ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday called upon all political parties to demonstrate their sincerity to Pakistan by adhering to the democratic system, as the holding of the sit-ins and sowing seeds of discord in the society would only undermine the country.
He was responding to questions posed in the Captial TV talk show Awam, hosted by Murtaza Solangi.
The prime minister said 2018 was the election year and all the parties joining hands in the All Parties Conference (APC) of Pakistan Awami Tahreek (PAT) should concentrate on the next general election to be held in July.
He said the 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 (PML-N) was the sole political party striving to ensure holding of the general election on time.
The prime minister said he was at a total loss what kind of objectives they wanted to achieve with such APC and holding of sit-ins. 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.
About Model Town incident, he said the PAT’s objectives were to create unrest and anarchy in the country. If they had any case, they should take them to courts which were all functional, he said, adding that the political parties were doing politics over dead bodies.
Responding to a question about the 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.
The PM 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.
The PM 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 the new CM, 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.
Regarding speculations about the conspiracies during the motion, the prime minister said whenever the democratic system was suppressed; it had damaged the country and cited Musharraf’s steps towards Balochistan.
Commenting on Fazl-led JUI-F stance in Balochistan, PM Abbasi dismissed linking of JUI-F support to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) reforms issue, saying that the government wanted to resolve it with complete consensus by taking all the stakeholders on board.
About the Pakistan-US ties, the prime minister said the government had taken a clear and unanimous stance over the 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 as PM Abbasi 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.
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.
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 the election. To another question, he replied that the senior party leadership would decide about the next prime minister after winning a 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 the democratic system, he added.