By Shafek Koreshe
ON BOARD PM’S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT July 6 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday said the nation had given him mandate for a full five-year term, had faith in him and firmly believed in his development oriented policies.
Talking to the journalists accompanying him on his two-day visit to Tajikistan, he said the people would again vote his party into power in 2018 as they were aware of his ability to deliver and bring about a sea change in their lives.
When asked about the ongoing questioning by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of his family members, the Prime Minister said “There is nothing to fear as our hands are clean.”
The Prime Minister asked “What are the allegations against me? Have I looted the national exchequer? Have I done some corruption or got kickbacks?”
The Prime Minister said accountability was being held of a person who made this country a nuclear power. He regretted that his family business matters were being exploited for political gains.
He said conspiracies had been hatched against his government time and again, and expressed optimism that this time too his opponents would fail miserably.
“I have never accepted defeat. We faced the 2014 sit-in and another round in 2016 and will Insha Allah sail through this crisis too,” he maintained.
The Prime Minister said his family had been victimized by President Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto, while their units were also nationalized in 1972 and not a single penny was given.
“Yet we are being held accountable,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said the ongoing victimization of his family was having a negative overall impact on the country. He said the issue not only has had a depressing effect on the nation, but has also had a similar fallout on the national economy.
He pointed to the recent decline in the stock index and the appreciation of US dollar’s price against the Pakistan Rupee and said all gains made to bring stability to the national economy were being eroded.
Regarding his visit to Tajikistan, the Prime Minister said, it had opened up new vistas of cooperation with the Central Asian Republics and said his dream of regional connectivity and economic interaction were finally taking shape.
The Prime Minister said he had positive interaction with the leaders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
There was a vast scope of investment by Pakistani investors in Tajikistan as the country needed infrastructure and industrial units to strengthen its economy, he added.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan also provided the shortest possible route to the Central Asian Republics to the sea and rest of the world.
However, he added, that without peace and stability in Afghanistan little progress could be made and the region could remain in turmoil.
He said Pakistan had always made earnest efforts for improvement in ties with all its neighbours and was particularly keen for better relations with Afghanistan as their economic prosperity were closely linked.
The Prime Minister said during his talks he also apprised about the gross human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
He pointed to the martyrdom of over 100 people in the recent months by the occupational forces. He also spoke of the over 200, who had been a victim of the pellet guns.
The Prime Minister said he had always been at the forefront in his desire for resolution of the lingering Kashmir dispute with India and recalled that he initiated dialogue with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 1999.
He said he had called upon India to put an end to the atrocities against innocent Kashmiris.