Lahore : Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday called upon all political parties to demonstrate their sincerity to Pakistan by adhering to the democratic system as holding of sit-ins and sowing seeds of unrest in the society would only undermine the country.
He was responding to various questions posed in the Capital TV talk show Awam, hosted by Murtaza Solangi.
The prime minister said 2018 was the election year and all the parties joining hands in All Parties Conference (APC) of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) should concentrate on the next general election to be held in July.
Leadership in the political parties should demonstrate with their acts and character that they were sincere with the country as sit-ins were no solution to the issues.
But from their attitude, he said, it appeared that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was the sole political party striving to ensure holding of general election on time and regretted that other parties in the APC were not serious.
The prime minister said he was at a total loss what kind of objectives they wanted to achieve with such APC and holding of dharnas. Instead, they should go to public and tell them what they had delivered in the provinces where they were at the helm of affairs, he said.
He said it was his decision that ended the dharna as it was causing unbearable public sufferings.
About Model Town incident, he said PAT objectives were to create unrest and anarchy in the country while ignoring the basic facts. If they had any case, they should take them to courts which were all functional, he said, regretting unfortunately, facts over the issue were not accepted as the political parties wanted politics on the dead people.
Responding to a question about no trust move against former Balochistan chief minister, the prime minister said he expected the members of the provincial assembly that had tabled the motion not to create unrest in the province and play their role for strengthening of the democratic system.
He said that he had visited the province thrice in the past but no one had expressed their grievances against the former chief minister.
He said now it was members of provincial assembly’s responsibility to take the democratic process forward, adding that he had directed the interior minister to probe the pressure that was exerted on the elected members after some members had raised their voices. However, he maintained that such moves were not good for the democratic system.
Throughout his political career, the prime minister said he had witnessed such things which could only harm democracy.
He said the central leadership of the PML-N had not endorsed the no-trust move, but the former chief minister considered it appropriate to step down. About nomination of new member of Balochistan assembly to head the provincial government, he said it was up to the assembly members, whether they would work for democracy or create unrest. The prime categorically stated that the government would complete its term so that the democratic system could move forward.
There were speculations about conspiracies during the no confidence motion, but the issue of concern was whether it would serve the nation, country and democracy, he added. The prime minister said whenever the democratic system was suppressed; it had damaged the country and cited Musharraf’s steps towards Balochistan.
He said the JUI-F was PML-N’s allied party in the parliament, but was on the opposition benches in the province.
He dismissed linking of JUI-F support to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) reforms issue by saying that the government wanted to resolve it with complete consensus by taking all the stakeholders on board.
The prime minister said FATA being was run on the centuries-old administrative system which required to be replaced with consensus and informed that it would stand resolved soon. About Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the prime minister said it was his private visit and rejected speculations making rounds in the media. He said that he did not endorse such standard of politics as Nawaz Sharif had close ties with the Saudi Royal Family.
He said Nawaz Sharif is the PML-N leader and president of Pakistan’s largest party. They had been in the business of politics and struggling for the democratic system when others were sitting in the lap of martial law regime.
The prime minister said there were no two opinions about Nawaz Sharif’s view over Panama verdict which affected the country’s economy. The unrest was created in the country by staging sit-ins and filing of frivolous petitions in the courts. Whatever Nawaz Sharif had said, he did it as a responsible man, he added.
The prime minister said the people should recall history. “Who did NRO! On the other hand, Musharraf took a decision on a single telephone call which put the country in turmoil for a long time,” he added.
About Pak-US ties, the prime minister said the government had taken a clear and unanimous stance over US leadership’s statements which was appreciated and acknowledged by the world.
“We have given a clear and unanimous response to the US. The National Security Committee had taken the unanimous view in its meeting. Pakistan fought the war on terror with its resources and suffered hugely in terms of human and economic losses,” he added.
On all occasions, he said, engagements continued with the US. The prime minister stressed that the gap would be bridged through robust narrative being pursued by the government of Pakistan. The world was effectively informed about Pakistan’s narrative which was acknowledged and lauded by the world community including China and the European Union countries, he added.
The prime minister reiterated that there were neither safe havens for any terrorist outfit inside Pakistan, nor any attack took place from Pakistan on Afghanistan soil. Pakistan had deployed about 250,000 troops on its border with Afghanistan and completely dismantled all hideouts of terrorists.
He said Pakistan had faced the challenge of terrorism and would take action whenever they received any information as the country was fighting the war against terrorism in its own interest. About rise in the US dollar rates, the prime minister said it should not be a reason of concern as Pakistan was in the phase of acquiring sustained growth rate as the PML-N government had set the growth rate target of 6 to 7 per cent.
He said the foreign exchange was required for investment and the current account issues could arise but the government was tackling it.
He expressed his optimism that soon these issues would be resolved. The things on the economic horizons were now completely changed when compared with 2013.
About import of LNG, the prime minister said the government had completed the process in the most transparent manner and imported the gas at the cheap rates being acknowledged worldwide. He said the whole agreement and its prices were made public.
He said the domestic consumers were already getting gas at the subsidized rates. The PML-N government was the only government in the history of Pakistan which had successfully installed LNG terminals.
It also helped resolved the energy crises efficiently on the basis of cheap rates and transparency. The two LNG terminals owned by private companies under a transparent bidding were made operational within a period of 20 months whereas it took long years in the world.
To a question he replied, if Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister wanted to dissolve the provincial assembly he could do it, but how he would face the public, as it was the year of election.
To another question, he replied that the senior party leadership would decide about the next prime minister after getting majority in the next general election to be held in July.
After the Supreme Court decision, the party leadership had taken a decision about the prime minister office and all endorsed it which was the beauty of democratic system, he added.
After getting majority in the upcoming elections, the party would decide about the next prime minister and it would be premature to say anything over the issue.