- PM rejects army chief’s remarks about country’s ‘sky-high’ debt; says dictatorship always halted country’s progress
KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday said that military dictatorship always halted progress of the country, emphasising that democracy is vital for any country’s development.
He expressed these views while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the country’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal, Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT), at Port Qasim during his one-day visit to the port city.
The prime minister said that the people should decide who they want to see in power and who they don’t.
“The masses have always elected political parties that have performed well for them,” he said, adding that leaders who do not perform well should be sent home.
“Whoever performs will be given a chance to rule again, while those who don’t will be sent home,” he said.
“But the process should be democratic and the people should decide,” stressed the premier.
Referring to the army chief’s remarks about the country’s ‘sky high’ debt, he said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has made the economy stable.
Earlier, DG ISPR Maj Gen Ghafoor’s in an interview on a private TV channel had said: “If the economy is not bad, it is not doing so well either.”
On Oct 11, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, while addressing economists and businessmen during a seminar in Karachi, had said the country’s economy was showing mixed indicators and that the tax base needed to be expanded and economic policies continued to be able to break the “begging bowl”.
In response, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had said Pakistan’s economy is stable and is doing a lot better than it was in 2013 and had advised the army to refrain from speaking about country’s economy.
‘PML-N GOVT ACHIEVED WHAT OTHERS COULDN’T’:
Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister said that the current government has produced 10,000 megawatts of electricity in four years, adding that this was the only government in Pakistan’s history which not only initiated development projects but also completed them on time.
The PM pointed out that the Lowari tunnel, which had been started by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1975, was finally completed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after spending Rs 28 million on it.
Speaking about the current project of Port Qasim terminal, he noted that the terminal had been created at a cost of $285 million. He said that a heavy investment had been made in the project, while necessary measures to keep it eco-friendly, according to World Bank’s standards of environmental and health safety, had been taken.
The prime minister arrived at Karachi airport earlier on Saturday and was received by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Governor Mohammad Zubair.