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Hundred percent sure general elections and Senate elections will be held on time: Shahid Khaqan

24 October, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Monday that he was hundred percent sure that both the general elections and Senate elections would be held on time.

Talking to a TV channel, he said that he was unable to understand why people were spreading rumors about early elections.

Abbasi said the tenure of the present assemblies expires on 4th of June next year. “Elections will have to be held within sixty days after this date,” he said.

The prime minister said that PML-N would be going to polls on the basis of its performance and delivery of services to people while the opposition indulges only in criticism.

To a question, he said democracy was never smooth as it faced numerous challenges.

“It is our job to fight these challenges. There is a Constitution in the country and an elected government is functioning,” he said.

He said that the country stabilised after an elected government completed its mandated term. “I have been elected to the National Assembly seven times, but only once did the government complete its term,” he said.

He said the government should be allowed to work. “Such decisions should be left to the people to make during polls,” he said.

Asked about rumours of differences within the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the prime minister said they were baseless claims. He said that he had been attending meetings of the party at different levels, but he had never got any impression of serious differences.

“Difference of opinion is beauty of a political party. Decisions are arrived at through consensus or by majority,” he said.

About disqualification of Mian Nawaz Sharif, the PM said that the verdict of the apex court had been accepted in letter and spirit. “Mian Nawaz Sharif stepped down and new PM was elected. The government is now working and delivering. The decision has not been accepted by the people of Pakistan and the real verdict will be delivered by history,” he said.

The PM announced that there would be no gas load-shedding for domestic consumers in winter. “Domestic consumers will get
additional twenty to thirty percent gas.

There will be no disruption of supplies for power plants, fertilizer plants, CNG stations and the industry. However, there could be some problems due to local issues in some areas,” he said.

Abbasi said LNG had contributed a lot in addressing the gas shortage in the country.

To a question about criticism by some politicians of the LNG deal, the prime minister said Pakistan had secured LNG import contract on lowest rates in the world.

To another question, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the present government delivered on the economic front more than other governments.

The prime minister said his priorities remained broadening of the tax base for which more measures needed to be initiated; abolition of automatic weapons; further improvement in health and education sector and further streamlining of the working of the government.

Regarding trade deficit, he said there had been a healthy growth in the consumer sector in Pakistan. “Increased consumer spending, enhanced imports and fall in exports creates current account deficit, but the government is addressing the problem,” he said.

He said exports were picking up and had increased by 25% in the first quarter of this financial year.

He said steps were also being taken to curb imports. He expressed the hope that the trade deficit would come down this year.

To a question, the PM said there was no demand for do more and Pakistan wants to talk to every country on the basis of sovereign equality.

He said Pakistan Army and security forces had done more than any country of the world in the war against terror. He said it is because of our successful efforts that today situation in FATA and Karachi has improved significantly.

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