LAHORE - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday said that terrorism and sectarianism cannot be eliminated by merely blaming the anti-state elements but wrong policies of past governments that raised and nurtured these evil forces will also have to be addressed.
“It is not the (just a) matter of state or non-state actors; rather, the main cause of terrorism is the wrong policies of the past rulers for which the nation is paying the price, and the origin of terrorism anywhere in the world is being traced out in Pakistan.”
The government committee holding talks with the Taliban team is ‘fully empowered’ and they both are in touch with each other to achieve peace and moving in right direction, Nawaz Sharif said as he spoke at the 37th Expert Award giving ceremony and later while talking to the media. He said no one should engage in petty politics on such national issues as terrorism, economy and law and order, and all should join hands in tackling these major challenges.
The event organised by Federation of Pakistan Chambers and Commerce (FPPCI) was attended by Balochistan and Punjab governors, Gilgit-Balochistan chief minister, ministers, chamber representatives and others. FPCCI President Zubair Malik delivered welcome speech.
PM Nawaz in his address reiterated that his government inherited a host of problems from the past governments, energy crisis, terrorism and deteriorated economy being the most striking ones of those. But he assured that the PML-N led government was vigorously trying to address all these problems.
He said energy crisis cannot come be overcome overnight but he vowed to solve this problem during their term of government. He also said that gas shortage would end within next one to one and a half years, as his government was determined to achieve the energy targets. He said he believes in making less promises and showing better performance.
Nawaz named a number of electricity projects launched by the present government and told the gathering that in next one and half months as much as 425MW electricity from Nandipur power project will come to the national system and in next two years another 960MW from Neelam-Jehlum project. Besides it, coal based energy projects will be initiated in the next three years, he added.
The prime minister recalling his last meeting with US President Barrack Obama and his secretaries said, they all wanted to help and support Pakistan but instead of seeking any grant or aid, he just asked them to open the US market to the Pakistani goods. While addressing Federal Minister Khurram Dastagir, the PM said he has given him the target to double exports within a year. He said it was difficult target but the minister would hopefully be able to at least take it to one and half times.
Nawaz Sharif strongly criticised the nationalisation policy of the PPP government in 70s declaring it to be the root cause of industrial crisis, collapse of the banking and education system, and regression of the national economy which consequently begot poverty, unemployment, price hike and illiteracy. “It was the most unfortunate day when nationalisation was announced as it was done at a time when economy of Pakistan was going to take over countries like Korea”. The people at the helm at that time filled their own pockets, favoured their friends and destroyed the institutions in the name of nationalisation.
Later, Nawaz said, spell of economic progress came during his governments but the momentum was broken again. He reminded that his government after 1997 elections was strengthening the country economically but it was toppled down and later terrorism ruled the roost and the problems beset the country. He said in the present era private sector is playing a pivotal role in pushing up economy of a country and the present government can also not be oblivion of this fact. He said the government only provides a genial atmosphere and facilitates while the actual business is carried out by the private sector. He said he made private sector stronger whenever came to power.
The PM expressed his firm commitment to revamp economy with the help of industrialists and businessmen on the private side and promised addressing all their problems and meeting their needs. He said a Business Advisory Council has been put in place for prompt redress of their woes and to frame policies with advice of the business community. He said they want to leave an honourable Pakistan to the next generations and vowed to restore the respect of the green passport and green flag in the world.
The premier said his government in 1998 constructed Motorway and 16 years have passed in between but no other government took this road further from Lahore. He promised to complete Motorway in his tenure and to also lead it up to Balochistan. The prime minister also found GSP status to Pakistan as ushering in a bright economic future of the country.