PM confident about achieving PML-N govt’s development targets

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 8 (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Tuesday expressed his confidence that the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would achieve the mega development
targets as conceived by former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
He said the PML-N leadership had shown the resilience despite
all odds and continued the democratic system in the face of
conspiracies.
The prime minister was responding to different queries during
Geo News programme ‘Capital Talk” hosted by Hamid Mir.
Prime Minister Abbasi said conspiracies were hatched to derail
the system. Any issue which caused harm to a democratically elected
government could be construed as conspiracy. Intrigues were made by
those elements, who did not want Pakistan to march on the path of
progress, he explained.
He said Nawaz Sharif had always delivered and compared the
previous regimes with the development projects launched by the
present PML-N government.
Nawas Sharif had left his office but his policies continued,
he said questioning the capacity of former regimes to achieve a
single development target.
The prime minister said when juxtaposed with previous regimes,
there was a long list of PML-N government’s achievements.
To another question, he said upon the directives of Nawaz Sharif,
they restored the prestige of politicians and parliament.
In recent times, he said, being in politics had become an abuse,
but the people knew it very well who had started that kind of culture. Politicians had been the public punching bags for their politics.
He said the political scene of the country also proved that
the people did not like politics of accusations and use of gutter
language. “No one will deny that there should be no decency in the politics.”
He stressed upon preparation of a new charter of democracy,
including subjects like ethics and economy etc., and said that all
political parties should be included in that sort of charter. There
was a need to bring all the political parties on one platform.
Spelling out objective of such contract, the prime minister
said there should be continuity in policies by the subsequent
governments.
The prime minister dropped the hint that his government would
take initiative in that regard by contacting all the political
parties and politicians of all hues.
About Article 63 (f) of the Constitution, he said that it
could be scrapped if all the parties desired so as the article
carried ambiguities.

The prime minister to a query justified size of his cabinet,
saying the constitutional limitation for cabinet members was 49.
There were about 43 divisions and each required a minister
for its smooth functioning, he said and stressed that for running
the government affairs in a better manner, sometimes enhanced
numbers of minister were required.
Rejecting a general perception about huge expenditures
incurred on the cabinet members, the prime minister said less than
0.3 million rupees per year was the total expenditure of a minister,
who had to take decisions for billions of rupees in the public
interest.
He said the issue was about the responsibility and ministers
were picked up on the basis of their knowledge and capacities so
that at the end, they could deliver.
To another question, the prime minister said it was the
strength of the democratic system that after July 28, within
four days, new cabinet took oath.
He said the continuity in the democratic system was its
strength. Now, there was no place for turncoats as they always
created hurdles in the system, he said in reply to a question about
the past norm of changing party affiliations.
The prime minister said he would remain in the office as long
as the parliamentary party desired so. The decision taken by the
party members was adopted unanimously by all members of the
parliament by voting for him.
Praising Nawaz Sharif’s acumen who managed the foreign affairs
ministry by himself, the prime minister said that he had not seen
such adroitness in any other world leader.
He also expressed his confidence that Minister for Foreign
Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif would also become the most successful
foreign minister of the country.
“We have to improve relations with all the countries in the
region and with neighbours,” he said, adding Pakistan strengthened
its ties with China whereas its ties with Russia had witnessed new
openings. The ties with the United States required further
improvement.
About relations with India, the prime minister said that
better ties with India were significant for resolving the issue
of Indian occupied Kashmir.

Dismissing allegations over liquefied natural gas (LNG)
import, the prime minister said the previous regimes could not
introduce the fuel. The PML-N government, however, started the
process as there was no solution to energy crises in the country.
He said Qatar was the largest LNG producer and Pakistan
imported it under the long term agreement with 2.75 million
tons yearly on the lowest rate which was acknowledged by the
world.
The prime minister said that he had also responded to
the allegations levelled by certain politicians and even wrote to
the National Accountability Bureau as minister to offer all
kinds of help in its probe.
He said after entering into politics, his family assets had
shrunk.
Justifying his decision not to retain the PM House, the prime
minister in lighter vein said that he wanted to rest in his home
after his daily hectic schedule.
To another question, he said Nawaz Sharif was their leader and
the ministers accompanying him during his home-going procession
should not be seen as creating impediments in the functioning of the
ministries.
He said it was not a protest march. Nawaz Sharif was going to
his home town and it was a decision of the party leadership to
accord him warm welcome along the GT Road.
The prime minister said the security issues would be managed
by the authorities concerned.
He said the general election would be held in 2018 in which
the PML-N would emerge victorious.

Prime Minister Abbasi while appreciating contributions
of Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai for promotion of education
in the world, said she was an icon of Pakistan.
He said though education had not been a federal subject
after the 18th Amendment, but a federal education ministry
still existed to give guidelines for quality education in
the country.
He said no nation or country could attain development
without quality education.
To a question, he reiterated his commitment that there
would be no loadshedding in the country after November 2017.
About increase in the duration of loadshedding in recent
days, the prime minister said it was done due to development
of some problems in one or two power plants.
The prime minister expressed the hope that sufficient
power generation had been added and loadshedding would be a
thing of the past very soon.
About trial of former dictator Pervaiz Musharraf, he
said implementing the court’s orders was the government’s
responsibility.
The Supreme Court ordered de-seating of a
sitting prime minister, the government immediately implemented
the verdict, he added.
“All are equal before the law, if there is an order of
the court against Musharraf that will be implemented,” he said.
“It is responsibility of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to
implement the court order.”
The prime minister said there should be no license of
automatic weapons with private people, adding, there was no country
in the world where automatic weapons were licensed.
He would take the parliament and the cabinet into confidence
about the issue, he added.
To another question, the prime minister while recalling
his almost two years in prison after the 1999 coup, said
though it was a challenge but it proved blessing in disguise
for him.
He said the former prime minister spent his jail time
with dignity.
Prime Minister Abbasi said the then dictator was seeking
an excuse for his takeover and that was why an hypothesis was
drawn that “I [Khaqan Abbasi] was giving directions to the
pilot of the hijacked aircraft.”
He said a seven-page FIR of the hijacking drama, written
in English language, was rejected by the then Judge Rehmat
Hussain Jaffery, who in his order had stated that the case had
no reality and it was based on mere hearsay.
He said Rehmat Hussain Jaffery did not bow to any
pressure to award death sentence to former premier Nawaz
Sharif.
Six persons were acquitted in the case while Nawaz
Sharif was awarded life-term imprisonment, he added.
Abbasi said he was also pressurized to give a statement
that he received a phone call from the prime minister (Nawaz
Sharif) not to allow landing of the plane, but “I told them
that we are political people and do not leave anyone in
trying times.”
He said those who had prosecuted them at that time were
standing nowhere.