet” if it wishes to become a respectful nation. “And if we want Pakistan to become self-sufficient, then every Pakistani’s role is important. In this regard, it is vital to send every child to school,” the two-time finmin said. Ismail said that the country should spend more than Rs2 billion on education, while also ensuring that it improves the schooling system. The former finance czar, while lamenting over the situation of women in Pakistan, said that 40% of females between the ages of 15-50 have iron deficiency. Ismail stressed the need to provide employment to every Pakistan and noted that unemployment was not an issue restricted to Balochistan, but that it was a country-wide phenomenon. “More than 80 million people in Pakistan are living below the poverty line. As many as 60% of Pakistanis earn below Rs35,000,” the PML-N leader said. Ismail added that every citizen’s income should increase. He also stressed the need to promote harmony and love in the country.