Latif gets his due
WE deem that the decision to terminate Latif Siddique from his position as posts, telecommunications and ICT Minister, removal from the party presidium and suspension of his primary membership of the party for making derogatory comments on Hajj and Prophet Muhammad (SM), is appropriate. In view of the impropriety of his utterances, one wishes he would have gotten his come uppance sooner.
The exit of Latif Siddique, though well-earned, has also raised some fundamental questions regarding his tenure in the government. A committee of the PMO has found that Latif sold 47 state-owned jute mills and factories as jute minister either without inviting tenders or in non-transparent ways. The PM is now saying that the jute mills leased out by the former minister will be taken over by the government. If that is the degree of his wrong-doing, one wonders how he could be given the responsibility of a ministry for the second time, that too, of such a high profile ministry as telecommunications and ICT.
Had this sacrilegious utterance not been made, are we to assume that the cases of corruption and malpractice would not have come forward and that Latif would continue in his post? This raises the question of whether there are some other ministers who might be getting away with other infractions.
The cabinet cannot disassociate itself from the commissions and omissions of its members. As such, the PM will be well-advised to keep a sharp eye on her ministers because any misdemeanor on their part ultimately tarnishes government credibility.