Tag Archives: Nawaz

PM Nawaz meets COAS to discuss internal security situation



RAWALPINDI: Accompanied by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to meet Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Express News reported on Friday.

The premier will reportedly be briefed about the prevailing internal security situation in the country during his visit.

The military and political leadership came together to chalk out a plan to eliminate terrorists after Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan gunmen stormed a school in Peshawar on December 16 and killed 148 people, mostly students, in cold blood.

 

 

 


Sadiq insulted: Man held for chanting ‘go Nawaz, go,’



LAHORE: National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq was left red faced when a man chanted “go Nawaz, go” in his face.

According to sources, the NA Speaker was about to board Kuwait Airlines flight KU206 from Benazir International Airport, Islamabad, when on-duty traffic assistant Rizwan cried out loud “go Nawaz, go,” after which Sadiq, instead of boarding the plane, went back and called the airport security.

The Speaker directed the Airport Security Force officials to arrest and hand over the man to police and file charges against him.

ASF officials promptly took Rizwan into custody, confiscated his cell phone and duty card and handed him over to the police.

ASF officials told Express Investigation Cell that Traffic Assistant Rizwan was handed over to police along with a written complaint on the direction of NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

However, the police officer concerned, Afzal, said that Rizwan was released after brief investigation. “No clause of law could be framed against Rizwan, therefore he was allowed to go,” he said.

However, sources said, that Rizwan’s case has been forwarded to DSP Legal to see if a criminal charge could be framed against him.

Meanwhile, sources in the airline claimed that Rizwan was still in police custody and has been shifted from the police station to an undisclosed location.

In this regard, when the ASF Company Commander Raja Maroof was approached for comments, he said he was not on duty when the incident happened.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.


Uplift projects: Our plan-D is development, not destruction, says PM Nawaz



BALKASAR: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that demonstrations and negotiations cannot go hand-in-hand and no one would be allowed to create hurdles in the way of progress and development of the country.

He expressed these views while addressing a foundation stone-laying ceremony for the renovation of the 357km-long Islamabad-Lahore M-2 Motorway.

As Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has already announced its Plan-D to shut down the entire country on December 18, PM Nawaz has come up with his own version of Plan-D and dubbed it ‘development’.

He said the word ‘D’ can mean both: development or destruction. However, he believes in development unlike those who are bent upon ‘destruction’.

“No one would be allowed to create any hurdle in the way of progress and development of Pakistan,” the prime minister maintained as he unveiled his development plans including construction of roads, infrastructure and end to power crisis.

“The people of Pakistan have already rejected those who are trying to push the country over the edge,” he said while addressing a large gathering at the Balkasar Interchange.

The prime minister said hurdles against his government were not new and those who hold protests and demonstrations against him regularly travel on the same road they use to criticise.

He said a lot of hue and cry was raised when work on Lahore-Islamabad Motorway was initiated.

However, the whole project was completed with honesty, transparently and devotion. Despite the efforts of opponents, no one could find even a shred of evidence against the project.

PM Nawaz hoped that when his party goes back to polls in 2018, they will proudly carry with them fulfilled promises such as an end to load-shedding, lowering of exchange rate, completion of mega development projects, lower inflation, elimination of extremism and terrorism.

Without naming PTI, he told the audience that on the contrary, his opponents would show off how they closed down cities and staged protests, arson and looting; created obstacles in the path of progress and development; launched attack on parliament; inflicted damage to democracy and did nothing constructive.

“They are damaging entire Pakistan as they damaged one province,” he said.

The prime minister said he was pleased to be there on the renovation and improvement of the six-lane Lahore-Islamabad Motorway section, adding that the road was a wonder when it was constructed around 16 years ago.

He mentioned that the modernisation of the M-2 Motorway would jointly be undertaken by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Highway Authority (NHA) within a stipulated time of three years.

Though the FWO chief, PM Nawaz said, has assured him of completing the road in the shortest possible time.

He said the overlaying, fencing, beautification of the road would make travel along it a wonderful experience.

He said that the government was not seeking any loans from abroad for the construction of the road. On the contrary, FWO would pay an amount of Rs206 billion to the government of Pakistan over the agreement period, besides looking after the road. The very first day the project kicks off, Rs9.5 billion would be paid to the government, he added.

