ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday expressed the confidence that upcoming Senate election would win the government majority in the parliament for smooth legislation.

“Insha Allah, we are hopeful…All legislation is stuck up there (in Senate). We faced utmost difficulty during the last two years. Every law used to stuck up in Senate as we didn’t have majority,” the prime minister said in an interview with a private television channel.

He said in a parliamentary democracy, reforms process could not take place without joint working of the government and the opposition.

He said though it was the government’s responsibility to bring reforms, but it did not have majority to enact necessary legislation.

To a question, the prime minister said the opposition’s criticism on open ballot could be a plan to deprive the government of majority in the Senate election.

He questioned as why the political parties which had agreed for open ballot in Senate election under Charter of Democracy, had now backtracked.

“They are just trying to pressurize the government… Their only effort is to get the relief in form of NRO,” he added.

The prime minister said what kind of message the parliamentarians would give who would sell or buy loyalties in the Senate election.

When the parliamentarians, at the helm of affairs, would bribe to buy or sell votes, how could they forbid an SHO or Patwari for doing the same. The corruption is starting from them, he added.

Commenting on recently surfaced video, he said what kind of the reputation the parliamentarians would have among the people who had seen this video.

The prime minister said the government had formed a three-member probe committee and asked it to also refer the matter to Election Commission and even National Accountability Bureau, if required.

Moreover, the attorney general would also apprise the Supreme Court of the video as the apex court was hearing a reference seeking ruling for open ballot in Senate poll.

About the opposition’s viewpoint that the government started the process for open ballot late, he said he had been advocating it since his party had first formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa .

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At that time, he had also warned to dissolve KP assembly if the members were found to have sold their votes.

Later, he said the PTI had also expelled its 20 MPAs after they were found guilty of selling their votes. Moreover, a petition on the subject was also pending in the court for the last five months, he added.

Rubbishing the opposition’s notion, the prime minister said in case of Senate election through secret ballot, the government would always have advantage.

“They will see whether we get votes (in Senate election) more than our strength. Then they will repent,” he remarked.The prime minister said the salaried class suffered owing to rupee devaluation, which also increased prices of imported items like oil, ghee and electricity.

About the protest of government employees for salary increase, he asked what choice the government was left with after having inherited huge debt and paying half of its revenue to pay the loans taken by the previous regimes.

He said enhanced spending on salaries would swell the deficit and ultimately enhance the inflation. Despite financial constraints, the government had given a reasonable pay raise within the fiscal capacity.

Calling the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) a “gang of looters”, Imran Khan said they backed every movement against the government for the sake of getting an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance).

He assured that his government was fully focused on reducing the inflation as a “great plan” was also in the pipeline to address the issue.

To a question, the prime minister said his team was in talks with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, which had already agreed to defer their long march to April 20. The government would present the TLP’s demands in the Parliament for consideration.

No government, except that of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had taken firm stance on Namoos-e-Risalat, he added. “This is not out of any fear rather it is part of our belief.”

He reiterated that the blasphemy in Western states was committed under a conspiracy as the people there did not understand the reverence Muslims showed to Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

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However, the prime minister opined that the issue would remain unresolved unless all the Muslim world leaders raise the collective voice. He said except him, only Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had spoken on the issue while others were keeping mum.

He said the effective action would happen when 15-20 Muslim world leaders spoke on the issue, though the OIC 9Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and the United Nations had also talked on the matter.

The prime minister said the overseas Pakistanis suffered the most owing to Islamophobia.
Moreover, he also urged the role of Ulema to purge the society of social evils like sex crime including rape, gang rape and child abuses as those could not be eliminated merely through law enforcement.

He said the people would never take to streets to protect the opposition leaders’ corruption.

He said he had brought the people out in large numbers because they knew the then rulers were looting their money.

As the questioner suggested the prime minister to hold talks at least with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which seemed to be estranged to other PDM parties, he said he had always been ready to talk but knew that every time they diverted the subject towards the NRO.

“They have one-point agenda… They want the pardon as Musharraf gave them… I know them all,” he added.

Imran Khan said he had joined politics against the corruption, which kept every state away from progress.

About the ongoing action against the illegal land grabbers, the prime minister said the opposition leaders, playing the card of political victimization, should justify whether the land under their occupation was state property or not.

More revelations were about to come, he said and assured for indiscriminate action even if any of his party leader was found to have occupied the state property.