Tehrik-e-Istaqlal Central President Rehmat Khan Wardag termed the Iran Gas Pipelines Project in the national interest, dispelling the impression that because of the project, the circular debt will increase. He also feared that the present government may cancel the gas pipeline project signed by the last PPP-led government with Iran perhaps on the foreign pressure to prolong the rule.

“If taken, such step would be tantamount to enmity of Pakistan,” he said and urged the newly elected government to take benefit of the offers being made by Iran to provide the country with electricity. He said that the neighbouring country wanted to help Pakistan selflessly from her heart.

“Iran is desirous of helping Pakistan on the basis of being brotherly Islamic country and the gesture is praiseworthy. So, we should not give in to any pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United States and immediately strike a deal regarding electricity purchase from Iran besides ensuring timely completion of the project,” said Wardag, “Iran should be given the top priority among all the countries with regard to trade and purchase of petroleum products as the former has offered petroleum products on three-month credit which could help all the refineries of Pakistan become operational on their full capacity.”

He added that in the Musharraf era, oil was purchased from Iran and then Pakistan used to export petrol. He suggested that the gas supply to the industrial sector should be stopped as with the saved gas, 6,000 megawatts of W electricity could be produced, and with the provision of cheap electricity, the industries could be run on electricity.

SHAFIQ TO JOIN PUNJAB CABINET: The PML-N has reportedly decided to include Sadiqabad-based MPA Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq in the Punjab cabinet.

In the first phase, the party has made final decision to add the member of Punjab Assembly belonging to Rahim Yar Khan district to the provincial cabinet. Earlier, the party gave a green signal to him in this regard. Shafiq has made a hat trick of provincial assembly seat victories. Recognising the services made by the MPA to strengthen and organise the PML-N in Bahawalpur Division, the party decided to include him in the Punjab cabinet.

The people of Sadiqabad had earlier demanded that acknowledging the service of MPA Shafiq, the PML-N leadership should decide to include him in the Punjab cabinet.

They said, “During the Musharraf regime, the MPA elect faced the dictatorship and actively participated in the Tehrik-e-Nijat.

He (Shafiq) protested for the return of Nawaz Sharif during the regime in Lahore and was injured in a baton charge by police and has consecutively been elected as MPA from Rahim Yar Khan.”