ISLAMABAD: Unfazed by the call for locking down the federal capital by the PTI, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after his unopposed election as the president of PML-N said on Tuesday that the government does not fear those playing with ‘dugdugi’ (the instrument used by jugglers to induce monkeys/bears to dance).
Addressing a jam-packed Jinnah Convention Centre with members of the PML-N general council, the premier vowed that his party would snatch the KP government from the incumbents in the 2018 polls if the provincial government continued with its present policies, which have greatly disappointed the people of the province. He was in an upbeat disposition and spoke with a fair amount of enthusiasm while taking jibes at his opponents without taking anyone’s name, and calling them as political jugglers.
“Jugglers surface one after the other every time during our government but we will continue to work for prosperity and well-being of the people and let the juggler play with his dugdugi,” he said. The premier said he considers it an insult to respond to verbal abuses.
The prime minister said that today’s Pakistan is far better than of 2013 when the PML-N assumed the office. He said the improvement is a result of prudent policies adopted by the PML-N government. He thanked the party leaders and members for reposing confidence in his leadership. He said he will try his best to live up to the expectations and aspirations of the party and the people. He said the government would continue to serve the nation despite the hurdles being created by some political jugglers. He said the people would reject these jugglers and support those who are busy in nation-building.
The prime minister said the people of KP voted for the PTI on the slogan of change but the party leader isn’t visible in the province since he is seen only on containers and dancing parties instead of serving the masses.
He said the PML-N would form the government in KP as well after the 2018 elections on the basis of its concrete performance.“Had you focused on your province, the people would have been praising you, but the situation now is such that you need months of efforts to organise a gathering and to get the people to attend it,” he said.
Nawaz said a real change was being brought about by the PML-N and it was also acknowledged by the international community.“Pakistan is today counted among the fast emerging economies of the globe while in 2013 it was at the brink of bankruptcy,” Nawaz said. He reminded that the Pakistani stock exchange was one of the five best performing markets of the world, foreign exchange reserves had crossed 24 billion dollars and inflation had also declined as compared to 2013. He said prices of petroleum products have also come down considerably.
The prime minister reiterated that a number of energy projects are under implementation and electricity loadshedding will be eliminated by 2018. including hydel, wind, solar and nuclear are being exploited and 10,000 megawatts electricity will be added in the national grid by 2018 that will eliminate loadshedding. He said 30,000 megawatts additional electricity will be added in the subsequent years.
“I want to cater to the needs of beyond 2018 and my target is not only to end loadshedding but ensure its supply to consumers at lower tariff,” Nawaz said. He announced that electricity will be available on comparatively cheaper rates after completion of these projects and appreciated the speed of work being done on various power plants.
"Shahbaz Sharif will be happy to hear that the Chinese said they are being set up with 'Punjab speed'," he said, referring to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who was also sitting among the members of the council. The prime minister reiterated that about Rs100 billion had been saved on various development schemes, adding that if another government had been in power, it would have taken commissions or kickbacks and avoided making savings. He said people will patronise those who they believe will work for the development of Pakistan. He said law and order situation has improved in the country due to counter-terrorism measures and operation Zarb-e-Azb.
"When I was elected prime minister, people asked me why I was so worried; they used to ask why I don't smile anymore. I forgot how to smile due to the weight of my responsibilities. I made a promise to the people, but how would it happen? The worry was eating away at me," the prime minister maintained. "We didn't have money for a single power plant. We needed dollars. If we put up one plant, we wouldn't have enough money for another, and you need lots of power plants to end the power shortage. I would like to thank our friend China from the bottom of my heart for contributing to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," he said.
The prime minister said the government has initiated a number of motorway, highway and road construction projects in the length and breadth of the country. He said Karachi-Lahore Motorway is under construction and this will be extended from Lahore to Multan and Multan to Sukkur during the next two years. Similarly, he said, work on Karachi to Hyderabad Motorway is in progress and work would begin during the next months on its extension from Hyderabad to Sukkur. The prime minister said the federal government is spending over Rs18 billion on Green-line project in Karachi. He said $5.5 billion are being spent for improving railway system in the country which would help increase speed of the train from the existing 80 kilometres an hour to 160 kilometres an hour and upgrade the service standard of the network. He said that for the first time a network of highways and roads is being created in Balochistan. He said KP is being governed by another party but motorways and highways are being constructed by the federal government of the PML-N as well. He said under a country-wide development programme, projects for clean drinking water, sewerage, health and education would be completed to improve quality of life of the people. He recalled that 45 modern hospitals will be built across the country to provide best medical care to the people. He said 150,000 laptops have been distributed at a cost of Rs4.5 billion and 400,000 more would be distributed during the next two years.
The prime minister appealed to the masses and party workers to play their role to help the government implement its developmental agenda. He said that some people are talking about blocking of roads and jamming Islamabad.
"These people claim they will come onto the streets and jam Islamabad. We are the party that makes roads and you are the party that wanders the streets. Look at the difference between the two parties that one has been given a chance to work for Pakistan's progress, while the other has been given the mandate to sing and dance on containers, to wander the streets and to hurl abuse. I consider it insult to even respond to them," the prime minister said. He said to rivals: "We will continue to build roads and you keep measuring them."
Nawaz Sharif was re-elected in sixth general council meeting for four years term of the president of the party while Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq was chosen as chairman of the PML-N. Sartaj Aziz, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, Sar Anjam Khan, Sardar Yakub Khan Nasir, Imdad Chandio and Changez Khan Marri were elected senior vice presidents of the party. Senator Pervaiz Rashid was elected as secretary finance while Senator Mushahidullah Khan was elected secretary information of the PML-N. Special Assistant to the PM for Political Affairs Dr Asif Saeed Kirmani, State Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique hosted the council meeting. A five-member election committee headed by Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal conducted the polls.