Premier Nawaz also assured that the proposal by FWO for setting up industrial zones would be undertaken on priority by the government and a feasibility would be prepared in due course.

He lauded FWO for constructing roads in parts of Baluchistan where no private organisation was willing to work. The next project, PM Nawaz announced, would be the motorway from Karachi to Lahore, Peshawar to Kabul, and Kashgar to Gwadar.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.


Response to protests: Govt’s ‘Plan D’ is for development not destruction, says Nawaz



CHAKWAL: Prime Minister Nawaz Shraif on Monday said the government’s plan D for the country is that of development in contrast to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s plan D of destruction. 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the overlay and modernization of Islamabad-Lahore Motorway (M-2) at a ceremony in Chakwal on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said the development process will continue and hurdles being created by the protesting parties cannot stop this process.

“It is evident that no Pakistani likes the dharnas  that are taking place, and no Pakistani will tolerate any hurdles in key development projects,” the premier said, while addressing the motorway renovation ceremony in Chakwal.

“It is the first time a road like this has been constructed in South Asia, and it is receiving praise not only from within Pakistan but also from abroad,” the prime minister said, referring to renovations at the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway.

He said the motorway had been constructed with Pakistan’s own funds without the government requesting for any foreign assistance.

“This project would have been completed a lot sooner had we not been ousted,” Nawaz said. Speaking about the value of the motorway, the premier said the estimated worth of the motorway was Rs2.25 billion.

Earlier, giving briefing about the project, the Director General, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Maj. General Muhammad Afzal said the project will be completed with the partnership of FWO and National Highway Authority (NHA). He said it will be a major public private partnership project. He said FWO will look after the M-2 for twenty years.

Government working towards eliminating load-shedding, reducing electricity prices

Nawaz, during the ceremony, said the government had provided relief to the masses by cutting down fuel and power tariffs.

“The government aims to end the shortage of electricity, as well as reducing the price of electricity,” the premier said.

“All of this will be possible after the completion of the construction of the Basha and Dasu dams, as well as coal-based projects,” he said.

“We want to introduce new projects, and we want to preserve the old projects,” the premier said.

“The new projects that have been introduced would be completed had there not been the interruption in the form of dharnas,” he said.

He said the projects the government had introduced were ‘game-changers for Pakistan’.


Populist move: Nawaz orders Rs2.32 cut in power tariff



PESHAWAR: 

Taking yet another populist step in an apparent bid to placate the masses in view of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ongoing anti-government campaign, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a Rs2.32 per unit cut in electricity prices.

“Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government wants to provide relief to the public despite lack of resources. This step will provide reprieve to domestic users, industrialists and farmers,” said the prime minister while addressing a press conference on Friday at Governor House in Peshawar.

He said petroleum prices are also expected to be further slashed later this month. The PM emphasised that the benefit of cuts in petrol prices should reach the common people but noted that except for one province [Punjab] all the other provinces could not make any significant change in the passenger fare.

“The reduction in the petroleum prices will affect the agriculture sector positively, which will also benefit the common man,” he said.

The PM clarified that he did not want to talk about sit-ins, protests and political crisis in the country “but only about development, for which the PML-N government has made a solid plan”.

However, he could not stop referring to the political crisis as a hindrance in the country’s progress.

He said the power crisis in the country cannot be ended in a single day as it did not emerge in a year or two but over a long period of time. The PM also said that the government could not give any deadline for overcoming the crisis.

“But the PML-N government will struggle to end it in its current tenure,” he said, and added: “We want to generate cheaper and more electricity in the country.” For this purpose, he said, the government has decided to start a joint project with China of generating electricity from coal.

“The project will start producing electricity after three years of its inauguration. However, unfortunately the project could not be launched so far due to the ongoing protests in the country,” he added.

Linking the power crisis with economic development, Prime Minister Nawaz said inflation will decrease only when the industry is developed and the industry will strengthen only when cheap energy is made available to it.

He recalled that in 1997 – when he was heading the country as prime minister – Pakistan was producing surplus electricity and India wanted to purchase it. “If development continued at that pace, Pakistan would have been in a much better position today,” he said.

