Islamabad (October, 24, 2017): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Monday the next general election would be held on time in 2018 and advised the political opponents to wait patiently till the PML-N completes its term.
The prime minister said he was pretty sure that the next general elections would be held on time. “I am one hundred per cent sure, elections will be held in 2018,” he said expressing his wonder as to how certain political opponents were expecting polls ahead of the completion of PML-N government’s tenure.
The prime minister was expressing his views during a talk show on state TV.
The prime minister maintained that the strength of democratic system was linked with its continuity and completion of tenures by the elected governments.
To a query, he expressed his confidence that the PML-N government would accomplish all its development projects.
“A week is not enough for me if I keep on inaugurating at least two projects as a number of projects are being completed and others are in the pipeline, considering the government’s remaining period of term”.The prime minister said the PML-N government would leave a better, prosperous and more secure Pakistan in 2018 when it completes its term.“We will complete our developmental schemes and set a sound future course and direction for the next government. These projects will shed massive impact on the country’s economy,” he added.
The PML-N would also form the next government by virtue of its pro-development performance and execution of unprecedented mega projects whereas its political adversaries would go to public merely with the baggage of hollow criticism.
He also advised Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan to have patience as the public would decide fate of the government.
To a question, the prime minister said with import of LNG, the gas deficiency would be overcome and announced that abundance of gas would be available to the domestic, CNG, fertilizer and industrial sectors during the winter season. In the past these sectors had suffered colossally and were at the verge of closure.He said prior to the PML-N government tenure, its predecessors tried to import LNG but at least seven such attempts had failed. It was made possible with the PML-N government which had brought the LNG at the lowest contract rates throughout the world.
The prime minister opined that the only solution to energy deficiency in the country was associated with the import of LNG which also helped in lowering the power prices in the country.
About 20 to 25 per cent extra gas would be available to the domestic consumers without snapping supply to other sectors, he added.
War on Terror:
Prime Minister Abbasi said Pakistan had been fighting the biggest war against terrorism with its own resources and rejected the impression that its campaigns against terrorism were being funded from abroad.
“It’s our own war and we had been fighting it and would continue to fight it with our own resources,” he emphasized. The part of the history could not be distorted with wrong impressions.He lauded the Pakistan army for successfully defeating the menace of terrorism. Pakistan had offered huge sacrifices as a large number of civilian and law enforcement agencies personnel laid down their lives in this war. The whole world acknowledged it.
The prime minister to a question related to security issues, said the PML-N government inherited the law and order situation and noted that the internal threats always hovered around which also impacted the economy.
He particularly referred to Karachi, the port city and economic hub of the country and tribal areas, but in the same tone added that the government was up to the challenges and improved the security situation, besides bringing about an economic turnaround.
The prime minister said Pakistan enjoyed the highest consumer growth in the world and it was taking steps to further spike the economic indicators including the growth rate in its exports.The export growth is targeted at around 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2018. With increase in exports, the issues of economy could be settled, he added.
Now the country has the lowest inflation and highest growth rate, he said.
About relations with India, the prime minister said India had aggressive designs against Pakistan with its sinister cold war doctrines. Pakistan was fully alive to all such challenges and had the capacity to counter all the designs, he added.
He said both nuclear-armed neighbouring countries had huge populations and the resolution of all outstanding issues should be reached at the negotiating table and that too on the basis of equal respect.About the prospects of talks, the prime minister linked the initiative with the addressing of core issue of Indian occupied Kashmir. He rejected linking terrorism with Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination and reiterated Pakistan’s moral, legal and diplomatic support for them. He called upon the Indian government to show sincerity for the resolution of the core issue.
The prime minister also categorically rejected the impression of “do more” on the part of Pakistan and said he had not come across such demands, which could only be for media consumption. Pakistan had always been on the right track. They had to move ahead instead of going into the corridors of past alleys, he added.
He said the terrorists inside Afghanistan posed threat to Pakistan. No country other than Pakistan was more interested in peace and stability in Afghanistan as it had hosted about three million Afghan refugees on its soil.
The prime minister maintained that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was part of the Chinese government’s initiative of ‘One Belt One Road’ comprising vast Infrastructure and energy projects, which would change the fate of the country and the whole region.He observed that Pakistan offered huge consumer market and urged the exporters and people to avail the opportunities emerging out of the CPEC.
The prime minister also differentiated between the bilateral connectivity and that of CPEC. He expressed his confidence that the completion of the project would usher in an era of progress and prosperity in next few decades.
Nawaz Sharif disqualification
He said on July 28, judiciary handed down a verdict, which was fully implemented but was not accepted by the people and the history would prove it. It was his opinion that the history would not accept it. Within three days of the verdict, a new set-up was established. The court’s decisions had long time impacts, he added.
The prime minister said the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had definitely impacted the country’s economic growth rate, but the PML-N government had stabilized it once again. The progress and prosperity witnessed during the last four years had not been viewed in the last 15 years, he added.To another question, he said the federal government functioned under its own modus operandi through completion of long and short term plans.
The prime minister said the people of the country should realize the significance of paying taxes and stressed upon broadening of the tax net.
He reiterated that the licensed automatic weapons were not allowed in any part of the globe.
He also stressed upon strengthening the education and health sectors and defended the size of his cabinet which was required to run affairs of about 43 divisions.
Rifts in PML-N
The prime minister to another question said difference of opinion among members of the political parties was the beauty of democratic system. He dismissed the rumours about differences within the Sharif’s family, or PML-N party terming them as merely media driven speculations.
The prime minister said he firmly believed in the freedom of expression and said Riaz Pirzada had the right to speak out his mind.
The prime minister said he was selected for the office of prime minister by his party.
About Steel Mills and PIA, he said, the losses of mills had been reduced besides certain steps were taken in the PIA, but he stressed that privatization was the only solution to the ailing government organizations.