Tag Archives: Nawaz

Election year: Nawaz rules out polls before 2018


As political temperatures rise in the country amidst relentless criticism of the incumbent government, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has precluded the possibility of snap polls saying the next general elections would be held in 2018 after his government completes its five-year constitutional tenure.

“2018 will be the year for the citizens of Pakistan to judge every party on the basis of their performance and they will have a chance to vote in or vote out any political party,” the prime minister said in a statement on Saturday.

“All political forces have a stake in the democratic system, and we all know that loyalty to the Constitution is imperative for us, and it is no longer an issue of choice,” the prime minister said. Parliamentary leaders of all political groupings have supported the government in its row with the PTI and advised the prime minister not to accept any unconstitutional demand of Imran Khan’s party. Premier Nawaz said that no system was perfect, but the Constitution and parliamentary democracy were the only tools to remove imperfections in the existing system. “We will provide a better and prosperous Pakistan when we enter the election mode in 2018,” he added.

The statement came as the PTI prepares for what it calls a ‘decisive rally’ in the federal capital on November 30 to push for its demand for an audit of the 2013 election which, it alleges, were massively rigged in favour of the ruling PML-N.

It also came as Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri, who returned to the country a few days back, predicted that the elections would be held in 2015. And it coincided with a massive three-day Ijtemah (congregation) of the Jamaat-e-Islami where the politico-religious party is calling for a change in system.

Sources in the PML-N told The Express Tribune that the prime minister wanted to give a loud and clear message to his detractors that the government would not succumb to street agitation. They further said that the prime minister issued the statement after conferring with his senior aides.

Sources said that through the statement the prime minister also wanted to convey a message to foreign investors that there was political stability in Pakistan and that the ongoing street protests posed no threat to the government.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Energy devised a comprehensive strategy to counter PTI’s November 30 rally which, it said, was creating obstacles for the government in the implementation of its agenda for development and overcoming the energy crisis with the support of China.

The committee was told that although the Chinese government has offered loans to its companies to work on various projects in Pakistan but they were still reluctant while PTI’s November 30 gathering had further added to their fears.

According to sources, the premier directed the committee to make sure that neither the energy projects signed with China nor the Chinese president’s upcoming visit to Pakistan was further delayed.

The prime minister will perform the ground-breaking ceremony of the Hazara Motorway on November 29. The 60-kilometre-long four-lane fenced expressway, to be built at the cost of Rs31 billion, is part of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, said an official statement.

The Hazara Motorway will reduce the drive time from Islamabad to Havelian to just 30 minutes along with providing road infrastructure to the Havelian dry port project.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2014.

‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogans to be heard in Raiwind soon: Imran

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief on Saturday claimed that soon ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogans will be heard in Raiwind [the palatial palace of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif].

Addressing his supporters at D-Chowk in Islamabad, Imran reaffirmed his commitment to continue his protest till he is accorded justice.

“We have been denied justice and we will not end our sit-in till it is done,” the PTI chief said.

Talking about his upcoming rally in Islamabad on November 30, Imran said that he knows the government will try to stop his supporters from gathering by any means.

The government has asked the PTI to follow the procedure for holding their rally in Islamabad or they would be denied permission, whereas the PTI chief has virtually turned down the proposal, arguing that holding a peaceful protest was his party’s constitutional right.

Addressing the sit-in, Khan said that the PTI had started its protest campaign in summer and now it was winter. The rulers were of the view that we would end the sit-in due to harsh weather but they would have to disappoint in this regard, he added.

Justifying his protest campaign, he said that the PTI was demanding for their right and there was nothing illegal or unfair in doing so.

2018 will be year for people to vote in or vote out any party: Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said 2018 would be the year for Pakistanis to judge and decide which political party to vote into power.

“They [citizens] will have a chance to vote in or vote out any party,” he said.

“All political forces have a stake in the democratic system, and we all know that loyalty to the Constitution is imperative for us, and it is no longer an issue of choice,” the prime minister said in his statement.

Nawaz further said that no system is perfect, but the Constitution and parliamentary democracy are the only tools to remove imperfections in the existing system.

