ISAKHEL - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday called for ‘jihad’ against political horse-trading and categorically declared to resist and shame those who would get Senate membership using their fortune.

“Senate election is due after a month. I question as how a party or individual with no MPA in a provincial assembly, can become Senator. There is only one method of plundering and venality which we have to reject. This can never be in country’s interest. We have to launch jihad against it,” the prime minister said addressing a public gathering after launching work on gas supply project to Isakhel Tehsil and surrounding areas.

The prime minister who earlier launched the project by unveiling the plaque and welding a gas pipeline, was accompanied by parliamentarians from the area including Obaidullah Shadi Khel and Mumtaz Tamman, provincial minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, and party leaders including Hanif Abbasi, Anjum Aqeel and Siddiqul Farooq.

The prime minister said they would personally resist and shame those who would get Senate membership by buying the votes.

“(We) will shame them. (We) will present them before the public court,” he said believing that the one winning Senate membership by using the riches could neither represent the people nor could serve the Senate.

Therefore, the people have to face such politics through its reaction which could be improved only though public pressure, the prime minister said and also sought public endorsement asking the gathering to raise their hands in support, he said, adding those involved in horse-trading would be exposed and the PML-N would face them.

The gas supply project would cost Rs 2.30 billion involving government’s direct funding of Rs 1.2 billion and Rs 1.06 billion indirect funding. It would benefit the population of 180,000 people and comprise transmission line of 58 kms stretch and distribution network of around 406 kms.

The prime minister, who wore a traditional white turban of Mianwali, said it was the biggest-ever gas project of Punjab and vowed to expand the facility across the whole NA-71 constituency.

He said the PML-N government inherited the ban on new gas connections owing to gas shortage but now all the consumers were getting uninterrupted gas supply and long queues at CNG stations had also ended.

The prime minister said the people were getting fruit of voting the PML-N into government in forms of vast network of motorways, numerous power and gas projects. He said the motorway from Hassanabdal to Dera Ismail Khan was about to complete that would change the fate of locals by begetting employment opportunities. “This is the gift of the Nawaz Sharif and PML-N. This is fruit of your 2013 elections decision,” he remarked.

Abbasi claimed that the PML-N had carried out the development projects even more than of last 65 years. Even the odds like sit-ins and conspiracies could not hamper the course of development, he added.

He was confident that the PML-N would again win 2018 elections to serve the masses for another five years. He reiterated that the journey of development and democracy would go hand in hand but it were the people who had to decide either to vote those who delivered or those who merely made hollow claims.

He also spoke high of the performance of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and drew a comparison with that of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The prime minister assured the workers of Agritech Fertilizer that the plant would get gas supply by next month to end their difficulties. He said the federal government had unprecedentedly allocated 100 mmcfd gas to KP for a power plant but the provincial government could not accomplish the task. Even, the provincial government did not adhere to the federal government’s suggestion of diverting only 28mmcfd gas to Agritech plant till their plant becomes operational.

However, he assured that the Agritech plant would get gas supply as the government could not play with the fate of poor labourers. He said earlier, Pakistan was importing one million tons of fertilizer but during this tenure, the country had exported 0.6 million tons of the commodity.

As requested by the local MNA Obaidullah Shadi Khel and other parliamentarians, the prime minister agreed that the interchanges to link Basal and Kallur Kot would be included in the next PSDP. He also announced the establishment of a medical college in the area besides assuring the implementation of policy of gas supply within the five kilometres radius of gas-producing area.

The prime minister said the industrial zone being set up by the Punjab government would uplift the area and assured the employees of water schemes to take up the issue of their delayed salaries to the Punjab chief minister.

In his address, Provincial Minister Amanatullah Shadi Khel said the PML-N government had completed mega projects for the economic uplift of all the areas without discrimination. The people of the area would vote for the party in the next elections, he hoped.

Other local parliamentarians also addressed the gathering and put forth the public demands for setting up a medical college, gas supply to Agritech plant and resolution of irrigation issues.