Political decisions should be taken at polling stations: PM

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Public mandate not being recognised; Announces multibillion development package for Nowshero Feroz; Inaugurates project to enhance gas production
Amanullah Khan

Nowshero Feroze

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday said that political decisions should be taken at polling stations and not on the streets or the courts.
Addressing a gathering at Nasuhehro Feroze he said that naysayers tried to cast gloom after July 28 Panamagate verdict as far as PML-N was concerned, but the party faced the test of time “with dignity and courage”, thus strengthening democracy.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that unfortunately public mandate was not being recognised despite knowing the fact that the country could not progress without democracy.
Speaking about the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict, he said many people were expecting a political turmoil in the country and internal split in PML-N after the decision. There wasn’t any candidate for the slot of prime minister in the party. The name proposed by the party became PM with a heavy majority, Abbasi said.
While the July 28 decision was a big test, it was also a victory for democracy,the premier said.
Lashing out at the Sindh government, he said that no power project had been initiated in the province for the last 15 years.
Abbasi said that empty slogans do not help in addressing the issues being faced by the country, adding he said PML-N was the only party which had practically proved that it wants country’s development and not promotion of an individual.
The Prime Minister said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will benefit the country for the next 50 years and help strengthen its economy in the long term.
Shahid Khaqan announced a comprehensive development package above Rs 2.5 billion for infrastructural uplift of Nowshero Feroz district for provision of gas, electricity and the construction of roads.
The prime minister said a whooping Rs 1.5 billion grant would be spent for provision of gas and electricity to various areas of the district and another Rs 1 billion for construction of roads.
The prime minister was accompanied by Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, federal minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, minister of state Jam Kamal and other party leaders.
The announcement of the mega development projects for the district of opposition-led Sindh province prompted the already charged gathering to chant full throated slogans in support of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and the prime minister.
The prime minister also announced the launch of his health insurance card scheme to support medical treatment of the poor families besides nodding to the party leaders’ demands of establishing a food processing plant, a railway stop and a grid station in the area.
The prime minister also approved a fund of Rs 200 million for a town committee on the request of a party leader in the area.
“This is the difference between the mindset selling the jobs and the one giving rights to the rightful people,” he commented criticizing the apathy of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party to the issues of the people in their province.
The premier said Pakistan Muslim League-N is the only party which has proved by words and deeds that it wants Pakistan to progress, and that development is not done through “hollow slogans”. He said that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif is the only leader who has kept the country united.
The premier said: “we have to carry forward politics in line with the Charter of Democracy signed by two former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.
He said, “I expect that the PPP and the Sindh government would seriously consider the points on which the two former prime ministers had agreed.
The prime minister also called upon the Pakistan People’s Party to “mull over” consulting the Charter of Democracy signed by PPP and PML-N in 2005 for politics going forward.
“Charter of democracy ensured that politics of vendetta is stopped in the country and the mandate of the masses is respected. That is not what we see happening now, unfortunately,” he said.
Abbasi complained that PPP was not honouring the Charter of Democracy, and that the party must consider it seriously.
He reached the New Jatoi area in Naushahro Feroze earlier Saturday and stayed at the residence of federal minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi.
Recounting the development work and economic improvement during the incumbent government’s tenure, Abbasi said that he hopes the people of Sindh will take the right decision keeping in view the performance of PML-N’s government.
“Karachi-Hyderabad Superhighway was built when I was 10 years old,” and now it is being rebuilt and extended by a lane on each side after almost four decades, Abbasi said.
He reminded the audience of the security situation of Karachi when PML-N took power 2013 and how it had changed since then.
“PML-N took the reins of the country when the growth rate was around three per cent; today it is six per cent,” Abbasi said, promising the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and economic growth would bring jobs to the country.
Praising Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi’s father and former caretaker prime minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi for his political struggle and role as opposition leader, Abbasi announced a number of packages for Naushehro Feroze.
Abbasi announced Rs1.2 billion for gas and electricity provision in the district and Rs1bn for its road infrastructure. He also announced health cards scheme. “Some provinces do not share the cost [of the health card scheme] yet federal government has taken it upon itself to execute the scheme,” Abbasi said.
He said that power plants were not established in the country for 15 years prior to the current government, but in the last four years 4000 Megawatts of power has been added in the national grid.
He said that provinces could not complain of being denied resources. “Sindh produces most of gas in the country and has received Rs10bn under gas development surcharge.” It has additionally received Rs30bn, Abbasi said.
“You must compare the present five years with those of past and before and I hope you will take the right decision”, Abbasi concluded.

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