ISLAMABAD - Terming democracy the only way forward, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made it loud and clear that no one would be allowed to sabotage the government’s development agenda.
Addressing the launch of Pakistan Vision 2025 programme here at Convention Centre, aimed at transforming Pakistani into an economically strong and prosperous country, Premier Shairf said, “I am at loss to understand the logic behind revolution,” adding they wanted a Libya-like revolution.
Prime Minister said, “The nation has given us a mandate and we do not want to disappoint them. We have been given a mandate by the people of Pakistan as they want an end to lawlessness, protection of fundamental rights, end to energy crisis and the country’s progress in all areas.”
He said the government will not let anyone steal people’s mandate.
The prime minister said the nation must decide that the only way out for Pakistan was through democracy and vote. “Dictatorship has only brought us misery and trouble. Today the United States, Germany, France and other countries are progressing only because they have democracy,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif further said, “Pakistan has no option but to opt for democracy.” He, however, said that it is also necessary that democracy also delivers and the masses are served.
Mentioning the show of Tahirul Qadri, the PM said a person from Canada is here with the claim to bring about a revolution in the country. He regretted that with an ability to get only around 200 votes, how he one can make tall claims of bringing about a revolution.
“They should have contested the election and come to the parliament if they wanted to bring about a change,” he said. He repeated his offer to talk to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan and resolve all matters amicably. He reminded that he had visited his residence in the past as well.
He regretted that some people had not learnt a lesson from the experiences of the past 65 years, saying the country had immensely suffered because of dictatorship that hindered development.
“Who is responsible for sowing the seeds of terrorism in the country, will they be held accountable for it?” the prime minister questioned.
Nawaz Sharif said he was committed to the progress of the country and he had accepted the same challenge in the 90s, and the country witnessed rapid progress in all areas. He mentioned the nuclear tests that Pakistan conducted following similar tests by India.
Sharif said he desired better ties with India and the then Indian prime minister visited Pakistan with the same desire. He recalled the standoff between Pakistan and India when President Musharraf was in power and said it was in contrast to what happened when the PML-N government was in power when the Indian Prime Minister visited Lahore in the friendship bus.
The prime minister lauded Planning, Development and Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal for the Vision 2025 said it was in contrast to what Tahirul Qadri presented his “Vision 14 August” in Lahore on Sunday.
“We are talking of ending poverty, creating employments and eliminating power shortages, but they are planning how to beat policemen, how to attack police stations and hold Nawaz Sharif responsible if anything happened to them,” the PM said.
“What are the reasons, the logic and the agenda behind this revolution?” the prime minister asked and said they were pursuing the agenda of certain vested interests.
“This government has come through a vote and with the vote the former government left. This is the real revolution. We happily bid them farewell and they welcomed us with the same spirit,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif said Korea was far behind Pakistan in 1960 but today Pakistan’s exports are only US $ 25 billion as compared to their exports of US $ 560 billion. He said the reason for the poor progress was that the governments have not been allowed to work for the masses in the past.
He said Pakistan was focusing on energy generation that was neglected in the past and mentioned that over 10,400MW projects were in the pipeline. He said his government was committed to building the country’s third largest water reservoir at Diamir Bhasha to help meet water and energy needs.
Prime Minister Sharif regretted that despite tall claims the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had failed to show any significant progress in any area.
The PM mentioned the government’s success to bring down the price of dollar and said it had succeeded in selling euro bond in the international market and had got a US $ 2 billion response.
He said Rs 55 billion had been released for acquisition of land for a motorway from Lahore to Karachi and promised to turn Gwadar into an international port, generation of energy through coal and other sources to get 10,400MW. He said in next five years the country will progress with leaps and bounds.
He urged the youth to stand together for the Vision 2025 and support the government’s efforts with the slogan of, “Let’s work harder, better and smarter.”
The prime minister also launched Rs 10 billion National Human Development Endowment Fund which would be used for provision of scholarships to 50,000 students and creation of Rs 5 billion Technology Innovation Fund for 8,000 PhDs.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the prediction that Pakistan would default in 2014 had proven wrong due to the effective measures and an integrated plan adopted by the government. He said the government addressed the vulnerable sections on priority and within 13 months increased the cash grant from Rs 1,000 per month to Rs 1,500. He said the country’s reserves have risen to US 14.3 billion and the foreign investors had started investing in Pakistan.
Planning, Development and Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the Vision 2025 was designed to put Pakistan on way to sustainable economic growth trajectory, creating a globally competitive and prosperous country by providing a high quality of life for all citizens.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will address the nation on Tuesday (today) to take it into confidence on the current political situation marked by the protest calls from PTI and PAT. The decision of the PM’s address came after consultations with PML-N’s top leadership.