The premier said government also wants to stop electricity theft across the country. “For this purpose, we will take action against corrupt elements in Wapda and electricity distribution companies,” he said.

The premier said electricity transmission system in the country is also poor and cannot bear extra load. “This is why our government has planned to upgrade the system,” the PM said.

Talking about other development projects, he said the government will soon start work on Lahore-Karachi Motorway. “We have also laid the foundation of ‘Naya Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa’ by inaugurating construction work on Hazara motorway in Havilian some days ago,” he said, in a reference to the PTI’s slogan.

He said the government will also connect Peshawar with Kabul by a motorway to promote trade in the region.  “The government will soon start work on extending gas pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah, which will later be joined to the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project and will help reduce gas outages,” he said. He said the government through its policies had managed to lower the dollar exchange rate to Rs98. “But now due to the political crisis and protests, it has again crossed the Rs100 parity,” he said.

Earlier, the PM went to the house of Awami National Party MNA Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and condoled with him over the death of his nephew Usman Bilour.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2014.


As Karachi shuts down, Nawaz announces reduction in power tariff by Rs2.32



PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday announced a reduction in the power tariff by Rs2.32 per unit in a bid to provide relief to the masses, Express News reported on Friday.

While addressing a press conference in Peshawar after visiting Awami National Party leader Bashir Bilour, PM Nawaz Sharif said there will be a further reduction in petroleum prices, adding that economic indicators were showing signs of improvement.

“Our only mission is not to end load shedding but also reduce the tariff,” he said, adding that his government’s priority is to make electricity production cheaper.

He said coal-based power plants have already been initiated with the help of Chinese companies. “Despite a lack of resources, the government is striving to provide relief to the people.”

The premier argued that the reduction in power would decrease inflation in the country, while also emphasising that the power crisis would not end overnight.

“I never gave a timeline, either before or after elections to end the power crisis,” he said. “But we are determined to end the crisis in our current tenure,” he added.

When asked about the Karachi shutdown by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Nawaz said he shouldn’t be asked about protests but rather the ongoing development projects in the country.


Nawaz to consult PML-N leaders, political parties before resuming talks with PTI



ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will on Wednesday deliberate with senior leadership of his party and heads of various political parties on setting an agenda for talks with the protesting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), The Express Tribune has learnt.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Tuesday, confirmed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership will discuss the issue of talks with PTI on Wednesday.

Dar said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s statement, where he claims that he will not accept a Judicial Commission’s judgement that goes against his will, had forced the government to check before resuming talks.

The finance minister said that the entire exercise of negotiations with PTI would be useless, if the PTI chief wants to see a result of judicial commission as per his wishes.

However, Dar added that if the judicial commission fails to find any rigging in the May 2013 elections, then Imran will have to issue an apology.

Separately, PML-N sources said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday and met with the prime minister along with select PML-N leaders and deliberated over the negotiation issue. Reportedly, they have suggested that the government resume talks with PTI immediately.

They further agreed that on Wednesday, Nawaz will discuss the agenda for talks with senior leaders of the PML-N and take on board leaders of other political parties.

According to sources, PTI is willing to resume talks from where they broke off, while the government wants to resume talks on fresh points.

The PML-N believes that PTI is not in a position to dictate demands. Instead, the PML-N has agreed to provide PTI a chance to save face and not to go deep into definitions of legal affairs regarding rigging.


Shah has words of advice for both Imran and Nawaz



ISLAMABAD: 

As the death of a PTI worker in Faisalabad sparked protests in major cities, Syed Khurshid Shah, the leader of opposition in the National Assembly, advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resolve the row with Imran Khan through dialogue as “politics of confrontation is weakening the country”.

“I ask you Mian Sahib to come forward and settle this issue through political means as this [political] tussle is weakening the state,” Shah said while speaking on the floor of the house where hardly over two dozen lawmakers were present. At the same time, Shah gave the PTI a piece of advice. “Khan Sahib, you can serve your countrymen while standing here in this house as the only legal way to come into power is elections, not force.”

The opposition leader said that neither Nawaz Sharif nor Imran Khan was in the harm’s way. “In this confrontation, the poor people are the ultimate sufferers,” he said.

