Nawaz Sharif to be re-elected as PM: Shahid Khaqan

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APP72-01 ISLAMABAD: August 01 - Prime Minister-elect Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing at the National Assembly. APP

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP): The newly elected Prime Minister
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday said the PML-N had accepted the
Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case, though the
people had rejected Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification.
In his maiden address to the National Assembly after securing
the 221 majority vote from the House, Shahid Khaqan said Nawaz
Sharif would be re-elected to the National Assembly and as the
prime minister.
Not even a single legal expert, he said, had seconded the apex
court decision. Nawaz Sharif left his office immediately after
the verdict and the democratic system was continuing ib the country
without any break, he added.
He said despite the perception that the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz would collapse, the party today was stronger than
ever before with not a single defection while the democracy was gaining strength.
He said a larger court would soon be held, sans the JIT, where
the people and the political parties across the divide would vouch
for the honesty of Nawaz Sharif.
“Nawaz Sharif never ever asked us for any corruption and
pursued politics of principles,” he said.
Shahid Khaqan said Nawaz Sharif made Pakistan a nuclear power,
turned it into an economic power, stabilised economy, added 10,000 MW
to the national grid and brought LNG to the country to restart the
stalled fertilizer plants and the closed down industrial units.
He said another fault of Nawaz Sharif was to bring $60
billion of foreign direct investment. While during the Pervez
Musharraf era, not even a single electricity generation plant
was added, motorway built or infrastructure laid, he added.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi thanked the National Assembly members for
reposing confidence in him and also thanked the opposition for
remembering them in their abusive language during public gatherings.
He said his party members could respond in an similar manner,
but they were under the instructions of their leader Muhammad Nawaz
Sharif who have abstained them from stooping too low.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said he fully realized the
responsibility of the office of prime minister.
“This office has witnessed prime ministers including Liaquat
Ali Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Muhammad
Khan Junejo, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif,”
he said.
Referring to his 30-year affiliation with Nawaz Sharif, he said
he could testify that the former prime minister Sharif had never
been involved in corruption.
“Even the MNAs from Multan and Rawalpindi, and my brothers
from Awami National Party, Muttahida Qaumi Party and Jamat-e-Islami
will also testify the same,” he said.
Abbasi said he, himself, was ready to answer any question
raised about his assets.
“Before entering politics 30 years back, my assets were
manifold as compared to the present with much better lifestyle.
What I attained is through hard work and am never afraid to justify
it,” he said.
Abbasi said politics had become an abuse in the country and
required a collective effort by the members of the House to restore
its sanctity and respect.
He said the country would only be run under the Constitution
and the fact should be well understood by the government, army,
intelligence agencies, judiciary and businessmen.
“These six institutions sail in the same boat and will drown
collectively, in case the boat sinks,” he warned.

Shahid Khaqan said he had assumed the office only to serve
the country and deliver maximum during the 45-day period.
He called upon the opposition parties to join the
government in its efforts for strengthening the democratic
system and supremacy of the constitution.
The prime minister-elect underlined the need to sustain the
economic growth achieved by the PML-N government and stressed
upon creation of more jobs through investment and China
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He alluded that they would have to endure some pains to
get gains and take some difficult decisions for sustainable
growth.
Expressing his personal views about taxes, he said the
non-tax payers would be netted to bring more stability to the
financial health of the country.
He regretted that majority of the people considered
paying taxes as optional.
Shahid Khaqan said the people enjoying luxurious
lifestyles with palatial houses and glossy vehicles had to
justify their income, promising that they would be made to
cough up taxes, once the cabinet permited him to go ahead with
his plans.
He said generally, politicians were blamed for not being
sincere to their job and urged them to set the precedent in
that regard.
He urged that taxes should be paid for the development,
welfare and security of the country.
About agriculture, he reiterated that being the backbone of
economy, efforts would be made to give it more support and
incentives.
He said the PML-N government’s economic policies
remained very successful and assured their continuity.
He said the provision of security to each citizen was
the government’s priority and it could be achieved through
integrated efforts.
Shahid Khaqan pointed out that automatic weapon licenses
were not allowed across the world and hinted that the federal
government would abolish their issuance.
About the education sector, he said its quality had
deteriorated, but the federal government would strive to take the
lead by implementing a uniform system across the country.
However, he made it clear that after devolution of powers, the
subject was the domain of provinces and the provincial
governments could follow their own decisions.
In the health sector, he said besides increasing the
facility of health cards, quality of hospitals would be
improved.
The federal government would try to upgrade the health
sector with all the available resources, he added.
The prime minister-elect said the power projects to inject
10,000 megawatt electricity to the national grid and motorway networks would be completed.
About his other visions, he said the railways would be
put on the most modern track.
Terming the issues of Karachi vital, he said those were
interlinked with the country’s progress and prosperity.
He said he would also accord high priority to the development
of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Lauding contributions of the former minister for finance,
he said Ishaq Dar had given a fiscal space to the country, which
was facing the perils of financial default.
Dar through his virtue of hard work put the country on
the sound economic tack, he added.
He also expressed his optimism that Nawaz Sharif would
once again be re-elected to the House.
Shahid Khaqan expressed his gratitude to the allied parties,
including MQM, PkMAP and JUI-F, FATA members and others for
supporting him.