ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says he is hundred percent sure that both the general elections and Senate elections would be held on time.
Speaking in PTV’s programme ‘Aamna Saamna’, he said he was at a loss to understand what is the objective of those who talk about early elections.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said tenure of the present assemblies expires on 4th of June next year and elections will have to be held within sixty days after this date.
The Prime Minister said PML(N) would be going to polls on the basis of its performance and delivery of services to people while the opposition indulges only in criticism.
To a question, he said democracy has never been smooth as it faces numerous challenges. He said it is their job to fight these challenges. He said there is Constitution in the country and an elected Government is functioning. He said the country stabilizes when an elected government completes its mandated term. He said he was elected to the National Assembly for seven times and only once the Government could complete its term. He said the government should be allowed to work and decision should be left to the people to make during polls.
Asked about rumours of differences within PML(N), the Prime Minister said these are baseless. He said he has been attending meetings of the party at different levels but he never got any impression of serious differences.
He said difference of opinion is beauty of a political party but once a decision is arrived at through consensus or by majority, it prevails.
About disqualification of Mian Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister said the verdict of the apex court was accepted in letter and spirit, Mian Nawaz Sharif stepped down, new Prime Minister was elected and the Government is now working and delivering. He, however, said the decision has not been accepted by the people of Pakistan and the real verdict is delivered by the history.
The Prime Minister announced that there would be no gas load-shedding for domestic consumers in winter. He said domestic consumers would get additional twenty to thirty percent gas and there would be no disruption of supplies for power plants, fertilizer plants, CNG stations and the industry. He, however, said there could be some problems due to local issues in some areas.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said LNG has contributed a lot in addressing the gas shortages in the country.
To a question about criticism by some politicians of the LNG deal, the Prime Minister said Pakistan secured LNG import contract on lowest rates in the world.
Replying to another question, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the present Government delivered in the economic front more than other governments could do in fifteen years.
The Prime Minister said his priorities remain broadening of the tax base for which more measures need to be initiated; abolition of culture of automatic weapons, further improvement in health and education sector and further streamlining of working of the Government.
Regarding trade deficit, he said there is highest rate of consumer growth in Pakistan in the world. He said increased consumer spending, enhanced imports and fall in exports creates current account deficit but the Government is addressing the problem.
He said exports are picking up and these increased by 25% in the first quarter of this financial year. He said step have also been taken to curb imports and hoped that the trade deficit would come down this year.
To a question, the Prime Minister said there was no demand for do more and Pakistan wants to talk to every country on the basis of sovereign equality.
He said Pakistan Army and security forces have done more than any country of the world in the war against terror. He said it is because of our successful efforts that today situation in FATA and Karachi has improved significantly.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan wants to resolve all issues with India through dialogue but we are capable of and ready to face any aggression. He said Pakistan is ready to talk to India keeping rights of Kashmirs in view.—Radio Pakistan