Kharian : Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira Sunday urged people to elect honest and devoted people in the forthcoming general election to bring about a real change in the country.
Addressing gas supply inauguration ceremony near village Dewaan Kot, he said election is round the corner and political adversaries were running a propaganda campaign against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
He assured the people that the elections would be held on time. He expressed the optimism that PPP will win the next general elections on the basis of performance.
Kaira said the survival of the country was linked with the continuation of the democratic system and everybody must play
an active role in further strengthening the democracy. About performance of PPP-led government during the past five years, the Information Minister said the government would present its case before the masses when the final date would be set for next election.
He said Pakistan was faced with certain internal and external challenges including terrorism, law and order in Swat and Malakand, energy crisis, threat of isolation on the international front, economic recession, food crisis and floods when the PPP formed the government in 2008.
Recounting government’s achievements, he said the PPP had brought all political forces to one platform and launched the operation to get free Swat and Malakand from terrorists.
He said there was scarcity of flour in 2008, and with the prudent policies of the PPP, self-sufficiency was achieved in wheat production.
He pointed out that the country was now exporting wheat and inflation has been brought down from 25 percent to 8 percent.
On dual office, the Minister said the PML-N leadership must understand the fact that President Asif Ali Zardari’s office of PPP Co-Chairman was honorary. “The PML-N must elaborate whether it wants a democratic president or a conspirator in the Presidency,” he added.
He said unfortunately, Presidency had been the centre of conspiracies against democracy in the past but President Asif Ali Zardari strengthened the democracy by relinquishing all powers to the prime minister and Parliament.
He said President Zardari opted for the Presidency to safeguard democracy against all such tactics and moves.
The Minister said only a political president could protect the country. “We do not need a dictator or an autocrat president in the Presidency,” he added.
He said that bad governance is the norm in the Punjab and while the CM is used to clamour about good governance in the province.
Referring to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s antics, Kaira said the N-League leader must understand that one cannot become the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto through mere imitation but it required actions and sacrifices.
He said the national economy had suffered a great loss due to the Yellow Cab and Thandoor schemes in the past but it had been re-launched in Punjab. “Over Rs 70 billion are being spent on the construction of a single road in Lahore,” he added.
He said the PPP-led government had made the country self-sufficient in wheat and today the country has started exporting wheat and sugar while it had to import 2.5 ton wheat in the past.
Kaira said the PPP-led government had dismantled the networks of the terrorist in the country though few dispersed terrorist groups still existed.
He said the PPP-led government added 4000 MW to the national grid, purchased land for the Bhasha dam and started work on the Neelum-Jhelum Project, adding that it takes 10 years to complete a dam.
Recalling history of the country when presidents had dissolved national assemblies during their respective tenures, he said the situation had changed now adding President Asif Ali Zardari has further strengthened democracy and transferred his powers to Parliament.
Kaira said PPP-led governments had never compromised on the sovereignty of the country. “The government closed NATO supplies for eight months, contrary to claims of certain elements that routes would be restored just a week after the closure,” he added.
He said the government had ensured a consensus on the seventh NFC Award, introduced grower-friendly policies and raised employees salaries.
“Today’s Pakistan is far more different and developed than what it was in 2008. There should be an end to perception-based corruption rhetoric,” he added.
The Minister said that the provision of gas supply is underway in 16 villages of his constituency.