“We will provide a better and prosperous Pakistan when we enter in the election mode in 2018,” said the premier.

The prime minister issued this statement following the statements of protesting parties, as well as the Pakistan Aawami Tehreek’s recent remarks alleging that 2015 would be election year.

Telephone call: Obama takes Nawaz into confidence on India tour


US President Barack Obama, who plans to visit India in January, next year, called up Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday evening to take him into confidence on his upcoming trip. “The American president also expressed the desire to take US-Pakistan relations one step beyond the current level,” according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister House.

President Obama said that his administration wished for peaceful and cordial relations between Pakistan and India. In this context, he said, Premier Nawaz’s visit to India in May was a positive step. Nawaz had travelled to New Delhi to attend the inauguration of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide victory in the elections.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Premier Nawaz referred to his visit to India, which was aimed at taking Pakistan-India relations forward. Subsequent unfortunate steps on India’s part, including cancellation of the foreign secretary-level talks and the unprovoked firing across the LoC/Working Boundary resulting in civilian casualties, indicated that India was averse to normalisation of relations with Pakistan, he added.

“Thus, while we remain open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment in this regard. President Obama expressed his understanding for our position,” he added. The prime minister urged President Obama to take up the cause of Kashmir with the Indian leadership as its early resolution would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia.

The Foreign Office statement stated that “during their exchanges marked by cordiality, Pakistan-US bilateral relations and the evolving situation in the region were discussed.”

The prime minister recalled his warm and friendly meeting with President Obama in Washington in October last year and their subsequent interaction at the nuclear security summit in The Hague in March this year. He expressed satisfaction at the direction of Pakistan-US relations which were on an upward trajectory since his government came to power last year.

President Obama noted that Pakistan-US relations were strong and robust. He was pleased to see that the Pakistan government had determined the right economic priorities and was successfully overcoming the challenges.

Recalling an invitation extended in Washington, the prime minister conveyed the expectation of the people of Pakistan to welcome President Obama to Pakistan sometime in the future. The US leader assured Nawaz that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date as soon as the situation normalised in the country.

Discussing the regional situation, the prime minister referred to the improvement of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations as were manifest in President Ashraf Ghani’s recent visit to Islamabad. The US president appreciated the prime minister’s efforts in this regard and called it pivotal for peace and stability in the region.

The two leaders agreed to stay engaged to further strengthen Pakistan-US relations in their common desire to promote peace and prosperity in South Asia.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2014.

Obama calls Nawaz, expresses desire for better Pakistan-US ties

ISLAMABAD: US President Barack Obama on Friday called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and expressed hsi desire to improve bilateral ties between the two countries, Express News reported.

The US president epxressed his desire to take US-Pakistan ties ‘one step beyond’ current levels.

Obama, who had earlier in the evening announced plans to tour India in January 2015, took Nawaz into confidence about his upcoming trip.

He said that the US wishes Pakistan and India have cordial bilateral relations and termed Nawaz’s May visit to India a positive step in that regards.

On invitation of Indian PM Narendra Modi, Obama is expected to “travel to India in January 2015 to participate in the Indian Republic Day,” said a statement issued by the White House.

He will participate in the celebration as a chief guest in New Delhi, and the visit will “mark the first time a US president will have the honour of attending” the celebration.

Balochistan University professor chants ‘Go Nawaz Go’ at laptop distribution event

BALOCHISTAN: A professor of Balochistan University on Friday chanted ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogan as members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) distributed laptops to students. 

Introduced by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, the controversial slogan has been reverberating in public gatherings and upper echelons of the government over the past few months, offending many who are a part of and support the PML-N government.

In the latest incident, the professor of the university began chanting “Go Nawaz Go” slogan much to the surprise of Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch who was present at the event. The professor was later escorted outside.

PM Nawaz was not offered bulletproof car from India: FO

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam on Thursday refuted statements made by a Nepalese official that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had rejected a bulletproof car provided by India for next week’s summit of South Asian leaders in Kathmandu.

“The prime minister was never offered a car by India, so there is no question about ‘snubbing’ India,” Aslam said.

Aslam, during the weekly briefing, also addressed the arrival of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Islamabad, Radio Pakistan reported.

