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December 15, 2017

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Government will complete its term: PM

LONDON: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Thursday the government would complete its tenure and the elections would be held on time. He said that threats are always there and he would allay the reservations of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

"The government will complete its tenure and elections will be held on time," said the prime minister, reiterating the government's stance. The prime minister also said that the merger of Fata with KP is part of the agenda and some reservations raised were being allayed.

The speaker of that National Assembly had stated on Wednesday he feared the assemblies would not be able to complete their tenure. "The reservations the speaker has spoken of are in reference to the events of the last three to four months. He made this in reference to the July 28 order, which has impacted the economy and politics. Maybe it [Sadiq’s statement] is being taken out of context. This is his opinion,” he said.

Khaqan Abbasi said that Imran Khan has been speaking about his “mandate” but the fact is that he doesn’t have a mandate. He said the best dharna will be during the next general elections when the people of Pakistan will be able to elect the government of their choice through a free and fair election.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that Pakistan is moving towards instability and the current circumstances in Pakistan are not satisfactory as he castigated his disqualification by the five-member Supreme Court bench on the basis of Iqama.

Nawaz Sharif said that the country, which was progressing well, is now moving towards instability after the July 28 decision and blamed the Iqama disqualification for uncertainty and political upheaval in the country.

"I said it during my rally in Quetta too, such decisions become the reason for anarchy in a country. You can see what has happened in Pakistan and how things have worked out in the last four years, it’s all open to see," said the former prime minister, who has strongly condemned his disqualification by the SC, terming it a witch-hunt and conspiracy against the elected government.

Nawaz is in London after the court had exempted him for a short duration from appearing in the hearings held on the NAB references registered against him. Nawaz Sharif stressed that his government has worked hard during the last four years to improve the country and the circumstances of the masses.

However, he said, terrorism which was under control during his leadership is again rearing its head in the country. "CPEC projects have slowed down, projects are not progressing at the speed as they were during our tenure," elaborated Nawaz and added that the stock exchange, which was hovering around 54,000 points, has now dropped down to around 37,000 points. "These are all economic indicators. Political instability effects the country," said Sharif expressing his dismay at the current circumstances.

Nawaz Sharif spoke to Pakistani media after holding talks with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Suleman Shahbaz Sharif. The meeting was held at Hasan Nawaz Sharif’s house where Hussain Nawaz was also present.

"There is no threat to the government. Rise and falls happen," Khawaja Asif said. Adding to what the premier had said, Khawaja Asif maintained that having differences over the issue is natural as the issues goes back centuries. The foreign minister further added that issue will be resolved soon and the process, started during the PML-N tenure, will be carried forward.

“Fata has an old history which is being reversed by changing its status. A new paradigm is being introduced. It is natural to have small hitches. These will be removed and the issue will be resolved," said the foreign minister.

“Mian Sahib will return and we will finalise the election strategy. The soft launch of the election campaign will be from the next month. Elections will be in July and everyone will know who is in how much water," said Asif while referring to the upcoming general elections. He further said that there is no destabilisation in the country and the PML-N's agenda and manifesto are being delivered to the masses.

Separately, Shahbaz Sharif said that he grieved over the loss of innocent lives in the Model Town tragedy but condemned those playing politics over the dead bodies. He said that those making calls for his resignation are those who didn’t cooperate with the inquiry committee investigating the Model Town tragedy. He said that Baqar Najafi report didn’t blame him anywhere for the incident and didn’t pin blame on anyone.

The Punjab chief minister said that demands of resignations were being made by political opponents who were not concerned about justice but vested interests and politics were dear to them. He said that various important issues were discussed during the meeting with Nawaz Sharif. He said that there was no threat to the system and the PML-N government was capable of dealing with challenges.

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