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'Stakeholders' must unite to rid country of terror: PM Nawaz

28 January, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that we have to rebuild the image of Pakistan as a peace-loving country and this can be achieved only through hard work and combined efforts of all the stakeholders, including parliamentarians, civil society, executive, judiciary and defence forces.

Prime Minister Nawaz said that the government would take every possible step to bring peace and stability in the country to save the future generations. "Without eliminating terrorism and extremism, we cannot place Pakistan on fast track of development," the prime minister said while speaking to parliamentary party meeting of PML-N which was held in the Prime Minister's Office. Nawaz said that officers and soldiers of the armed forces laying down their lives were their heroes and their blood would not go vain.

"We are a peaceful nation and believe in peaceful relations based on respect with all our neighbours, including India. We need to begin a new era of peace and stability in the region, which will be beneficial for Pakistan as well as the whole region. "We have to rebuild the image of Pakistan as a peace-loving country," the prime minister said. He said that the situation in Karachi has improved and there has been a 40 percent decrease in the heinous crimes in the city due to the concerted efforts of the government and law enforcement agencies.

"We are going through an extraordinary situation, and this situation demands tough decisions," the premier added. He said that the country was facing two major problems – fragile economy and terrorism. On the economic front, the prime minister said, the government had taken actions which were proving fruitful. He said that economic indicators, despite law and order situation, were positive. He noted that a corruption-free society and transparent system was the road to progress.

The parliamentary party meeting failed to reach a final decision on talks or operation against the Taliban, with the majority of parliamentarians favouring the latter option. It was decided that all the political parties will be taken into confidence regarding the government's future course of action. In his address to the meeitng, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that all the political parties and parliamentarians will be taken into confidence besides getting their views regarding the option of talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Monday he does not trust the Taliban anymore, as on the one hand they are asking for talks and on the other hand killing innocent people.

During his briefing to the meeting, Nisar said a decision on holding talks or conducting an operation against the Taliban would be made by Prime Minister Nawaz and the country's top leadership. Nisar told the meeting that he had sent former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud a document containing the names of the seven-member negotiation team, but he (Mehsud) had crossed two names. The interior minister added that there was no coordination between the 26 intelligence agencies in the country.

Deliberating upon the energy situation, Nawaz said that though the problem has not been fully resolved, the power availability situation was better this year as compared to the last. This, he said, has been due to the payment of circular debt, addition of 1,700 megawatt into the system and better management of the distribution network. "We have more projects in pipeline and hopefully by end of our tenure we will add another 8,000 megawatt to the national grid." But, he added "we have to look for surplus power generation keeping in view our future needs."

The prime minister said 36,000MW will be added to the system by completion of K2, K3 civil nuclear power project, Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Gadani coal-based power project, Nandipur Power project, Jamshoro power project, CASA 1000 and wind power projects, in the next 10-12 years, the prime minister told the parliamentary party meeting.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the meeting on the economic policies of the government. Dar said that positive government policies have increased the chances of accessing international capital market and all international financial institutions were engaged with Pakistan.

End.

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