PM asks people to reject dirty politics of sit-ins

KAROT, May 25 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that by learning the past mistakes, the people should now reject the dirty politics sit-ins which had inflicted huge economic loss to the national economy.

The prime minister, addressing the engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project here, said the 2014 sit-in (by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) still haunted the memories as it had caused the postponement of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“A sit-in is being planned again… We should not divide the nation through sit-in… What message you are giving through the sit-in,” the prime minister questioned the PTI leadership which was on its way to Islamabad for a sit-in in the federal capital.

Without naming the PTI, he said the political party had been requested to suspend or relocate their sit-in for three days from D Chowk but they were adamant not changing their mind.

He said that had the visit of the Chinese president taken place in 2014, the Karot power project –a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor- would have been completed a year ago to contribute 720 megawatts to the national grid.

PM asks people to reject dirty politics of sit-ins

He said the government was trying to rectify the bad economy and inflation inherited from the previous government. By reducing the oil prices, the previous government had left a “landmine” for his government, he added.

The prime minister, who reviewed the progress on the project, said the project faced some delays due to COVID and other related issues.

He said the previous prime minister had enough time to drag the opposition to a tight corner and create division in the society but could not find some time to visit the gigantic project, and control inflation, poverty, and unemployment.

He said after coming into power through a constitutional process, the incumbent government was striving to take measures for controlling inflation and stabilize the economy.

He said during his interaction, the Chinese engineers assured him of early completion for which he thanked the Chinese and Pakistani workers, departments and ministries concerned for taking utmost interest to complete the project.

He also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and the Chairman of Three Gorges Company which was executing the project.

The prime minister said being a hydropower project, the electricity price would reduce to even Rs3 per unit gradually, after the retirement of the debt.

He also thanked the Three Gorges Company head for agreeing to supply free-of-charge electricity to the national grid till the finalization of Commercial Operation Dates to save Rs4 billion to the national kitty, which was unprecedented and a gesture of strong China-Pakistan friendship.

“This is the China-Pakistan friendship and iron brotherhood…This is the passion to serve that everyone should have … The only solution is the work hard and learn from the past mistakes and reject the sit-ins to achieve the lost grandeur,” he remarked.

The prime minister called for emulating the Chinese model of development. He said both the Punjab and Azad Kashmir governments would get Rs1.2 billion as water use charge who would be spending Rs120 million annually for the next 30 years for the uplift of the Karot area as the locals had sacrificed their properties for the project.