Get ready for next polls, Gilani tells Nawaz
04 July, 2011
MULTAN: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, on Sunday, while saying that the time for mid-term polls is over, asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to prepare for the next general elections.
While talking to newsmen, Gilani rejected the opposition’s call for mid-term polls and said it was time for local government elections in the country. “The government has got passed its fourth budget and will request the PML-N leadership to prepare for the next elections as the time for mid-term polls is over.”
While noting that the government had got passed its fourth budget, he said that the opposition was not giving a tough time to the government as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had the support of people. The prime minister said Benazir Bhutto had given the vision of politics of reconciliation, foreseeing that in the future only coalition governments would be formed and that no single party would be in a position to take majority of the seats in parliament.
The prime minister said he was pleased that the PML-N had accepted PPP’s viewpoint regarding reconciliation politics by stating that it was ready to talk to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). “Without reconciliation, politics cannot succeed in the country. We will continue our politics of reconciliation,” he added. To a question, he clarified that the present government did not allow use of Pakistan’s airbases to the US for drone attacks. The previous government had allowed use of airbases for surveillance purposes only, he added.
He said the government had taken up the issue of incursions by Afghans inside Pakistan’s territory and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the foreign secretary visited Kabul to discuss the issue. The Pakistan government protested over border violations and took up the matter with the Afghan government at diplomatic level, he said and added, “Our understanding with the Afghan government has improved and we are making them realise the sensitivity of the situation.”
To a question on military operation in North Waziristan, the prime minister said, “We will not take action on the demand of anybody. Our strategy will be in the best interest of the country. Action will only be taken if it is in the interest of the country and on this issue military and civilian leadership are on the same page.” The prime minister said it was unprecedented in the history of the world that after military operations, his government sent home 2.5 million internally displaced persons of Malakand and Swat in 90 days.
To another question, Gilani said the MQM remained an important ally of the PPP and it supported the government on all important national issues, including 18th and 19th constitutional amendments and NFC Award.
The prime minister said billions of rupees were spent on electrification of villages which resulted in more demand, and thus power shortage in the country. The government is working on short-, medium- and long-term projects of three to ten years to meet energy demand, he said and added that 2000 megawatts had been added to the national grid and 2000 megawatts more would be added to the system.