In regard to relations between Pakistan and Russia, the foreign office spokesperson said Pakistan considers Russia as an important global player, which can play a crucial role in regional development and stability.

“Our ties with Moscow are moving in an upward trajectory. Islamabad seeks Moscow’s cooperation for social and economic development,” she said.

Kashmir issue: PM Nawaz accuses India of inflexibility

MUZAFFARABAD: After Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech on Kashmir in UN ruffled feathers in India, the premier blamed the neighbour for having an inflexible approach towards the longstanding issue, Express News reported on Thursday. 

Speaking at a meeting of Azad and Jammu Kashmir Council in Muzaffarabad, the prime minister reiterated that all issues should be resolved through negotiations and without the use of force.

PM Nawaz vowed to continue efforts for the Kashmir cause.

“Pakistan has always kept Kashmir issue at the forefront in all world peace forums,” Nawaz said.

The premier further shunned Indian accusations related to Pakistan harbouring terrorists in the country.

Nawaz hints at further reduction in fuel prices

ISLAMABAD: Taking credit for lowering prices of petroleum products, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday hinted at further reduction in fuel, Radio Pakistan reported.

“We will announce a reasonable cut in the prices of petroleum products this time as well,” Nawaz said, adding that reduction in oil price would benefit farmers and people living in cities and villages as it would lead to reduction in passenger fares and transportation charges.

Talking to media after chairing a meeting on energy situation in Islamabad on Wednesday, the premier reiterated that his administration is focusing on reducing load-shedding in the country but warned that there was no quick-fix.

Terming the agreement signed with China during his recent visit to Beijing as game changer, Nawaz said these projects costing billions of dollars would help tackle problems confronting Pakistan specially electricity shortages.

Nawaz also directed a jibe at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s prolonged sit-in, claiming that the sponsors of the sit-ins do not want load-shedding to end.

“Those staging sit-ins may not want to see of load-shedding end, but I am committed to do it and we will address this problem within our tenure of government,” he added.

Regretting the postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to Pakistan, Nawaz said the Chinese president invited him to visit China so bilateral agreements could be signed on the occasion after he was forces to cancel his visit. He claimed that President Jinping has assured him that he would be visiting Pakistan.

Taking notice of reduction in the prices of rice especially that of Basmati fallen in the international market, the premier said he has asked concerned ministries to take steps to protect interests of farmers.

Senate panel calls on Nawaz to protest against Indian aggression at SAARC summit

SIALKOT: During the first ever visit to the Working Boundary near Sialkot by a parliamentary panel, Senator Mushahid Hussain called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to strongly protest the unprovoked Indian shelling on Pakistani civilians at the SAARC conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, next week.

The Senate committee on defence visited villages along the Working Boundary which have suffered from recent border violations by India. The visit is a first by any parliamentary panel.

The committee received a detailed, two-hour briefing on Indian aggression across the 193-kilometre working boundary, which raised tensions across the Indo-Pakistan border of 1,187 kilometres in Punjab from Rangers DG Major General Khan Tahir.

According to a statement, Hussain said that since the Modi regime had taken over, there had been a distinct change in the tone, language, actions and attitude of India, terming it ‘aggressive and hawkish reflecting an anti-Pakistan mindset rooted in religious extremism’.

While condemning the immature and irresponsible statements of Modi and his cabinet ministers regarding Pakistan, Hussain said such harsh language was followed up by equally harsh actions like lobbing a record 31,872 mortar shells at Pakistan in October –higher than the number of mortars fired by India on Pakistan during the entire 1971 war.

Of his visit, the Senator said they had witnessed “nothing short of state terrorism of India, directly targeted civilians resulting in 12 martyrs and 38 wounded.”

“India heating up the Eastern border of Pakistan weakens and undermines Pakistan’s campaign against terrorism which the Pakistan Army is so valiantly and relentlessly waging on its Western border.”

Hussain, along with Senator Mohsin Leghari toured the affected villages, which include Dhamala, which is just 60 meters from the nearest Indian military post.

The committee members also met officials of Pakistan Rangers and appreciated their resolve.