Shah said he had asked Premier Nawaz in a recent meeting to counter PTI’s move politically. “No doubt, the PTI wants to topple the government but it’ll not succeed in its bid to take over through such means, therefore, the only option is negotiation to settle all disputes,” he said. “We have fought three wars with our archenemy India but at the end of each war we came on the negotiating table.”

Shah was not much convinced with an explanation given by a PML-N lawmaker from Faisalabad, MNA Rajab Ali Baloch, who said that Faisalabad was a stronghold of the PML-N as 11 MNAs and 20 MPAs of the party belonged to the district, therefore, clashes were obvious.

Rajab Ali said that of nine points, the tragic incident occurred at one point that too when PTI workers shouted slogans against the PML-N leadership. He alleged that PTI workers barged into educational institutions and forcibly shut them down.

The Faisalabad incident marred the debate on the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from tribal regions. After almost six months of the military operation in North Waziristan Agency, the lower house on Monday asked the government to consider the IDPs issue its top priority.

The Q&A session was suspended to debate the sufferings of the IDPs.

Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao proposed formation of a parliamentary panel to oversee the ‘country’s most sensitive issue’.  The proposal was endorsed by Ghazi Gulab Jamal, a lawmaker from Orakzai Agency, who asked the government to form such a body immediately.

Shahbuddin Khan, the ruling party’s MNA from Bajaur Agency, said the house might convince the prime minister, the opposition leader and other national leaders to visit the IDPs as this would send a positive signal to these people.

The disgruntled PTI leader, Gulzar Ahmad, said steps should be taken for safe repatriation of the IDPs to their native areas. He said the government’s decision to not seek help from the international community for the IDPs was a mistake.

The house was prorogued a day before its schedule as the speaker was facing court proceedings for alleged rigging in his constituency NA-122.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2014.


Resolving differences: PM Nawaz sends team to defuse PML-N, NP row



QUETTA: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sent a team of senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders to resolve differences between the party’s Balochistan chapter and its coalition partner in the provincial government, National Party (NP).

The team, which comprises Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Senator Sardar Yaqoob Nasir, Raja Zafarul Haq and Nawab Jangayz Marri, reached Quetta on Saturday and met with PML-N’s provincial leadership. It will submit a report to Prime Minister Nawaz after holding meetings with leaders from PML-N’s Balochistan chapter and its coalition partners, namely NP and the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

“We have heard the complaints and grievances of [provincial] ministers from our party, and we will go and discuss grievances with our coalition partners in Balochistan before submitting a report to the PM,” Rafique told reporters after the hours-long huddle with PML-N Balochistan leaders.

“The PML-N leadership will only then decide what position to take,” he added.

Rafiq said despite securing a majority in the Balochistan Assembly, PML-N chose to give nationalist parties a chance to form the government. He said his party could have easily elected a chief minister from within it ranks if it wanted.

Quetta’s only five-star hotel also saw unprecedented political activity on Saturday, as both PML-N and NP leaders were present there for hours.

Talking to The Express Tribune, a senior NP leader said the PML-N Balochistan leadership was doing its utmost to remove Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. He added that this would be impossible, however, since NP had the support of the central PML-N leadership.

The PML-N team is going to have dinner NP and PkMAP leaders to discuss the complaints lodged its provincial leaders against them.

The chief of PML-N’s Balochistan chapter, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, has been threatening to part ways with the provincial government for the last couple of months. The source of his ire was an FIR registered against him.

CM Abdul Malik Baloch has said he is trying to resolve the issues within the government and address the grievances of PML-N Balochistan leaders.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2014.


PM Nawaz meets UK premier at 10 Downing Street



LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 Downing Street on Friday, where they will be holding talks, Express News reported. 

The premier is on a three-day visit to the United Kingdon where he participated in the Conference on Afghanistan, co-hosted by the governments of the UK and Afghanistan.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Secretary of State John Kerry were also in attendance at the conference.

Talks between Prime Minister Nawaz and Cameron are expected to take place this afternoon. Ghani is also said to be attending the meeting.

Sources have also said that the prime minister will meet Prince Charles following his meeting with Cameron.