No NRO in the making: PM

  • Abbasi rejects rumour-mongering involving Sharifs’ Saudi visit
  • Says Trump’s tweet has no value as for as Pak-US ties are concerned


ISLAMABAD: Dispelling rumours that another National Reconciliation Order (NRO) was in the making, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday stated that there would be no such deal as the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was not in favour of one.

In an interview with a private television channel, the prime minister, while dispelling the rumours, said that those people who had themselves signed the deal (NRO) were nowadays giving a lecture on morality. “The NRO was a Pakistani law and not of the Saudi Arabian government,” he added.

PM Abbasi said he did not understand why rumours were being spread about the recent visits of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia.

“They were on routine private visits to Saudi Arabia, to perform Umrah,” he said, adding that both the brothers had lived there for eight years and had relations.

About the government’s reaction to the recent statement of US President Donald Trump against Pakistan, the prime minister said the National Security Committee (NSC) debated the issue in detail and gave a response, while the federal cabinet also gave its reaction and endorsed the NSC reaction in that regard.

The prime minister said he was representing a government and believed that there should be no individual response to such issues. Trump’s tweet was individual and tweets had no value as for as relationship between the two countries was concerned, he added.

Prime Minister Abbasi said Pakistan had fought the war against terrorism not only for itself but also for the entire world and had given a lot of sacrifices. He said many countries had supported Pakistan in that regard, adding that “we have given response to such kinds of allegations at all forums”.

He said attacks inside Pakistan were being perpetrated from the Afghan soil and that Pakistan wanted a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, besides it was ready to play its role in that regard. “Now the world should come forward to bring stability to the war-torn country,” he added.

To a question about any tensions between the government and establishment, the prime minister said everyone had fears from the establishment, adding that he was a representative of the PML-N and his job was to complete affairs of the government, give stability to politics and hold timely and transparent election so that the next government took power and democratic journey continued.

To a question, the premier said the government was trying its best to perform and come up to the expectations of the people, adding that a lot of development projects in the energy sector and infrastructure had been completed, while some projects were nearing completion.

About toeing the policy of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, PM Abbasi said he was sitting as prime minister of the PML-N and those criticising him should at least tell the people how many projects they had completed during their tenures, while he would tell them the projects completed by the former prime minister and his government.

The prime minister said tenure of the present government would complete in June and the PML-N government would go to the next polls on the basis of its performance.

Abbasi said a record number of development works had been carried out by the present government during the last four and a half years. About the Senate polls, the prime minister said he had no such information that Senate elections were not being held.

The prime minister said technocrat government had no chance in the constitution, and added that the present government would complete its constitutional term till June 2018. He said that there were only two ways to topple an elected government – one is to dissolve the assembly and the other one is through vote of no confidence, while there was no third option in the Constitution to oust an elected government.

To a question about nominee of the PML-N for the next prime ministership, he said it would be decided by the party.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the government had successfully added 10,000 MW of electricity to the national grid, while 15,000 MW projects were in the pipeline.

He said only 20,000 MW of electricity had been added to the national grid since the creation of Pakistan, while currently there was no shortage of electricity in the country and only those areas were affected where there were line losses.

The prime minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a game changer not only for Pakistan but for the entire region. The work on power and infrastructure projects under the CPEC and Gwadar Port was in full swing, he added.

Abbasi said that drinking water issue of Gwader city would be resolved on a priority basis, as the federal government was providing Rs 45 billion to the Balochistan government annually only for drinking water projects.

The prime minister again rejected allegations of any kickbacks in the LNG project, saying he was ready to accept full responsibility for the project. He said everything about the LNG was on record and any allegation on such a vital project was against the national interest and also tarnished relations between the two countries.